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Lamb Chops with Fava Beans, Roman-Style

This dish is traditionally eaten in the spring, from May through June. It is best when favas are young and fresh enough to eat raw or just barely cooked with olive oil and lemon juice.

From the CIA's cook book, Italian Cooking at Home.

Lamb Chops with Fava Beans, Roman-Style

Ingredients

Lamb Chop Marinade

Makes 4 to 6 Servings

  • 1 cup olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 2 rosemary springs, leaves chopped
  • 2 thyme springs, leaves chopped
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper, as needed
  • 12 to 18 lamb chops (about 3 1/2 ounces each)

Fava alla Romana

  • 4 pounds fava beans in the shell
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 medium yellow onion, minced
  • 2 1/2 ounces pancetta, cut into small cubes
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper, as needed
  • 1/4 cup dry white wine
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley

Directions

  1. Mix the oil, garlic, rosemary, thyme, and salt and pepper in a large baking dish. Marinate the lamb in this mixture in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours.
  2. To make the fava alla Romana, hull the beans and, if very large, peel the surface; the peel is sometimes bitter.
  3. Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and cook for about 3 minutes, or until soft but with no color. Add the pancetta and let brown for 2 to 3 minutes longer, until well rendered.
  4. Add the beans, season with salt and pepper, and stir. Add the wine and let it evaporate, then add the water and cook for 10 to 15 minutes.
  5. Heat a grill to high temperature. Remove the lamb chops from the marinade, dragging them across the edge of the container to remove the excess and grill over direct heat, turning once, until browned on both sides and cooked to medium rare, about 3 minutes on each side.
  6. Just before serving, add the parsley to the beans, and serve hot with the lamb chops.

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