Calabrian Lamb Chops with Tomatoes, Peppers, and Olives (Costolette d'Agnello alla Calabrese)

Lamb Chops Calabria Style with Tomatoes, Peppers, and Olives
Seared lamb chops are tossed in a simple tomato sauce enlivened with red bell peppers and green olives.Thomas Payne

According to legendary Italian cookbook author Marcella Hazan, "This is a recipe that starts out as two before becoming one. The chops and the sauce…are cooked separately. Small rib chops should be cooked very briefly to a moist, flaming pink. Cook them too long, and they will turn gray and lose all their juice."

Find this recipe in our cookbook, SAVEUR: Italian Comfort Food


Calabrian Lamb Chops with Tomatoes, Peppers, and Olives (Costolette d'Agnello alla Calabrese)
In this recipe from Italian culinary queen Marcella Hazan, seared lamb chops are smothered in a bright sauce of fresh tomatoes, bell peppers, and green olives.
Yield: serves 4
Time: 1 hour


  • 1 large red bell pepper, or 2 small
  • 8 (1-inch-thick) lamb rib chops, 2–2½ lb.
  • Fine sea salt
  • 2 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 12 cup coarsely chopped onion
  • 2 cups peeled, ripe, fresh plum tomatoes or canned San Marzano tomatoes, cut up with their juices
  • 3 Tbsp. chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 14 cup green olives in brine, pitted and coarsely chopped
  • Freshly ground black pepper


  1. Cut each pepper lengthwise along the creases, remove the stem, seeds, and pithy core, and skin with a vegetable peeler. Cut into approximately 1½-inch squares.
  2. Sprinkle the lamb chops on both sides with a little salt.
  3. In a 12-inch skillet set over high heat, add the oil. When the oil is hot, add the lamb. Cook, turning once, until thoroughly browned on both sides, about 3 minutes per side. Transfer to a plate.
  4. Turn down the heat to medium-high, add the onion to the skillet, and cook, stirring frequently, until deep golden, 18–22 minutes. Add the tomatoes with their juices and cook, stirring occasionally, until the juices begin to thicken, 5–8 minutes. Add the peppers, parsley, and olives; season with salt and pepper. Turn down the heat to medium. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the peppers are tender but firm, about 8 minutes more.
  5. Sprinkle the lamb with pepper, then add them to the skillet with the sauce. Turn several times until well coated, then transfer to a platter and serve.