Calabrian Lamb Chops with Tomatoes, Peppers, and Olives (Costolette d’Agnello alla Calabrese)
Fall in love with this quick-simmered Mediterranean meat dish.
The lamb chops in this recipe—adapted from one by the legendary Italian cookbook author Marcella Hazan—should be cooked only briefly, to a still-vibrant, warm pink. If cooked for too long, the meat loses its juice and turns an unappetizing gray.
Find this recipe in our cookbook, SAVEUR: Italian Comfort Food
- 1 large red bell pepper
- Eight 1-inch-thick lamb rib chops (2–2½ lb.)
- Fine sea salt
- 2 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
- 1⁄2 cup coarsely chopped yellow onion
- 2 cups peeled, coarsely chopped, ripe plum tomatoes or canned San Marzano tomatoes, with their juices
- 3 tbsp. coarsely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
- 1⁄4 cup green olives in brine, pitted and coarsely chopped
- Freshly ground black pepper
Cut the pepper lengthwise along the creases, remove the stem, seeds, pithy core, and skin with a vegetable peeler. Cut into approximately 1½-inch squares.
Sprinkle the lamb chops on both sides with a little salt.
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.
To a large skillet over high heat, add the oil. When the oil is hot, add the lamb chops and cook, turning once, until thoroughly browned on both sides, about 3 minutes per side. Transfer to a plate. Turn the heat down 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 the heat to medium and cook, stirring occasionally, until the peppers are just tender, about 8 minutes more.
Season the chops with black pepper, then return them to the skillet . Turn several times until coated, then transfer to a platter and serve.