Italian Grilled Lamb Chops Recipe (Agnello alla scottadito)

Grilled Lamb Chops
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  • 45 mins
  • Prep: 5 mins,
  • Cook: 40 mins
  • Yield: 4 to 6 servings

This grilled lamb chop recipe is called agnello alla scottadito in Italian. "Scottadito" means "finger-burning," and with these chops, it's a risk because they're so delicious and fragrant, you might find it difficult to wait for them to cool before grabbing one to taste it.

This particular recipe originated in the Valpolicella area not far from the city of Verona, in northeastern Italy's Veneto region.

It would be great for an Easter dinner or a spring or summertime cookout, paired with a Valpolicella Classico red wine and perhaps an artichoke side dish (Roman-Styled Braised Artichokes with Oregano and MInt) and/or an asparagus risotto (Risotto agli asparagi).

What You'll Need

  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 3 to 4 juniper berries
  • 3 to 4 whole peppercorns
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled and trimmed
  • 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1 to 2 bay leaves
  • 2 lemons, cut into slices (plus fresh lemon wedges, for serving)
  • 2 1/4 pounds (1 kg) baby lamb chops
  • Fine sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

How to Make It

  1. Combine the extra-virgin olive oil and white wine in a large mixing bowl.
  2. Crush the juniper berries, peppercorns, garlic, and 1 teaspoon fine sea salt together in a mortar and pestle until you obtain a rough paste. Transfer this paste to the olive oil-and-wine mixture and stir to mix well.
  3. Tear the bay leaves roughly and stir them in as well. Add the lemon slices (squeezing them just a bit before adding them to the marinade), and marinate the lamb in this marinade for at least 12 hours in the refrigerator, turning the pieces occasionally.
  1. Shake off any excess liquid before cooking the lamb chops. You can either cook the marinated lamb chops in a skillet over a brisk flame or grill them on a charcoal (preferable) or gas grill.
  2. In any case, lay lemon slices from the marinade over the chops as they cook, turn the chops occasionally, and season them well with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper when they're almost done. It should take about 8-10 minutes for them to be done. If you're grilling them over charcoal, you might also want to baste them with the marinade as they cook.
  3. Serve with lemon wedges that can be squeezed over the lamb before eating. 
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
Calories 798
Total Fat 56 g
Saturated Fat 19 g
Unsaturated Fat 28 g
Cholesterol 178 mg
Sodium 982 mg
Carbohydrates 14 g
Dietary Fiber 1 g
Protein 56 g
(The nutrition information on our recipes is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate. Individual results may vary.)