Spicy lamb and bread “lasagne”

(from xombi’s recipe box)

This is more savoury bread pudding, but the bread and cheese come together so seamlessly that it feels a lot like a lasagne in the mouth. It’s inspired by an old Sardinian dish designed to use up stale bread, but you can also use well-toasted fresh bread. I love the intense, smoky flavour of scotch bonnet, but use another type of chilli if need be, or leave it out altogether if you don’t like heat. This is a rich dish, so needs only a green salad alongside.

Source: Yotam Ottolenghi

Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 90 minutes
Serves 4 people

Categories: Yotam


  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 3 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
  • 2 onions, peeled and finely chopped
  • Salt and black pepper
  • 800g lamb mince
  • 1 scotch bonnet chilli, left whole
  • 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1 lemon, zest finely grated (ie, 1 tsp)
  • 3 tbsp tomato paste
  • 150ml dry white wine
  • 1 litre chicken stock
  • 30g basil, finely chopped, plus a little extra to garnish
  • 75g feta, broken into 1-2cm pieces
  • 60g pecorino, finely grated
  • 5 large 1.5cm-thick slices sourdough bread, cut in half (stale or fresh and toasted)


  1. at the oven to 190C(170C fan)/375F/gas mark 5. Heat two tablespoons of oil in a large, nonstick saute pan on a medium-high flame. Add the garlic, onion and a teaspoon of salt, and fry for eight to 10 minutes, stirring often, until soft and golden.

  2. Add the lamb, chilli, nutmeg, lemon zest and lots of pepper, and fry for 12 minutes. Don’t stir too often – you want the lamb to catch a bit on the pan, to build up a crust. Add the tomato paste, cook for two minutes, until it, too, starts to catch, then add the wine and 400ml stock. Stir, then simmer for 12-15 minutes, until thickened and reduced to the consistency of ragù. Break the chilli down into the sauce by mashing it with the back of a spoon (or remove it entirely if you prefer it less spicy).

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  4. Spread a third of the lamb mix in a thin, even layer in a high-sided, 20cm x 30cm baking dish. Scatter a third of the basil on top, followed by a third of the cheeses, then lay half the bread on top (it won’t cover the cheese entirely, but that’s OK). Repeat, then add a final layer each of meat and cheese and two of bread. Pour the remaining 600ml stock evenly over the top layer and drizzle with a tablespoon of oil.

  5. Cover the dish tightly with foil, then bake for 20 minutes. Remove the foil and bake for 25-30 minutes more, until crisp and golden brown on top. Leave to cool for 10 minutes, then serve with some extra basil leaves scattered on top.

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