Similarly to many of the surrounding regions, many of the traditional main courses of Basilicata feature lamb as the feature ingredient rather than beef. Lamb is served in many different ways here, including several different variations on stew. One dish calls for a lamb stew that is covered with an egg and cheese mixture and then baked in the oven. Another type of lamb stew, Cutturiddi, is a typical second course in Basilicata. Rather than a heavy stew that we often make in America with potatoes, carrots, and a thick gravy, this stew takes on a decidedly Mediterranean twist. Along with the lamb go pearl onions and tomatoes with a little heat coming through from some red pepper flakes. The liquid that the stew is cooked in is a thin broth rather than a gravy. It is a very light version of stew, which is a nice change from what most people in America are used to. If you don't want to change the flavors of your usual stew too much, though the traditional recipe calls for lamb, this stew can be made with beef or veal as well.
Lamb Stew - Cutturiddi
Adapted from Welcome to Italy
2 pounds lamb (or beef or veal)
1 stalk celery, diced
1 garlic clove, minced
16-20 pearl onions, skin removed
2 tomatoes, seeds removed and diced
1/2 tablespoon dried rosemary
1 bay leaf
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- Cut the lamb into bite sized cubes.
- Place meat in a casserole dish with the celery, garlic, pearl onions, tomatoes, rosemary and bay leaf. Add enough water just to cover the meat.
- Season with red pepper flakes, salt, and pepper.
- Cook over medium-low heat about 1 1/2 hours until the meat is tender and cooked through Stir occasionally.
Ryan'sSue's rating of Cutturiddi - 4.5