Monday, February 16, 2009

Lamb Chops with Greens and Crispy Orecchiette Pasta with Walnut-Rosemary Pesto

Yes, I realize I haven't updated in a while but I'm coming back with a bang! We had this meal this weekend and it was so delicious I had to post it. We saw this meal while watching Rachel Ray's 30-minute meals. We normally don't cook a lot of Rachel Ray recipes but this one just sounds so delicious and we weren't disappointed! We had the butcher slice us some shoulder chops because they were out of regular lamb chops. The meat was so tender and everything was so good. The kale is a little tough and we'll probably go with Chard next time but that's the only changes we'd make. This is quick and easy als

* Salt
* 1 pound orecchiette pasta
* 1 1/2 cups walnuts
* 7 to 8 stems rosemary, 1/4 to 1/3 cup leaves, loosely packed
* 2 cloves garlic, cracked from skin
* Black pepper
* 3 tablespoons plus 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil, divided
* 1/2 to 3/4 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
* 4 shoulder lamb chops, bone-in, 8 to 10 ounces each
* 2 tablespoons butter
* Grated nutmeg, to taste
* 1 red onion, thinly sliced
* 2 large heads kale, dinosaur kale or chard, chopped
* 2 to 3 tablespoons aged balsamic vinegar


Bring water to a boil for pasta, salt water and cook to al dente.

Toast walnuts in a dry skillet over medium heat until golden and fragrant, a few minutes then cool. Add the nuts to a food processor with rosemary, 1 clove garlic, salt and pepper and turn processor on. Stream 1/3 cup oil into food processor to form pesto then scrape into a bowl and stir in about 3/4 cup grated cheese.

Rub chops with cut clove of garlic then season with salt and pepper. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add chops and cook 4 minutes each side for medium rare doneness.

While lamb cooks, drain pasta and return pot to heat. Add 1 tablespoon oil and butter in pasta pot and melt over medium heat. Place the pasta back in the pot and crisp 4 to 5 minutes, toasting the pasta. Season the pasta with salt and pepper and a little nutmeg.

Remove lamb from skillet and cover with foil to let meat settle. Heat remaining 1 tablespoon oil over medium-high to high heat. Add onions and greens and sear them. Season the greens with salt and pepper and wilt down, 3 to 4 minutes. Add vinegar and turn greens to coat in vinegar.

Serve a chop alongside greens. Top greens with toasted pasta and drizzle some pesto over everything.
From Rachel Ray

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