ROASTED RACK OF LAMB with fennel purée and sage pesto
Recipe type: Entree
Cuisine: Italian
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4
When I see rack of lamb in plain sight on the butcher's counter, I simply cannot resist! I love its unique flavor, almost naturally spicy, and its versatility: you can fry, pan-fry, bake, or stew it. My very first memory of lamb goes back to my maternal grandmother's breaded lamb chops: fried and immediately served in a dish with baked potatoes...yum, sooner or later I'll make them again! Today we will prepare the rack of lamb simply in the oven, after having briefly pan-fried it. To enhance the flavor of the meat I recommend an intense sage pesto and to finish off, a scented potato purée seasoned with fennel; need I say more? Buon appetito!
  • 2 racks of lamb
  • 1 lb (450 gr) fennel
  • ½ lb (230 gr) russel potatoes
  • 4 cloves of garlic
  • 1 oz (25 gr) Parmigiano Reggiano cheese
  • 4 tbsp (60 ml) white wine
  • ½ cup (125 ml) whole milk
  • 1 cup ice
  • ⅓ cup (70 ml) extra virgin olive oil
  • ⅓ cup (75 gr) butter
  • 20 sage leaves
  • 20 green peppercorn
  • to taste white pepper
  • to taste cooking salt
  • to taste table salt
  1. LAMB MARINATE -Wash and dry the rack of lamb, removing the fatty parts (without exaggerating!) and cut to obtain 4 pieces of 4 ribs each. Clean the bones protruding from the ribs with a sharp knife and massage the meat with 3 tablespoons olive oil, 8 sage leaves, 2 cloves crushed garlic, and 15 chopped green peppercorns. Allow the meat to marinate with the herbs for at least 8 hours in plastic food bags.
  2. Preheat oven to 430 °F
  3. MAKING PURÉE - Boil the potatoes in their skins in abundant salted water, starting with cold water, and meanwhile reducing the fennel into pieces of about 1 inch off the sides. Now, melt 3 tablespoon of butter in a saucepan, add the fennel and allow to brown on medium heat, stirring frequently. Then add 1 cup of hot water, cover, leaving slightly open by placing a wooden spoon, and continue cooking over low heat. Once the water has been absorbed, pour the warm milk and let thicken. Adjust seasoning and blend using a mixer, adding 5 green peppercorns and grated parmesan cheese. Now, peel the potatoes and put them through a vegetable mill, sprinkling them on 3 tablespoon of butter. Mix vigorously, gradually incorporating the cream of fennel until you obtain a soft and dense purée.
  4. COOKING THE RACK - Brown the rack of lamb in a frying pan for 5 minutes with 2 tablespoons of hot oil, turning over the meat in order to seal all sides of the rack. Adjust the flame in order to sear the meat without burning it, then add wine and continue to cook on high heat for another 3 minutes. Now bake the rack for 12 minutes at 430 °F on a baking tray lined with baking paper, turning over the meat halfway through. Once cooked and before cutting, wrap the meat in foil and wait for 10 minutes to allow for the redistribution of juices.
  5. Sage pesto
  6. While the meat is resting, boil 12 sage leaves and 2 cloves of garlic for 3 minutes, then drain, and immediately plunge the leaves in ice to keep the color bright. Crush together the sage, garlic, and a few grains of coarse salt and white pepper, and finally stir the mixture with 2 tablespoons of olive oil.
  7. FINALS - Cut the rack, separate the ribs and distribute 4 per plate. Cover with a few drops of sage pesto and accompany with the purée. Serve immediately!
Recipe by philosokitchen at