This is a preview of the content in our Italian Food Decoder app. Get the app to:
  • Read offline
  • Remove ads
  • Add Map function to find sites, as well as your own custom locations (your hotel...)
  • Build a list of your own favourites
  • Search the contents with our advanced text search functionality
  • ... and more!
iOS App Store Google Play



Lamb is popular secondi, especially in central and southern Italy, and usually prepared quite simply.

Lamb aged between three and twelve months old becomes a 'big lamb' or agnellone. After a year old it's known as castrato or montone.

Regional specialities include:

agnello cacio e ova: stewed in a sauce of eggs and pecorino (Abruzzo).

agnello al forno con patate e pomodori: chopped lamb baked in the oven with new baby potatoes. onions, tomatoes, rosemary, and white wine (Puglia).

agnello alla pecorara: leg of lamb cut in pieces and wrapped in bacon and leek, baked with herbs and white wine (Abruzzo).

agnello al cartoccio: lamb in parchment with olives and lampasciuoli (Puglia).

agnello alla Sarda: lamb shoulder with saffron and artichokes.

agnello allo squero or alla crudele: cooked on a spit with herbs.

agnello alla Carbonara (named after a town near Bari, in Puglia): lamb baked in the oven with paper that sucks up the extra grease. It's popular at Christmas.

agnello con pisselli alla romagnola: lamb and pancetta cooked with peas (Emilia-Romagna)

agnellone in ragù, a slow cooked dish from Puglia, traditionally served as lunch to farm workers in July.

agnello scottaditto: grilled on charcoal and served ‘burn your fingers’ hot, mainly in Umbria and the Marche.

agnello sotto la coppa: cooked under ashes (Molise).

agnellone stufato al finocchio: stewed with fennel (Emilia-Romagna)

Three breeds are listed in the Ark of Taste: Agnello d'Alpago (Veneto), Agnello di Zeri (Tuscany) and the Agnello di Sambucano (Piedmont). The Agnello Sardo is DOP.

Text © Dana Facaros and Michael Pauls

Images by: The Boreka Diary