Fresh-Pressed Olive Oil Club

Italian Lamb Skewers (Arrosticini)

Lamb Skewers from Abruzzo (Arrosticini Abruzzesi)

A specialty of Abruzzo, these delectable skewers of lamb are deceptively simple. They were a favorite of 19th- century shepherds moving their herds from spring/summer pastures to fall/winter ones. To be strictly authentic, you’d substitute mutton for lamb. (We prefer lamb.)


  • 2 pounds boneless leg of lamb
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 to 3 sprigs fresh rosemary, one of them finely minced
  • Coarse salt (kosher or sea)


Step 1

Prepare the meat by removing any excess fat. Then cut it into cubes about 3/4-inch thick.

Step 2

Impale the cubes of meat on 8-inch bamboo skewers (the cubes are traditionally tightly packed on the skewers). Brush the arrosticini on all sides with a sprig of rosemary dipped in olive oil.

Step 3

Heat a large lightly oiled cast iron skillet or grill pan on the stovetop. (Alternatively, you can cook the arrosticini outdoors on a medium-hot grill or hibachi.) Cook the skewers for 30 seconds to
1 minute on each side, or until the meat is nicely seared. Season with salt and rosemary before serving.

Serves 6 as an appetizer or 4 as a main course — Recipe adapted from