Buglione, Italian Lamb Pot Pie

From Chef Cesare Casella, this True Tuscan dish is an American favorite with a Tuscan miners’ touch. Buglione was traditionally made around a campfire and miners would throw everything they could find into this stew. Buglione, lamb pot pie, is perfect for this cold weather and would be a holiday treat.

(Serves 8)


  • ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil, plus 1 tablespoon for brushing
  • Salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Flour for dusting
  • 3 pounds lamb, cut into 1½ inch cubes from the leg
  • 8 cups diced celery
  • 4 cups diced carrots
  • 5 cups diced onions
  • 2 cups diced fennel
  • 3 tablespoons minced garlic
  • 1½ cups dry red wine
  • 2 pounds potatoes, peeled and diced (6 cups)
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 2 cups peas, fresh or frozen
  • 3 cups sliced asparagus (½ inch pieces)
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh rosemary
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh thyme
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped Italian parsley
  • 1¼ pounds focaccia dough
  • Eggwash: 1 egg beaten with 1 tablespoon water


1. Coat the bottom of a stockpot with the ¼ cup olive oil and heat over medium-high heat. Season the flour with salt and pepper and use dust the lamb cubes. Add the lamb to the pot and brown well on all sides, stirring frequently to prevent sticking. This should take 8 to 10 minutes.

2. Add the celery, carrots, onions, fennel, and 2 tablespoons of the garlic. Cook until the vegetables start to soften, 10 to 15 minutes.

3. Add the wine and reduce by half.

4. Add enough water to just cover the lamb. Add the potatoes and bay leaves and season with salt and pepper to taste. Simmer, uncovered, for 1 hour, stirring frequently to prevent sticking and burning. Add more water if needed.

5. Add the peas, asparagus, the remaining 1 tablespoon garlic, and the fresh herbs. Stir well and simmer for 40 minutes. Taste for seasonings. The stew should be thick and flavorful.

6. Preheat the oven to 475 F.

7. Divide the stew among 8 ovenproof bowls – at Il Ristorante Rosi we use cast iron pans.

8. Divide the focaccia dough into 8 equal balls. Roll each ball into a disk large enough to cover each bowl/pan, with some overhang.

9. Brush the sides of each bowl with eggwash. Mold a disk over the top of each bowl, being sure to bring it down the sides so it is well anchored. Press the dough onto the side of each bowl to prevent it from coming loose during baking. Brush the dough on each pot pie with olive oil, and sprinkle with salt and pepper.

10. Bake for 20 minutes. When done, the crust should be golden brown and very firm.

Serve immediately and buon appetito!

Chef Cesare Casella is best known as “the chef with the rosemary”. For the past 20 years, Chef Casella has been sharing his passion for authentic Italian food with Americans. Today, Chef Casella is the owner and executive chef of two Italian restaurants in New York City. He is the Dean of Italian Studies at the International Culinary Center and serves as Chief of the Department of Nourishment Arts at The Center for Discovery, where he works to raise awareness about sustainability and nutrition.