Mazzarelle – Abruzzo’s Haggis Dolmades

What do you eat when the wind whistles down the chimney and seems to have frozen every last bit of moisture in the ground?  One traditional Teramana dish from Abruzzo’s Northern province is Mazzarella.


Photo by Annarita Di Domenico


These tasty rolls are almost a cross between dolmades and haggis, lettuce leaves stuffed with liver and things that go into nose-to-tail eating. Ideally served in a sugo that you can afterwards mop up with some Farro bread for the truly authentic experience, they are great for helping keep the metabolism going when the wind is vying for icy victory with Jack Frost.

They are deceptively filling so go easy, even on an ice-cold day.  We were lucky our butcher’s Mamma makes them regularly morning so we cheat and often buy some for lunch, but here’s the recipe for those who are feeling a little adventurous and love tasty, traditional cooking.

Mazzarelle Teramana Recipe

600 g  lamb offal (liver, heart and pluck)
100 g  lamb intestines
Large lettuce leaves
A handful flat leaved parsley
1 large sprig marjoram
4 cloves of garlic sliced
2 spring onions with the leaves chopped
4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 cup dry white wine. (Trebbiano D’Abruzzo)
1 cup of water
100 g pancetta
2 cups of vinegar
Chili according to taste
Salt to taste

Wash the intestines with vinegar until they are very clear and clean.
Slice into strips the spring onions, garlic, fresh onions and garlic.
Cut the lamb offal into strips.
Finely chop the parsley and marjoram.
Finely cube the pancetta.
Take a lettuce leaf and in the middle put a slice of each kind of offal that you are using, a pinch of parsley, a marjoram, salt, a slice of garlic and onion.
Wrap the filling with the lettuce leaf and tie with the intestines (imagine it is an Egyptian Mummy).
In a frying pan heat the olive oil, gently fry the pancetta and then add the Mazzarelle, add salt and chilli according to your taste and gently fry.
When each side is sealed add half the water and wine till it has evaporated, then add the remainder of the cooking. liquid, add a lid and cook on a very gentle heat for 1 hour.
Serve in a sugo made with onion, carrot and pancetta and some marjoram.

Sam Dunham
Author: Sam Dunham

Sam is a very lucky midlife 'mamma' to A who is 12 and juggles her work as a self-employed freelance SEO food and travel copywriter and EFL teacher. She is the founder of the Life In Abruzzo Cultural Association, co-founder of Let's Blog Abruzzo. she is the founder of the 'English in the Woods' initiative, teaching English outdoors in a forest style school.

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