Lamb, meatballs and spinach for Passover
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, 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.
- 1 chicken breast (2 halves)
- 4 tsp olive oil
- 1 egg, slightly beaten
- 2 tbsp matza meal 
- 8 cup chicken broth
- freshly ground black pepper
- 1 dash nutmeg
- 2½ lbs lamb, breast of or rib chops
- 2 garlic cloves, sliced
- 2 parsley, Italian sprigs coarsely chopped
- 1 cup warm water
- 2 lbs spinach, cooked and slightly drained
- 4 matzot, regular, broken into large pieces
- Combine ground chicken, 1 tbsp olive oil, egg, matza meal and 2 tbsp broth in small bowl.
- Add salt, pepper and nutmeg to taste and mix well.
- In large pot, place the lamb with remaining oil, sprinkle with 1 tsp salt and ¼ tsp pepper and lightly brown for 2–3 minutes.
- Add garlic, parsley and 1 cup of warm water.
- Form many tiny bowls with the ground chicken mixture and gently add to pot with lamb.
- Cover and simmer 1 to ½ hours.
- Add spinach and 1 tsp salt and simmer, covered, 15 minutes longer.
- Transfer the lamb chops, half the spinach and most of the gravy to a hot serving dish and keep warm.
- Add remaining broth to pot and bring to a boil.
- Add matza pieces and cook 4 to 5 minutes.
- Turn the heat off and let stand 5 minutes before serving as a soup.