In the Cooking Italy class with Angela, we are cooking from the book Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking by Marcella Hazan. I made three items from this month's menu: Arrosticini Abruzzesi (Skewered Marinated Lamb Tidbits), found on page 83; Tomato Sauce with Onion and Butter, found on page 152; and Potato Gnocchi, found on page 160-162. All really great recipes. Really Great.
Instead of making the marinated lamb tidbits small and appetizer size, we made them larger to use as the main protein for the meal. These marinate for a few hours in garlic, olive oil, salt, pepper, and rosemary (they recommended marjoram but we don't have that growing in my herb garden, and rosemary goes so well with lamb, that I decided to use that...maybe I will plant marjoram next year and give that a try) and then are skewered and grilled for 3 minutes one side, turn, and 2 on the other, really quick for a weeknight. Perfect in the timing, the seasoning, the preparation, everything.
The Tomato Sauce was excellent, very easy and quick to put together, the remainder of the time being a slow simmer for the better part of an hour. OMW Good. Simple fresh ingredients, incredible flavor. We served the tomato sauce over the homemade Potato Gnocchi.
My first time to make Gnocchi. I have eaten it once before, but by and large, I am not a lover of dumpling type things. These however, are surprisingly light little bits with that sauce clinging to them, and even with a first effort, they were very nice, and a big hit with the guys.
Mark finished with a "fabulous meal, all the flavors were really great," echoed by Matt and myself, Alex not being present for dinner that evening to cast a vote. Three for three is pretty good.
I almost skipped this lamb recipe, so I am happy that I found time to make it as it truly is one of our favorites.
If you would like to see Angela's lovely rendition (she has such a way with food styling) and the recipe, you can go to Spinach Tiger where you will also find a connect to the Cooking Italy group, the schedule, and the upcoming menu recipes. Next week's recipe is Sgroppino--Venetian Lemon and Strawberry "Slush" with Sparkling Wine and can be found on page 613-615.