This Italian dish is a wonderful Passover recipe with ancestral roots to ancient times. Still delicious after hundreds of years.

Hammin di Pesach (Lamb, Meatballs and Spinach for Passover)

Hammin di Pesach (Lamb, Meatballs and Spinach for Passover)
Recipe type: Poultry
Serves: 2
  • 1 chicken breast (2 halves) ground
  • 4 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1 egg; slightly beaten
  • 2 Tablespoons matzo meal*
  • 8 Cups chicken broth salt freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 dash nutmeg
  • 2 1/2 pounds lamb, breast of or rib chops
  • 2 cloves garlic; sliced
  • 2 parsley, Italian sprigs coarsely chopped warm water
  • 2 pounds spinach, cooked and slightly drained
  • 4 matzoh; regular, broken into large pieces
  1. Combine ground chicken, 1 Tablespoon olive oil, egg, matzo meal and 2 Tablespoons broth in small bowl. Add salt, pepper and nutmeg to taste and mix well.
  2. In large pot, place the lamb with remaining oil, sprinkle with 1 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper and lightly brown for 2-3 minutes. Add garlic, parsley and 1 cup of warm water.
  3. Form many tiny balls with the ground chicken mixture and gently add to pot with lamb.
  4. Cover and simmer 1 to 1 1/2 hours.
  5. Add spinach and 1 teaspoon salt and simmer, covered, 15 minutes longer.
  6. Transfer the lamb chops, half the spinach and most of the gravy to a hot serving dish and keep warm.
  7. Add remaining broth to pot and bring to a boil. Add matzo pieces and cook 4 to 5 minutes.
  8. Turn the heat off and let stand 5 minutes before serving as a soup.
  9. Serve the lamb and spinach as the main dish.
  10. SERVES: 6-8
* Matzo meal and Matzohs may be purchased in most supermarkets and Jewish grocery stores.

The word Hammin (or Hammim) is derived from the Hebrew adjective Ham, or warm, which describes certain dishes that are kept warm for prolonged periods of time.

In Pitigliano, Italy, however Hammin was the classic one-course meal for Passover that both rich and poor used to make.

The only difference between the versions was the in the cuts of meat used.

Poor people used breast of lamb... and meatballs made with beef (when the cost of ground beef was a fraction of the cost of chicken.)

People who didn't have to worry about the cost used tiny rib chops from baby lamb and chicken balls."
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