Christmas is all about family but Easter is all about the food

So says Nudo in their dolcevitadiaries. About three years ago, I adopted an olive tree in Italy from Nudo Adopt. I received a certificate of adoption for Aleandri, a 21 years old, Leccino olive tree. I receive two packages a year–for two litres of organic olive oil in the spring and three flavoured. It is fabulous first cold-pressed extra virgin olive oil.

Jason Gibb and Cathy Rogers set up Nudo in 2005 after buying and restoring an abandoned 21 acre olive grove in Italy’s Le Marche. Their love of the Italian countryside inspired their now famous adopt an olive tree programme which allows people all over the world to adopt an Italian olive tree and receive its oil. A love of simple natural food is the starting point for all Nudo products. They are all made from 100% natural, high quality, locally sourced ingredients (www.nudoadopt.com).

After the first year, I contacted Nudo to request a continuation of my adoption of Aleandri. They said I could choose tree in another region, but I had grow partial to Aleandri.

Occasionally, I receive recipes and when this one was emailed to me, I decided to make the traditional Italian Easter dish of “cosciotto d’agnello ripieno di olive, pane, pinoli e erbe aromatiche,” or leg of lamb stuffed with olives, ciabatta bread, pine nuts & herbs. I invited my delightful stepdaughter, Sophie and her partner, Yayuk, and my wonderful friends, Bruce, Jud, Debbie, and Marilyn each of whom contributed to the make this Easter meal.

This lamb recipe was easy to prepare and simply delicious. The stuffing is made with a full garlic bulb!

carving a leg of lamb

Italian Leg of Lamb

Leg of Lamb Stuffed with Olives, Herbs, Ciabatta, and Pine Nuts
Recipe type: Easter Dinner
Cuisine: Italian
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 8
Leg of Lamb Stuffed with Olives, Herbs, Ciabatta, and Pine Nuts (Cosciotto d'agnello ripieno di olive, pane, pinoli e erbe aromatiche)
  • Loin of lamb – 4.5lbs/2kg
  • Garlic – 1 whole bulb
  • Flat-leaf parsley – ½ bunch
  • Rosemary – ½ bunch leaves picked, a few sprigs left whole
  • Anchovy fillets – 4
  • Ciabatta – 100g torn into chunks
  • Pine nuts – 1 large handful.
  • Black salt cured olives – 1 large handful, de-stoned and roughly chopped
  • Lemon – zest and juice of 1
  • Extra virgin olive oil with lemon – 3 tbsp and more to drizzle on top of loin
  • Sea salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Onions – 3 peeled and roughly chopped
  • Carrots – 3 roughly chopped
  • Celery – 3 sticks, roughly chopped
  • Red wine – 2 large glasses
  1. Preheat your oven to 170oC/400oF/GM6.
  2. Start with the stuffing – put the peeled garlic cloves in a food processor, and while it’s still going, add the parsley, rosemary leaves and then the anchovies. Scrape this mixture into a bowl. Put the ciabatta and pine nuts into the processor and give a few pulses so it’s still quite coarse, then add this to the bowl of herbs, along with your chopped olives, lemon oil and lemon zest. Season with salt and pepper, then mix everything together well with your hands.
  3. Spread the loin flat, skin facing up and score carefully with a sharp knife. Turn it over, skin down and pack the stuffing into a neat pocket along the length. Roll it up tightly with your hands and then tie it up with some butchers string. Slip a couple of rosemary sprigs under the string and drizzle over a little lemon oil olive oil. Season with salt and pepper and massage into the lamb surface.
  4. Place your roughly chopped onion, carrot and celery in a roasting tray with any remaining unpeeled garlic cloves and lay your lamb on top. Roast for about an hour and after 30mins pour over a glass of the wine. Repeat this again after about 45 mins. Once cooked rest the lamb for a few minutes before serving, and don’t forget you can use the juices to make a gravy. And also don’t forget that the vegetables are mainly for flavouring the lamb, so you don’t need to serve them if they don’t look great.
  5. Serve with roasted potatoes, peas and grilled artichokes.

D & D Easter 2015 Lamb stuffed with olives & herbs Lemon Tart Roast Lamb



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