Roasted lamb shoulder spalla d'agnello arrosto

There is nothing easier than marinated and roasted meat: at Easter time, in Italy, lamb is particularly appreciated.
This way of roasting lamb is incredibly simple but involves some degree of organisation, since you need to calculate the time needed for marinating and cooking.
This a very traditional Tuscan recipe, celebrated in Pellegrino Artusi’s Science in the Kitchen and the Art of Eating Well. In those days, preparation and cooking times, and ingredient quantities were rarely indicated, so I am trying to give more precise indications.
This Arezzo style roasted lamb is usually cooked on the BBQ, and is frequently basted with the marinade: in Italy we use a rosemary sprig as a brush.
This recipe’s ideal side dish is an oven dish full of golden potatoes, roasted with olive oil, garlic and sage.
Cook them apart, not in the same baking dish as the lamb, since the sharpness of the vinegar would give the potatoes an acidic taste.

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cooking Time: 75 minutes
Total Time: 4 hours ( including 3 hours marinating time)
Yield: Makes 4 servings.


  • 3 lbs (1,2 kg) lamb shoulder
  • For the marinade:
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 3 sage leaves
  • 1 sprig of rosemary
  • 1 bay leaf
  • sea salt
  • black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons of red wine vinegar
  • 4 tablespoons of olive oil


For the marinade, put all the herbs in an electric mixer and mix, when they are almost a powder join vinegar, oil , salt and pepper.
This lamb shoulder is first pierced with a fork, and then spread with the marinade that should sit for 2 or 3 hours and then cooked on the BBQ. In the oven the result is still excellent, in this case the ideal temperature is 350 F (180 C) for an hour and fifteen minutes.

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About the Author

Growing up in Emilia Romagna, a region known for Parmesan, Parma ham, lasagna, and filled pasta, a great deal of my childhood was spent in the kitchen with my grandmother and mother.

Even at a very young age, I could see that for them cooking was a passionate expression of their love for their family. While I’m filled with many warm memories of watching them cook, what I remember most is circling the table and watching the stove, waiting for any opportunity I could to steal a taste.