Every year I prepare a roasted Leg of Lamb and Spinach Lasagne Bolognese al Forno for Easter dinner. This year, I focused on Lamb as the main course because the lasagne takes over 5 hours to make and serves a large group, the process is tedious but worth the energy and time it takes to move through each step of the process. The secret is in the details, the spinach needs to be blanched and chilled in a ice bathed, the pasta takes time to make from scratch and roll out each layer, the bolognese needs to simmer and stew in the dry white wine and the bechemel just needs time to discover it’s full richness.
I have memories of making pasta and ravioli’s from scratch every Sunday after church, in between arm wrestling my brother over who ate more and won the ravioli contest. If you ask him now, he might say during those formative years it sucked having an older brother for a sister. Tom-girl yo but now I just love my bro and would never pin him down and slowly spit in his face because I could. Trust me, the summer he grew past me, I was like “need anything, pillow, water, a snip in your sleeves so those biceps can breathe, you good?” It actually wasn’t funny then but best of friends now and grateful we’re in this life together — spiritually growing all the time.
Next year, I’m planning to invite anyone who is hungry for love food over and celebrate a giant Easter Feast. I’m so grateful for all the joyful and bright people in my life and those I meet all the time. My sphere of influence is expanding and filling up with all kinds of inter-dimensional carnies – bring that shit on.
Back to the lamb, I try different recipes every year to continually test new dishes. The mint pesto makes the dish but next time I’ll follow Mario’s lead and grill the lamb butterfly this baby. Here it is slow roasted to finger licking good.
- 5 – 8 lb Leg of Lamb (deboned, butcher tied)
- 1/2 Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 3 Garlic Cloves
- 4 Springs of fresh Rosemary
- 2 Lemons
- Salt and Pepper
- 2 Cups fresh Mint
- 1 Cup Basil
- 1/2 Cup Parmigiano-Reggiano
- 1/3 Cup Pine Nuts (toasted)
- 2 Garlic Cloves
- 1/3 Cup Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.
For the Mint Pesto: Combine all the ingredients in a food processor. Season to taste and set aside while you prepare the lamb.
For the Greek Lemon Potatoes:
I wing it but looks like a pound of baby Yukon gold potatoes, 3 or 4 lemons and a handful of fresh Jerusalem artichokes. Cut the potatoes and Jerusalem artichokes in half, add fresh squeezed lemon juice and one cup of chicken stock to the roasting pan with the veggies. Chop the dill but don’t add til the end when you remove from roasting in the oven.
- 1 lb Yukon gold potatoes
- 8 – 10 Jerusalem artichokes
- 3 – 4 lemons
- Dill, hand full chopped
- 1 Cup chicken stock
For the Roasted Scallions: Spread on a baking sheet, drizzle with Olive Oil, Salt and Pepper.
For the Lamb, generously cover with sea salt, pepper and olive oil before you brown each side. Make sure the potatoes are halfway submerged with lemon juice and chicken stock so the tops can brown and get crispy.
Brown the lamb on all sides in a dutch oven pan or cast iron skillet. Then cover the lamb with the mint pesto and place in the oven to roast for 45 mins on 450 degrees. Lower the heat to 375 degrees and cook for about 30 mins more, or until a thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the lamb reads 135 degrees. Transfer to a cutting board and allow to cool and rest for 10 mins before slicing.
For the potatoes, roast for an hour, and remove. Then roast the scallions for about 20 mins or until brown.