If you don't own a meat mallet, use the flat side of a small, heavy skillet to pound the lamb for these wonderfully hearty rolls from Abruzzi, stuffed with a savory mix of crisped pancetta, chopped egg and pecorino cheese. More Amazing Lamb Recipes

Stanley Lobel
October 2005


Recipe Summary

1 hr
2 hrs 30 mins


Ingredient Checklist


Instructions Checklist
  • In a deep 12-inch skillet, heat the olive oil until shimmering. Add the pancetta slices and cook over moderate heat, turning occasionally, until browned and crisp, about 6 minutes. Transfer the pancetta to a work surface and chop finely. Reserve the skillet and fat.

  • In a large bowl, mix the pancetta with the eggs, pecorino cheese, bread crumbs, 6 tablespoons of the parsley and half of the minced garlic. Season with 1/2 teaspoon each of salt and pepper.

  • Working with 1 piece of lamb at a time, place the meat on a work surface between two sheets of plastic wrap and pound it into a roughly 4-by-6-inch rectangle, 1/4 inch thick. Spoon the filling onto each pounded piece of lamb, leaving a 1-inch border on one of the shorter sides. Starting on the shorter end, press the filling to compact it slightly and roll the lamb into a tight cylinder. Tuck in any loose flaps of lamb and tie up the rolls with kitchen string.

  • Set the skillet over moderately high heat until the fat shimmers. Add the lamb rolls in a single layer and cook, turning occasionally, until browned all over, 10 to 12 minutes. Transfer the lamb rolls to a large plate. Add the onion to the skillet and cook over moderate heat, stirring, until softened, about 8 minutes. Add the remaining garlic and cook until fragrant. Add the tomato paste and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Pour in the wine and simmer until slightly reduced, scraping up any browned bits stuck to the bottom of the skillet, about 3 minutes. Add the water, chopped tomatoes, crushed red pepper and a pinch of salt.

  • Return the lamb rolls and any accumulated juices to the skillet and bring to a boil. Cover tightly and simmer over moderately low heat until the lamb is tender, about 1 1/2 hours. Transfer the lamb to a deep platter, cover with foil and keep warm.

  • Boil the sauce over high heat, stirring, until slightly thickened, about 5 minutes. Pour over the lamb rolls, sprinkle with the remaining parsley and serve.

Make Ahead

The lamb rolls can be refrigerated in their sauce for up to 3 days.

Suggested Pairing

Serve with Montepulciano d'Abruzzo, made from the grape of the same name and known for its cherrylike fruit flavors and firm acidity.