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Grilled Lamb Ribs (Agnello a Scottadito)

Grilled Lamb Ribs (Agnello a Scottadito)

Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Servings: 4 Serves 4.
At a trattoria on a medieval street in Orvieto, a roaring fireplace was used to grill steaks, chops, chicken, sausages and these simple rib lamb chops, bathed with an olive oil and garlic marinade brushed onto them with rosemary branches. The crisp, brown chops are best when eaten sizzling hot off the fire, so the Italians call them scottadito, meaning "burned fingers."


  • 3 large garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 2 Tbs. chopped fresh rosemary
  • 1/4 cup olive oil, plus more for brushing
  • Freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • 8 to 12 rib lamb chops, well trimmed of fat
  • Salt, to taste
  • Lemon slices for garnish (optional)


In a small bowl, stir together the garlic, rosemary, olive oil and pepper. Place the lamb chops in a shallow dish and brush the mixture over them. Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours or as long as overnight.

Prepare a fire in a grill or preheat a broiler. Brush the grill rack or the rack of a broiler pan with olive oil. Place the chops on the rack and grill or broil, turning as needed, until browned and crisp on the outside yet still pink and juicy inside, about 10 minutes.

Transfer to warmed individual plates, season with salt and serve immediately with lemon slices.
Serves 4.
Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Savoring Series, Savoring Italy, by Michele Scicolone (Time-Life Books, 1999).