- 2 tablespoons pistachios
- 1 bunch (or 2 cups) basil leaves
- 3 garlic cloves, divided
- 6 tablespoons freshly grated parmigiano-reggiano, plus ½ cup
- ½ cup breadcrumbs
- 16 oz ricotta
- 1 egg
- 1 egg yolk
- 4 cloves black garlic, pressed to form paste
- ¾ cup all purpose flour
- 3 tablespoons butter, divided
- 1 shallot, diced small
- ¼ cup dry white wine, plus ½ cup
- 2 cups fresh spinach
- Lemon zest
- 2 racks of lamb (approximately 1 lb each)
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 large onion, diced
- 2 sprigs thyme
- 1 bay leaf
- Black pepper
- 1½ cups chicken stock
- 3 fresh apricots, diced
1. To make the Pistachio and Basil Crust, toast the pistachios in a small skillet over medium heat, stirring for 5 minutes or until golden brown. Transfer to a plate to cool.
2. Pulse the toasted pistachios, basil, 6 tablespoons parmigiano-reggiano, and 2 cloves garlic, diced, in a blender or food processor until finely chopped. Stir in breadcrumbs and salt to taste. Set aside.
3. Line a medium bowl with several layers of paper towels. Fill with ricotta and let drain at least 30 minutes.
4. To make the Black Garlic Gnudi, beat egg, egg yolk, ½ cup parmigiano-reggiano, and black garlic in a separate bowl until well-blended. Mix in ricotta. Sprinkle flour on top and stir gently. Cover and chill the dough for 1 hour.
5. Roll the chilled dough into balls, about the size of a golf ball. Cook the gnudi in a large pot of boiling, salted water for 8 minutes or until very tender.
6. Melt 2 tablespoons butter and sweat shallot in a skillet over medium heat. Stir in ¼ cup white wine, spinach, and gnudi until the spinach starts to wilt. Top with lemon zest and salt to taste. Set aside.
7. To cook the racks of lamb, preheat the oven to 350°F. Dry the lamb with paper towels, then coat it with the Pistachio and Basil Crust. Press hard.
8. Heat olive oil in a stainless steel skillet. Add the lamb, crust-side down, and cook over medium heat for 5 minutes or until golden brown. Flip and cook for another 3 minutes. Transfer the lamb to a baking sheet and roast for 6 minutes.
9. To make the Apricot Reduction, add onion, thyme sprigs, bay leaf, and 1 clove garlic, thinly sliced, into the skillet used to cook the lamb. Season with salt and pepper to taste, then cook over medium heat until the onion is tender.
10. Add ½ cup white wine, chicken stock, and apricots. Boil until the mixture is reduced by half, scraping up the brown bits in the skillet. Continue cooking over medium-high heat until the sauce thickens. Remove from heat and stir in 1 tablespoon butter until melted. Discard the thyme sprigs and bay leaf.
11. To plate, arrange the slices of lamb next to the black garlic gnudi. Drizzle with apricot reduction.
The Commoner at Kimpton Hotel Monaco Pittsburgh, 620 William Penn Place, Downtown. 412.230.4800. thecommonerpgh.com.