Lamb Over Tomato Sauce with Salted Ricotta and Basil
World renowned chef Heinz Beck shares his recipe for a Mediterranean style lamb dish with the readers of Cucine d'Italia. Right in line with the theme of his cooking at the recent Heinz Beck Food Festival on the shores of the Costa Smeralda on the Italian island of Sardegna, this dish made with lamb, tomatoes, salted ricotta and basil is sure to evoke the sensation of eating out during a sun-drenched summer vacation to southern Europe. The delicate flavors and quality ingredients make for a creative dish which is delectable and typically Italian.
CHEF: Heinz Beck
RESTAURANT: La Pergola in Rome, Italy
HONORS: Five Star Diamond Award, Five Star Diamond Award (first place chef in Italy), Gold Medal at Foyer of Artists, Order of the Knights with Merit from the Federal Republic of Germany, under his guidance La Pergola has won three Michelin stars and three stars from Luigi Veronelli, La Pergola was named best restaurant for the year 2004 by the BMW Guide, La Pergola has earned 19/20 in the L'Espresso restaurant guide and 93/100 in the Gambero Rosso guide
BOOKS: The Secret Ingredient, The Art and Science of Service, Beck, Vegetarian, Pasta,
Finger Food, Hypertension and Nutrition, and Tips and Recipes for Little Gourmets
COOKING STYLE: innovative, light and flavorful Mediterranean dishes strongly influenced by Italian traditions
400 grams Pachino tomatoes
1 sprig basil
1 clove garlic
½ hot chilli pepper
1 sprig basil
1 sprig rosemary
1 sprig thyme
2 cloves garlic
extra virgin olive oil
1 small eggplant
60 grams salted ricotta
1 sprig basil with small leaves
For the tomato sauce: boil 300 grams of tomatoes, remove the skins and cut in quarters eliminating the seeds. Blend the remainder of the tomatoes and add a dash of extra virgin olive oil. Pour the tomato sauce and boiled tomatoes into a jar and add the basil, garlic and hot pepper. Close the jar tightly and place it in a double-boiler for about two hours. When the two hours have passed, remove the basil, garlic and hot pepper. Then blend the tomato sauce until it's smooth.
For the lamb: remove the bone and the fat from the meat. Marinate the lamb for 24 hours in a mixture of extra virgin olive oil, basil, rosemary, thyme, garlic and peppercorns. Take the lamb from the marinade, brown it in a pan and place it in an oven heated to 170°C for 20 minutes. Cut it into eight pieces.
For the eggplant: cut the eggplant into slices. Salt lightly and grill on both sides.
Pour the tomato sauce into the center of the bowl. Lay two piece of lamb on top of the sauce. Place the grilled eggplant and the grated salted ricotta on top. Drizzle with extra virgin olive oil and garnish with a few basil leaves.
Photo credit: Janez Puksic