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Herb-Crusted Rack of Lamb with Filled Pasta Sheets

Chef Thomas Keller of The French Laundry created this recipe, which he says “is simple enough that you won’t have to spend all day preparing, yet complex enough to impress. It’s a great dish to make at home.”

Ingredients:

  • 2 racks of lamb, about 3 lb. total, Frenched
  • Kosher salt, to taste, plus 1 tsp.
  • Freshly ground pepper, to taste, plus 1/2 tsp.
  • 2 Tbs. Dijon mustard
  • 1 cup instant mashed potato flakes
  • 3 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 Tbs. finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 Tbs. finely chopped fresh thyme
  • 2 cups lamb or beef stock
  • 2 Tbs. cold unsalted butter
  • 8 filled pasta sheets for serving (see related recipe at left)

Directions:

Place a roasting rack in a large roasting pan and set the lamb racks on top. Let stand at room temperature for 1 hour.

Preheat an oven to 400°F.

Using a sharp paring knife, lightly score the fat cap on the lamb racks, spacing the cuts 1/2 inch apart and forming a crosshatch pattern. Season the lamb generously with salt and pepper. Place the racks, fat side up, on a roasting rack, with the loins in the center of the pan and the bones facing outward. Spread 1 Tbs. mustard evenly over the fat cap of each rack. In a small bowl, stir together the mashed potato flakes, olive oil, garlic, parsley, thyme, the 1 tsp. salt and the 1/2 tsp. pepper. Spread the mixture evenly over the mustard, pressing gently to form a loose crust. Transfer to the oven and roast until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the meat, away from the bone, registers 125°F for rare, 30 to 32 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a small saucepan over high heat, boil the stock until reduced to 2/3 cup, 13 to 15 minutes. Remove from the heat. Whisk in the butter and season with salt and pepper. Cover the pan to keep the sauce warm.

Transfer the lamb racks to a cutting board, cover loosely with aluminum foil and let rest for about 10 minutes. Cut the racks into chops, transfer to individual plates and drizzle lightly with the sauce. Serve immediately with the filled pasta sheets. Serves 8.

Recipe by Chef Thomas Keller, The French Laundry.