Buon Appetito! A Recipe for Lamb Chops Straight From Rome

lamb chops

Since we can't travel to Italy just yet, we asked the chefs at Rome's Hotel Massimo d'Azeglio to share their twist on a classic lamb chop dish to help us bring a taste of Rome into our homes. Photo: Courtesy of Bettoja Hotels

There’s just something about la dolce vita of Italy and its Eternal City, Rome, that draws us back, time and time again. Even if you have not visited this beautiful city, it looms large in art, culture, film and, of course, food.

Since we still cannot travel to Italy right now, we asked the chefs at Hotel Massimo d’Azeglio, part of the family-run Bettoja Hotels hospitality group, to share some of their authentic dishes, just in time for Easter and beyond. Located in the heart of Rome, surrounded by its artistic and cultural wonders, the hotel group launched here in 1875 and has borne witness to the history of Italy since its unification. 

A street view of Massimo d’Azeglio Restaurant. Photo: Courtesy of Bettoja Hotels


For us, the chefs have handpicked a twist on classic spring dish to help us bring a taste of Rome into our homes. 

And if pasta is more your thing, scroll down for a rigatoni recipe from Colette Tours, one of our Zooming: The Zoomer Travel Club partners. We hope that these delicious recipes will help jumpstart your appetite for travel, even if it is from your kitchen for now.

Buon Appetito!


Lamb Chops

Courtesy of Chef Renzo Di Filippo, Massimo d’Azeglio Restaurant, Hotel Massimo d’Azeglio


Lamb Chops
Photo: Courtesy of Bettoja Hotels


Hotel Massimo d’Azeglio, the first property to be acquired by the Bettoja Hotels group, maintains its “Umbertino” style and exudes all the charm of the Risorgimento: it boasts a precious cellar of fine wines where the suggestive Italian atmosphere of the turn of the century reigns supreme. The Hotel features the historic Ristorante Massimo D’Azeglio, which is a member of the Italian Historical Places Association. 


-12 small lamb chops

-Two eggs, beaten

-1 cup of breadcrumbs

-1 ½ tablespoons of parsley

-3 tbsp of thyme

-3 tbsp of rosemary

-3 tbsp of oregano

-Salt to taste

-2 ½ cups of olive oil 

For Caponata:

-1 cup onion, finely chopped

-1 1/7 cups courgette (zucchini), cut into cubes

-1/3 cups of red peppers, coarsely chopped

-3 cups of eggplant, peeled and cut into cubes; toss with salt and let sit in a colander for about 30 minutes.

-4/5 cups of tomato, coarsely chopped


Take three lamb chops, tenderize the meat and then dip each slice into the beaten eggs. Prepare the breadcrumbs adding parsley, oregano, rosemary, thyme and a pinch of salt. Heat the oil in a pan over medium-high heat. Bread the chops. When the oil is hot, add the lamb and cook until nicely golden brown on both sides and cooked to your liking. Repeat until done. Add more oil if necessary.

Pat dry eggplant. Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a heavy bottomed pan over medium heat and then prepare the caponata adding in the eggplant, zucchini, peppers, onions and cherry tomatoes, until soft or done to your liking; salt to taste. Transfer the lamb to plates with the caponata and serve.


Spicy Sausage Rigatoni


Spicy Sausage Rigatoni
Photo: May Tse/South China Morning Post via Getty Images


This Spicy Sausage Rigatoni is so simple and delicious. It comes to us via Collette Tours, one of our Zooming: The Zooming Travel Club partners, and offers a delicious taste of Italy. Chewy tubes of rigatoni swimming in a delicious sauce made of Italian sausage, San Marzano tomatoes, red wine, and spices. Add some crusty bread to sop up some of the sauce! 

-1 tablespoon butter

-1–2 cloves garlic, minced

-half of a yellow onion, minced

-2 stalks celery, minced

-2 carrots, minced

-12 ounces spicy Italian sausage (casings removed – just the ground meat)

-1 teaspoon dried oregano

-1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes

-1 1/2 teaspoons salt

-1/2 teaspoon black pepper

-1/2 cup red wine

-1 28 ounce can San Marzano tomatoes, including their juices

-1/4 cup balsamic or Italian dressing (optional – for some zing!)

-10–12 ounces rigatoni

-Butter, Parmesan, or basil for topping



1. Heat the oil in a skillet over medium high heat. Add the garlic, onion, celery, and carrots – saute for 10 minutes or so, until the vegetables are very soft.

2. Add the ground sausage, oregano, red pepper flakes, salt, and pepper. When the sausage is fully cooked, add the wine and let it sizzle out.

3. Add the tomatoes and optional dressing – simmer for 20-30 minutes so the sauce reduces a bit.

4. Cook the pasta according to package directions. Add the pasta to the sauce and stir gently to combine. It should be saucy but not runny. Transfer to a large serving dish and top with Parmesan and parsley or basil. Serve with more wine!

Thinking about planning a trip, when we can all go safely again? For culinary travel options, visit Collette Tours.