The name says it all — scottadito. That's Italian for "finger burner" — an apt description of lamb chops served so hot they scorch your fingers when you dig in. As with all great meat cooked on the bone, these chops taste best eaten with your bare hands, so askthe butcherto "french" the bones (scrape the meat clean off the last2or3 inches of bone). In keeping with the dish's Italian origins, the seasonings are pretty simple: rosemary, garlic, and extra virgin olive oil. I like to pump up the burn factor with hot pepper flakes.


  • 2 1/2 pounds small lamb rib chops, cut 1/2 inch thick
  • Coarse salt (kosher or sea) and cracked or freshly ground black peppercorns
  • 1 tablespoon hot red pepper flakes, or to taste
  • 3 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
  • 3 tablespoons finely chopped fresh rosemary
  • 1 to 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, depending on the cooking method
  • Lemon wedges, for serving


Arrange the lamb chops in a single layer on a baking sheet. Generously season the chops on one side with salt and pepper and half of the hot pepper flakes, minced garlic, and rosemary. Drizzle 2 tablespoons of olive oil over the chops and pat the ingredients onto the meat with your fingertips. Turn the chops and repeat on the second side. Let the chops marinate in the refrigerator for about 20 minutes.

Heat 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil in a large cast-iron skillet or on a plancha over high heat until shimmering. Add the lamb chops in a single layer (work in batches as needed) and cook until well-browned on the bottom, about 3 minutes. Turn the chops over and cook until well-browned and the meat is cooked through or to taste, about 3 minutes for medium.

Place the chops on a platter and encourage everyone to pick them up and eat the meat straight from the bone. Serve with lemon wedges for squeezing and plenty of napkins.

Serves 4

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Submitted 5/21/14.
Source: Man Made Meals: The Essential Cookbook for Guys by Steven Raichlen
Submitted By: b smith

Finger Burner Lamb Chops