Whole-Roasted Colorado Lamb Rack & Pici

Artichoke and Tomato / Salsa Verde




Colorado lamb racks 2
Thyme 8 sprigs
Rosemary 4 sprigs
Oregano 6 sprigs
Bay leaves 12
Garlic 8 medium cloves, smashed
Pinch of cracked black pepper
Extra-virgin olive oil 1/4 cup

All-purpose flour 1  1/3 cups
Extra-virgin olive oil 4 tablespoons 

Baby artichokes 16
Juice of 1/2 lemon
Unsalted butter 6 tablespoons
Extra-virgin olive oil 4 tablespoons
Roasted Tomatoes 1 batch
Salsa Verde, for garnish

WINE PAIRING: Stuhlmuller Vineyards Estate Cabernet Sauvignon, Sonoma County, 2001
ALTERN8: You can use canned or frozen artichoke hearts to save time.


Begin by marinating the lamb racks. Wipe off the excess blood from the meat and place in a bowl. Slightly tear the thyme, rosemary, oregano, and bay leaves and add with the garlic cloves, pepper, and olive oil; rub well into the meat. Allow the lamb to marinate for a few hours in the refrigerator.

Make the pici by placing the flour, 61/2 tablespoons of water, and 3 tablespoons of the olive oil in a small bowl and, with your hands, stir until well incorporated. You want to knead away from your body, not working the dough too much. Add a pinch of salt, and form the dough into a nice ball and cover with plastic wrap. Allow the dough to rest at room temperature for 15 minutes.

Bring a pot of salted water to a boil. Cut the dough into four even pieces, then in eighths, then in sixteenths. Roll each out with your hands into long snakes the width of a green bean. You don’t need to use flour in this process; the natural elasticity of the noodle will allow it to extend.

Add the remaining tablespoon of olive oil to the boiling water, and cook the pici for 4 minutes. Pass through a colander to drain, toss with just a bit of olive oil, and place in the fridge.

To prepare the artichokes, don a pair of gloves and remove all the tough outer leaves. You will be left with the tender, green-yellow heart. Cut off the very bottom and, peeling the heart down, trim all the way around the green. Cut 1/2 inch off the top, and split these artichokes in half. In a small sauce pot, fill with water, the lemon juice, and a little salt; bring to a boil. Boil the artichokes for 8 minutes (or you may steam them if you prefer). Turn off the heat, and allow the artichokes to sit for an additional minute. Drain on a paper towel, cut side down, or on a cooling rack.

To begin cooking the lamb, first preheat the oven to 350°F. Remove and discard the garlic from the marinade. Season the lamb liberally with salt. In a cast-iron pan over medium-high heat, sear the lamb (placed back-to-back) for 2 to 3 minutes on one side until caramelized. Flip, and place the herbs on top and place in the oven in the cast-iron pan. Roast the rack of lamb to a nice medium-rare (approximately 115°F) for 10 minutes if you have a New Zealand rack; 20 minutes for Colorado. Take the lamb out and ignite the herbs with a match, allowing the herbs to char, then gently pat out the embers on the meat and tap them off. This infuses the meat with some of their flavor. Allow the meat to rest for at least 15 minutes before you carve.

In a clean sauté pan and working in 2 batches, pan-roast the artichokes by melting 1 tablespoon of the butter with 2 teaspoons of the olive oil over medium-high heat for each batch. Add half the artichokes, cut side down, and cook until caramelized and lightly golden, or about 5 minutes. Try not to move the pan while you cook the artichokes; otherwise, you won’t attain the nice color of caramelization. (Note: To save time, you can roast these the day before.)

Pull the pici out of the fridge, and melt the remaining 4 tablespoons of butter with equal parts water in a medium saucepan. Toss the pici quickly and add the roasted tomatoes and artichokes to warm through.

Place the pici in the center of a bowl with the tomatoes and artichokes. Carve the lamb into double chops, and arrange on top of the pasta. Drizzle with the salsa verde.

Grilled Sardins Parcels /

Braised Fennel / Meyer Lemon / Olive



Fennel 1 small head, diced medium
Sachet with 1/2 teaspoon fennel seed and pinch of crushed red chili
Extra-virgin olive oil 1/4 cup
Meyer lemon 1
Salt and pepper to taste
Diced shallot 2 tablespoons
Chopped fennel frond 1 teaspoon
Fresh sardines 8 medium, head, scales, and bones removed and gutted
Roasted Tomatoes 8
Cracked Green Olives 1/4 cup


Combine the diced fennel head, sachet, and olive oil in a small sauce pot; bring to a simmer. Cook the fennel on low heat until very tender, about 25 minutes, and allow the fennel to cool in the seasoned oil. Once cool, strain the fennel and reserve the oil.

Prepare a gas or charcoal grill. Cut off either end of the Meyer lemon so it will stand vertically; cut into quarters. Stand up one quarter at a time, and cut straight down with a knife to remove the entire core and half of the flesh, reserving both pieces. Repeat with all the wedges. Cut the lemon zest and flesh into a small dice and place into a small bowl. Squeeze the juice from the core over the diced lemon. Season with salt and pepper, and allow to marinate for 20 minutes. Add the diced shallot to the lemon, as well as the cooled oil from the braised fennel. Stir in the chopped fennel frond, and adjust the seasoning if needed.

Lay eight 7-inch squares of parchment paper on a dry surface, and brush the center of each with braised fennel oil. Over each parchment, give a pepper mill a couple of turns. Place 1 sardine, skin side down, on the paper. Cut 1 tomato fillet in half lengthwise, and place the halves on top of the sardine. Spoon on some of the braised fennel head, and a few olives on top of that. Fold the parchment into a little parcel, and tie with butcher’s twine.

Place the parchments on the preheated grill away from the hot spot, and cook each side for about 1 minute. Be careful not to let them burn. To serve, cut open the parcels and drizzle on the lemon relish. Salt before serving.