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Traditional ancient recipes:lamb with thistles and eggs

This recipe represents something really special for me: this was one of my grandpa preferred dishes and, believe me, he was an excellent chef! My grandpa name was Leonardo and even if he has never participated to cuisine courses or chef academies...he simply captured the attention of all his guests with the unique taste he was able to give to his recipes! Even my father professional partners were continuously asking for being invited at my grandparents' house in order to enjoy a dinner with him: his fantastic grated and filled mussels and, of course, his lamb with eggs, thistles, parmesan and pecorino cheese.

My grandparents grew up in a very poor condition, they worked very hard at that time, we are talking about the years after the second world war. They went through immense sacrifices to let their sons have the best opportunity in a period, when, white salt and white sugar were seen no more than a couple of times on a table: can you imagine?

Anyway Leonardo and Grazia, his wife, my grandma and excellent cooker too, gave to me and my sister the "ground" for the traditional south italian and authentic cuisine. A world made of genuine ingredients, ability and skills in working and combining fresh product, such as meat and fish in incredible delicious recipes.

Today I want to give you the direction which will help you in executing this wonderful lamb with thistles and eggs: I want to dedicate this recipe to them and to my father: I know they would be so proud of us.

So...dear followers and cookers prepare all the ingredients and start your fire!

Serving size 4

1 kg lamb

1 kg thistles

2 eggs

100 gr of mixed and grated pecorino and parmesan cheese

1/2 glass white wine

evo oil - garlic - salt and pepper to taste - 1 juniper berry - 1 clove - 1 laurel leaf


Wash, cut the lamb into pieces and put it aside. Take a clay pot or a cast iron pot and, using the flame breaker, add extra virgin olive oil and garlic cut into pieces.

Proceed now with the thistles: wash them very well and peel them in the longitudinal way, paying attention to eliminate all the hardest part of the stems. Put them into water with lemon and let them there, while preparing the other part of the recipe.

Turn the heat on under your pot at a medium temperature and when oil and garlic start to fry, wait just a minute then add your lamb. Let it get to a very "gentle" medium gold point of colour, turning it from one side to the other and then, add your white wine.

When white wine has evaporated, add the thistles and soon after this operation, add plenty of water, enough to cover almost all your lamb. Add salt and pepper, the clove, the laurel leaf, the juniper berry and cover.

Let it cook for at least one hour and a half, 1h and 40 minutes: lamb must be softened, thistles well done, sauce not so reduced. The picture you see here was taken soon after having added water. To have a comparison take a look to the final picture which is the one presenting the recipe itself. At this point add the grated pecorino and parmesan cheese that you have added to your eggs, blending this mixture very well: mix it well with the lamb, turn the heat off, cover and let it there for about 2 minutes, then serve to your guests.


Trebbiano d'Abruzzo, white with a delicate bouquet and fresh acidity. Serving temperature: 8° to 10° max.

Pecorino, aromatic white wine from Abruzzo; fresh, floral bouquet, ideal for this recipe. Serving temperature:8° max.

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