Buona Pasqua! Happy Easter! Mom’s Traditional 'Agnello al Forno con Patate!'

Roasted lamb with potatoes - one of my favorites!!

The most devoted to traditions will not fail to bring a typical lamb dish to the Easter Table. The lamb brings with it Christian suggestions and symbols still alive and honored. Its unmistakable taste with wild notes make it a unique and much loved Easter dish. Baked lamb with potatoes is a simple and rustic recipe that my mom has prepared for many years. The lamb is flavored with fragrant aromas that soften its pungent taste and baking it in the oven will return a tender and juicy meat. We use the potato-base as a sauce with pasta and serve it as a “primo piatto” (first course) and the lamb is served as the “secondo piatto” (second course) di Pasqua.

As with so many other recipes, I followed my mom with pen and paper trying to figure out measurements. When it came to parmigiano, I asked how much cheese she was adding to the pan. Her response was, “una bella mangiata di parmigiano.” My response, “that’s lovely mom, but 1) How do you even translate that into English? and 2) How do I translate that into cups?” It basically means, use a good amount of parmigiano! To make this delectable dish gluten-free, simply substitute with gluten-free pasta! I also made some fresh gluten-free mini breads!

We hope you enjoy it as much as we do! Buona Pasqua a tutti!

The Recipe

Yields: 6 servings

Prep time: 30 to 40 minutes

Cooking Time: 90 minutes


  • 5 pounds bone-in leg of lamb, cut into roughly equal pieces. You can also use lamb shanks.

  • 2 cups red wine

  • Fresh herbs for marinating: chopped rosemary and sage along with salt and pepper.

  • 3/4 cups of extra virgin olive oil

  • 1 kilo potatoes, washed and cut into large dice

  • 3 plum tomatoes, large dice

  • 1 medium onion

  • 1 pound peas

  • 1/2 cup parsley, chopped

  • 1/2 cup parmigiano, grated

  • Salt and pepper to taste

  • 2 cups of filtered water


  1. Marinate the lamb. In a large bowl, place the lamb, 2 cups of red wine, and fresh herbs, such as rosemary, sage. Add salt and pepper to taste and mix to coat. Cover, refrigerate, and let the meat rest for one hour.

  2. While the meat is marinating, prepare all of your ingredients. Wash, peel, and cut potatoes into uniform sizes (large dice) and then wash again to remove excess starch. Slice the tomatoes into large dice. Slice the onions and chop parsley. Set aside.

  3. Place a large round pan on stove top and turn heat to a medium-high. Add olive oil to the hot pan followed by the lamb.

  4. Roast lamb on each side - approximately 15 to 20 minutes total. Then add potatoes, tomatoes, onions, peas, parsley, parmigiano, salt, and pepper.

  5. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Add water to the pan. It should be levied with the meat but not cover the content in the pan. Bring water to boil. Once the you reach the boiling point, mix well with a wooden spoon and transfer the pan to the oven. Bake for 1 1/2 to 2 hours, or until meat is tender.


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