Serves 4 800 g Sheep Meat Meat Extra virgin olive oil Rosemary Salt
Abruzzo: Arrosticini. Remove the fattest parts of the mutton and cut it into strips and then into cubes about 1 centimetre thick on each side. Once the cubes of mutton are obtained, thread them onto skewers, leaving the edges 4/5 centimetres free. The cubes should stick to each other. Heat a cast-iron grill very well, grease it with a little oil and place the arrosticini on the hot grill. Cook for about 1 minute per side until a light crust appears. Season with salt and garnish your arrosticini with rosemary. A salad of cherry tomatoes and fennel is recommended as accompaniment. A culinary expression of the Abruzzese shepherds, the arrosticino owes its origins to the thriftiness of Abruzzese sheep farmers who used the less noble cuts of sheep (including those close to the bone), threading them onto sticks of ‘vingh’ (a local wild plant) and toasting them over embers. From being a local dish, they are now available and used in much of Italy, even with beef, chicken and veal variations, and can often be found in food tracks. Needless to say, this popular dish lends itself to numerous events, festivals and celebrations throughout central and northern Italy, from Ferrara to Rome, from Monza to Viterbo, from Turin to Terni, especially during the summer period. The ideal portion size is about 15/20 arrosticini per person, but you are unlikely to stop at such a low number. The ideal accompaniment, since this is a meat with a high flavour and intensity, is a good Rosso Montepulciano d’Abruzzo.