I Heart Italia: Lamb & Cannellini Bean Spezzatino
I love lamb. It has always been my favourite roast. Over the last month I've been waiting for the right opportunity to make lamb and cannellini bean stew, a staple in the Italian kitchen. I got some lamb, got some beans, found some cousins and a sister to invite for dinner, got some more lamb and beans to ensure sufficient quantities and got to work.
I checked with Jacob Kennedy in the Bocca book to see if he had anything to say about this dish and found a rather lovely lamb and broad bean stew which made for the basis of my recipe.
Other key ingredients that I wanted to make an appearance were rosemary, as I have lots in the garden, white wine because the weather has been so hot and garlic, to hit the meat with some extra flavour. The result was a delicious spezzatino - a stew with an bold sauce, one that cannot be left behind and requires bread to swipe every last bit from the bowl.
Here's what I used: [serves 6]
500g leg meat, cut into pieces
Lamb ribs - I currently have an obsession with ribs - great inexpensive cut of meat
3 garlic cloves, crushed
1 bunch spring onions
Pinch dried chilli flakes
1 teaspoon anchovy paste
6 rosemary sprigs
1 bottle white wine
2 cans cannellini beans
2 tomatoes, diced
Chard, finely sliced - this is optional, I fancied something green
First you need to toss you meat in seasoned flour. Then heat 2-3 tablespoons olive oil in a pan and lightly brown your meat.
Add the spring onion, crushed garlic, chilli flakes and anchovy paste to the meat and cook for a few minutes.
Add the rosemary and white wine and simmer for an hour and a half with the lid on. The meat will be lovely and tender by this point.
After an hour add your diced tomatoes and a cup of water if it needs more liquid.
Taste and season the sauce ten minutes before cooking time is up and then add your cannellini beans and chard if you're using.
Serve hot with some fantastic bread.