Lamb Chops Calabria Style with Tomatoes, Peppers, and Olives

The cuisine of Calabria is typical southern Italian Mediterranean – meat based dishes, vegetables, pasta, and fish.  Because their climate is humid (high risk of mold and spoilage), Calabrians preserve their food by packing veggies and meat in olive oil, making sausage and curing fish (swordfish, sardines, and cod).   The food is simple and delicious.   This dish is easy to prepare and dinner is on the table in less than 30 minutes!

Serves 4
adapted from Saveur

1 large red bell pepper, cut into bite-size chunks
8 lamb chops, each about 1″ thick
sea salt
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 cup chopped onion
28 oz. can Italian san marzano tomatoes
3 tablespoons Italian flat-leaf parsley, chopped
1/4 cup green olives in brine, pitted and coarsely cut up
freshly ground black pepper 

Salt chops on both sides.  Pour olive oil into a 12″ skillet over medium-high heat. When hot, add lamb chops. Brown thoroughly on one side, turn, and brown thoroughly on other side (cook to your liking). Remove from the pan to a plate (cover with foil).  Add chopped onion to the pan and cook over medium heat, stirring frequently, until it becomes soft and golden. Add the tomatoes with their juice, stirring occasionally and cook for 5 minutes. Add the peppers, parsley, olives, salt, and black pepper.

Turn the heat down to medium. Cook, stirring occasionally, for about 10 minutes, until the peppers are tender but firm.  Add black pepper to the chops and place in the pan with the sauce. Turn the chops over several times to coat them well.  Remove skillet from heat and place contents onto a warm serving platter and bring to the table.

The Culinary Chase’s Note:  Gorgeous, fresh flavors packed full of nutrients!  Serve this with a side of rice or pasta.  Yum!