Arrosticini

Arrosticini are a class of traditional dishes of skewered grilled meat characteristic of Abruzzese cuisine. Arrosticini are typically made from mutton or lamb cut in chunks and pierced by a skewer. It is cooked on a brazier with a typically elongated shape, called furnacella as it resembles a gutter.

Arrosticini are often accompanied by slices of bread soaked in extra-virgin olive oil (pane ‘onde). The traditional beverage accompaniment is Montepulciano d’Abruzzo wine. Traditionally, arrosticini are eaten by pulling the meat off the skewer piece by piece using one’s teeth.

Why do people like Arrosticini food

Especially popular during the festive summer months, when people stay outside chit-chatting and noshing until the early morning, arrosticini are skinny kebabs made from castrato, the meat of castrated sheep (it’s significantly tastier than it sounds).

They’re grilled on a fornacella, an elongated, charcoal-fired brazier purpose-built to fit the skewers. The width of the grills varies you can buy them as small as three-feet wide and as big as twenty but the depth of the grills is always four inches, the length of the meat on the skewer.

This allows the skewer to rest on top of the metal and the slightly gamey castrato to hang directly over the coals. If the contraption were bigger, the skewers wouldn’t fit; if it were smaller, the meat would get stuck to the metal.

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Ingredients that go into Arrosticini

  • 700g of lamb shoulder, or mutton, diced into 2–3cm cubes
  • 1 sprig of rosemary
  • olive oil
  • sea salt
  • freshly ground black pepper

How to cook Arrosticini

  1. Place the lamb in a bowl with the rosemary and olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Mix well and set aside while you preheat a barbecue for direct cooking
  2. If using wooden skewers, leave to soak in cold water for at least 20 minutes, to prevent them burning during cooking
  3. Thread the lamb onto the skewers neatly, ensuring an even distribution between fat and meat
  4. Once the coals in the barbecue have turned an ashy white, cook the skewers for 2–3 minutes, turning them halfway through
  5. Serve hot with pepperoncini and crusty bread with good quality olive oil

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What can Arrosticini be served together with

Drizzled with oil, mixed with vinegar and salt, and brushed with sprigs of rosemary, arrosticini should be eaten hot, accompanied by lu pane ‘onde, toasted bread seasoned with extra virgin olive oil and salt. This is all ideally accompanied by a fine glass of wine: Montepulciano d’Abruzzo DOC is perfect.

Other popular Italian food

Besides Arrosticini, there are other Italian food dishes that are highly popular in Singapore and around the world. Below is a list of some of the most mentioned ones:

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