On my mother’s side, the heritage is Italian. In fact, my crazy Uncle Phillip once made it his mission to track down the Italian connection and he discovered that the Bizardi’s, my mother’s maiden name, hailed from Brindisi in Southern Italy. This comes to mind with the dish featured today. It’s one of our family favorites. We love lamb chops with garlic and tomatoes. Sometimes my Mom would use ripe tomatoes. In the winter,  it would be canned Italian tomatoes and, when times were lean, marinara sauce. The dish never disappointed.

Through experimentation, the only changed I’ve made to the recipe is to add ground cumin. It improves and hightens the taste. Here it is, the Rivera family Lamb Chops Italian Style.  Any grain accompaniment or even pasta will go with the dish. True to our Boricua lineage, this time around I served it with tostones, friend green plantains. Want a good and  quick recipe for tostones? Check my post from 10/16/16.

Also, if you want to make this dish Tex-Mex, substitute 1 cup prepared salsa for the tomatoes.  Thus, the recipe gives you two dining options.



6-8 lamb chops
2 tablespoons olive oil
Ground cumin to taste
4 large tomatoes, chopped, or 1 medium-sized can  Italian tomatoes
2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
¼ cup grated cheddar cheese


  1. Brush chops with olive oil and sprinkle with cumin. Heat a pan or skillet over medium-high heat and brown chops on both sides (2-3 minutes).
  2.  Add tomatoes and garlic. Lower heat, cover and simmer very gently for 15 minutes.
  3. Top with grated cheese. Cover briefly to melt cheese. Serve immediately.
    Yield: 4-6  servings.