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Roasted Lamb and Potato Gnocchi with English Peas and Saffron Broth
Chef Joseph Scarpone, formerly of Tra Vigne—St. Helena, CA
Adapted by StarChefs

Yield: 4 Servings


    For gnocchi
  • 1 pound russet potatoes
  • 3-4 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup grated parmesan
  • 1/2 teaspoon grated nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground pepper
  • 1 cup all purpose flour

    For lamb
  • 1 leg of lamb (leg-in, approximately 1 pound)
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1-2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 gallon chicken stock
  • 1 teaspoon garlic, chopped
  • 3 yellow onions, 1/4-inch dice
  • 1 carrot, 1/4-inch dice
  • 3 celery stalks, 1/4-inch dice
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 pinch saffron
  • 1 cup white wine
  • 2 cups tomatoes, peeled, seeded and chopped (fresh or canned)
  • 1 cup fresh shelled English peas
  • 1 bunch oregano, chopped

For gnocchi:
Preheat the oven to 450ºF. Bake potatoes until slightly over-cooked. Cool just enough to handle, cut in half, and scoop out flesh. Pass potatoes through a food mill. This should yield approximately two cups.

In a large bowl whisk together 3 egg yolks, parmesan, nutmeg, salt and pepper. Add potatoes and mix well. Sprinkle 1/2 cup of flour over potato mixture and, using your knuckles, press it into the potatoes. Fold the mass over on itself and press down again. Sprinkle on more flour, little by little, folding and pressing the dough until it holds together. Keep working dough until remaining flour is incorporated. To test if the dough is the right consistency, take a piece and roll it between your hands. If the dough holds together, it is ready.

Keeping your work surface and dough lightly floured, cut the dough into 4 to 6 pieces. Roll each piece into a rope with a 1/2-inch diameter. Cut the rope into 1/2-inch long pieces. The gnocchi can be made hours or even days ahead. Refrigerate gnocchi in a container covered with plastic wrap.

For lamb:
Preheat the oven to 200ºF. Rub lamb with salt, pepper and olive oil. Cover leg with parchment paper and slow roast for approximately 10 hours or until meat is extremely tender (meat should pull away easily with a pair of tongs). Once lamb is roasted, allow it to cool and remove the meat from the bone in small chunks (about the size of the gnocchi—1/2-inch by 1/2-inch) and reserve.

After the meat has been removed, place the bone back into roasting pan. Place roasting pan over medium heat and add chicken stock. Allow stock to simmer approximately 1 hour, scraping the bottom of pan to remove all the meat drippings. Once the stock has simmered and reduced by half, remove and pour through a fine mesh strainer. Reserve.

Heat olive oil in a braising pan over medium-high heat. Add garlic, onion, carrot and celery, along with bay leaf. When vegetables are lightly caramelized, add saffron and sauté for another 5 minutes. Add white wine and reduce until dry. Add lamb stock and tomatoes. Lower heat to medium and allow to reduce.

In a separate pot of salted boiling water, add peas. Return the pot to a boil. Cook until peas are tender, about 2 minutes. Plunge peas into bowl of ice water to stop the cooking process. Remove from ice bath and reserve.

Bring a pot of salted water to a boil and add gnocchi. The gnocchi will begin to rise to the surface. Simmer for 2 minutes and remove from water. Place gnocchi in reduced saffron-lamb broth; add peas, oregano and lamb meat. Toss and serve with grated pecorino cheese.

Wine Pairings:

2001 Barbera d’Alba, Germano Ettore
2001 Tofanelli Charbono

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