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Easter leg of lamb

Easter (Pasqua) is a particularly important celebration in Italy with events, processions and religious ceremonies taking place across the country. Celebrations begin on Palm Sunday, marking the start of Holy Week, culminating on Easter Monday with a picnic shared with friends and family. Lamb is traditionally eaten at Easter in southern Italy and Puglia is no exception, where lamb is traditionally eaten with eggs and fresh peas of the season. This simple roasted leg of lamb combined with fresh peas, baby onions and black olives makes a wonderful Easter lunch or at any time. If making out of season, use frozen peas.

Make it yourself

4 x servings

Ingredients

  • 1.2kg leg of lamb
  • Salt & pepper
  • A little extra virgin olive oil
  • 150ml white wine
  • 300g baby onions or shallots
  • 100g black olives, pitted
  • 8 x anchovy fillets, roughly chopped
  • 2 x garlic cloves, left whole, crushed
  • 320g fresh or frozen peas (clean weight if fresh)

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 200 degrees centigrade.
  2. Slash the lamb with a sharp knife and rub all over with salt, pepper and a little extra virgin olive oil. Push half the olives and four anchovies into the slashes. Place in a roasting dish together with wine, garlic, shallots and remaining anchovies.
  3. Reduce the oven temperature to 150 degrees centigrade and roast the lamb for 1 hour 30 minutes. If necessary, cover with tin foil halfway through cooking. Baste throughout and if necessary add a glass of hot water.
  4. About 10 minutes before the end of cooking time, add the peas.
  5. Remove from the oven, leave to rest for 5 minutes, place on a board, carve and serve with the vegetables and juices.
Discover Puglia's traditional cuisine for yourself - click here to browse our collection of holidays to Italy's 'heel'
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