Easter Lamb with Walnut Pesto Recipe

Easter Lamb with Walnut Pesto Recipe

Lamb is the dish for an Italian Easter! Try this recipe and you will win over even non-lamb eaters.

One of the great things about this recipe is the walnut pesto. It gives the lamb an excellent flavor without overpowering it. If possible get a leg of lamb, and ask the butcher to bone it and butterfly it for you. Ask for some cooking string so you can make the roast yourself. When you get it home, unroll it and try to remove as much fat from the inside as possible.

Easter Lamb with Walnut Pesto


  • leg of lamb
  • 1/4 cup toasted walnuts
  • 1/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 cups fresh parsley leaves
  • 4 medium cloves garlic
  • kosher salt
  • freshly ground, black pepper
  • olive oil, for basting


  1. Put the walnuts, cheese, and the olive oil in a food processor and pulse until pureed.
  2. Add the parsley and garlic and process to a smooth texture.
  3. Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
  4. Taste for salt and pepper and add if needed.
  5. Lay the lamb out flat on a large surface, skin side down.
  6. Cover the meat with a light coating of salt and pepper.
  7. Spread the pesto all over the meat in a nice layer.
  8. Now roll up like a jellyroll and tie with the string about 1-2" apart. Get it as tight as you can.
  9. Tie it lengthwise tucking the ends in.
  10. Place in a roasting pan and lightly oil the top and sides.
  11. Salt and pepper the roast.
  12. Bake at 450F for 20-30 minutes.
  13. Lower the heat and bake at 350F for about 1 hour covered.
  14. Remove cover and continue to bake 30 minutes uncovered.
  15. Before the last 1/2 hour add 1/2 cup white or red wine to the pan.
  16. When done, remove the meat and let it rest at least 10 minutes before slicing.

Note: The times are approximate. You should figure 12-15 minutes per pound. Do not overcook the lamb! It should be pink when done.

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Italian Easter Pie
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