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Gnudi Al Ragu D'Agnello

Ricotta Gnudi

1 cup sheep’s milk ricotta

1/2 cup grated pecorino Romano (or Parmesan), plus extra to serve

1 egg

5-6 tablespoons fresh bread crumbs

Grated nutmeg to taste

All-purpose flour

If your ricotta seems wet, let it drain in a sieve for a while. Mix together all the ingredients, season and then let sit for half an hour for the bread crumbs to thicken the mixture. Roll a small ball in flour, and test for integrity (by boiling in water—it should hold together) before rolling the dough into 20-30 small balls with well-floured hands. Your want plenty of flour on the outside of each ball, each the size of a large marble, as this will help to make a protective skin on the naked pasta.

Boil in well-salted water (wait for them all to bob to the surface, then cook for 2 minutes more), and serve immediately.

Lamb Sauce

1 carrot, finely chopped

1 onion, finely chopped

1 or 2 sticks celery stalks, finely chopped

2 garlic cloves, sliced

1 bay leaf

1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil

1 pound leftover slow-roast, braised, or pot-roasted lamb meat, diced, plus its cooking liquid (reduced if watery)

1 pound canned chopped tomatoes

1 1/2 - 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh rosemary

1 recipe ricotta gnudi

Grated pecorino Roman, to serve

This recipe should be scaled up or down depending on the amount of meat you have. If cooking lamb especially for this recipe, best to use shoulder, and slow-roast it with rosemary, juniper, and plenty of white wine. A large shoulder will yield about 3 1/3 pounds of cooked meat, or 3 times the recipe below (which is itself enough for about 8 servings, yielding about 4 – 4 1/4 cups).

Sweat the vegetables, garlic, and bay with a good pinch of salt in the oil until translucent and soft, 10-15 minutes on a medium heat. Add the lamb, cooking liquid, and tomatoes, and simmer for an hour, or until reduced, the oil having risen to the top. Remove from the heat, stir in the rosemary, and season with salt and pepper.

The freshly cooked or reheated gnudi should be served on a bed of 1 cup of the lamb ragu, with a good grating of pecorino Romano to finish – sheep milk with sheep meat with more sheep milk on top.

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