She told me that lunch would start with an appetizer of giant Abruzzan ravioli called fiadone filled with cheese and eggs. Next there’d be a decent primo piatto of pasta, maybe with the last artichokes of the season. Next would follow the heavenly cacio e ovo, made according to law laid down by grandma Linda (in the oven, al forno, rather than in a frying pan, alla padella, as is typical in Abruzzo nowadays). Here follows Grandma’s recipe which has been passed down three generations – that’s a lot of Easter Sundays.
Lamb – 600g/22oz of mix of thigh and ribs (bit of bone and a bit of fat)
White wine – half a glass
Extra virgin olive oil – 1 tbsp
Rosemary – 1 sprig
Garlic – 1 clove
Eggs – 3
Parmesan cheese – 100g/3.5oz
Salt and pepper
Cut the lamb into chunks roughly 2cm by 2cm (1in by 1in). Cut out any bones and any gristle. Put the nice meat into a mixing bowl and add the white wine, olive oil, rosemary leaves, the garlic in a couple of chunks, 3 big pinches of salt and freshly ground pepper. Mix this and leave for 15 to 20 minutes to marinate.
Now crack your eggs into another bowl and grate in your parmesan, salt and pepper and beat together.
Preheat the oven at 200oC/400oF/GM6.
Heat a frying pan and add the meat mixture. Cook on a high heat for 5 minutes covered. Uncover and lower the heat. The aim here is to reduce the liquid right down, cook the meat through and brown it somewhat. So now lower the heat and cook for another 15 minutes or so.
Grease a circular nonstick deep baking tray with butter. Take the garlic out of the meat mix and then tip it into the tray. Pour over the egg mixture which should cover the meat. Whack the oven up to 240oC/475oF/GM6 and pop the tray in. After 5 minutes turn this down to 200oC and cook for another 15 minutes or when the egg is browned on top. Once it’s cooked turn it out onto a plate and serve.