Butternut Squash Ravioli, Nut Crusted Rack of Lamb & Eggplant Rollatini
Egg Plant Rollatini
3 medium-sized eggplants (about 4 pounds total)
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
Can vegetable spray
32 ounces ricotta cheese
8 cloves mashed roasted garlic
½ t nutmeg
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1/2 cup shredded mozzarella
8 tablespoons grated Parmesan
3 tablespoons toasted pine nuts
20 basil leaves, chiffonaded
Extra-virgin olive oil, for drizzling
2 cups fresh tomato sauce
Preheat the grill pan and preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
Place a rack over a large baking sheet. Cut the 2 ends off the eggplant. Cut the eggplants lengthwise, into 1/2-inch thick slices. Arrange eggplant slices onto rack. Sprinkle with sea salt to help remove excess moisture and any bitterness from the eggplants. Set aside for about 10 to 15 minutes. Rinse off the salt from the eggplants and pat dry with a towel. Spray hot grill pan liberally with vegetable spray and then place eggplant slices on the grill until lightly browned on each side and tender, about 4 minutes per side. Remove slices from the grill pan and allow to cool.
In a large bowl, beat eggs until lightly scrambled. Mix the ricotta and the egg mixture. Add, roasted garlic, nutmeg, mozzarella, 3 tablespoons of Parmesan cheese and toasted pine nuts and gently combine. Fold in basil just to combine. Do not over mix.
Place a tablespoon of the cheese mixture on 1 end of the eggplant and roll up tightly. Place the eggplant rollatini into a greased (with olive oil) 13 by 9-inch baking dish, seam side down. Continue with remaining eggplant. Evenly distribute the tomato sauce on top of the eggplant rollatini. Season with salt and pepper. Sprinkle with remaining 5 tablespoons of Parmesan cheese and bake for 15 minutes. When cooked, drizzle the top with extra-virgin olive oil.
Nut Crusted Rack of Lamb
2 racks of lamb (French boned)
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
Ground white pepper
2 tablespoons dried rosemary
1/3 cup whole pecans
1/3 cup dried figs
1/3 cup dried cranberries
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons Whole grain mustard
1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
2 cloves minced garlic
To prepare the racks of lamb: Heat the vegetable oil in a saute pan over high heat. Season the racks of lamb with salt and pepper (I use fresh ground sea salt and ground white pepper). Sear the racks on all sides until nicely browned. Remove racks to a platter and allow to cool enough to handle. At this point preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
To make the walnut crust: Put dried rosemary into a food processor and pulse several times to grind, If you don't do this the rosemary pieces will be too large. Add pecans, figs, cranberries 1/4 teaspoon of salt and 1/2 teaspoon of white pepper. Pulse several times until mixture is the consistency of bread crumbs. Pour mixture onto a large dinner plate or a platter.
To make the mustard mixture. Combine both mustards with olive oil & minced garlic
To coat the racks of lamb: Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or foil. Once the racks are cool enough to handle, place 1 rack in the mustard mixture and coat all sides. Next place the coated rack into the walnut mixture and coat well. Using your hand press the walnut mixture firmly onto the coated rack. Transfer rack to the baking sheet. Repeat steps for each rack. You can make the recipe to this point and place in refrigerator until ready to cook.
To cook: Place the racks of lamb into the oven and roast for 20 minutes for medium rare. I use a temperature probe in one of the racks, and remove meat from oven when it registers between 125 to 130 degrees F. Remove from oven and let stand for 5 to 10 minutes before cutting.
Butternut Squash Ravioli
1 cup small dice butternut squash, roasted and fork mashed
1 cup ricotta
1/2 cup grated Parmesan, plus 2 tablespoons, flaked
1 orange, zested
1 package wonton sheets
1 egg, beaten
2 tablespoons butter
10 sage leaves
Mix butternut squash, ricotta, Parmesan, and orange zest. Season with salt, pepper, and nutmeg.
Brush wonton wrapper with beaten egg and Spoon squash filling into the middle of the wonton wrapper Press edges to seal. Place on floured tray.
Boil ravioli in salted water until tender, about 3 to 4 minutes. Drain and place on a platter. Add butter and sage leaves to a medium sized saute pan and place over medium high heat. Cook butter and sage until butter is golden brown. Spoon butter and sage over ravioli i and sprinkle with flaked Parmesan.