Fratelli Perata Winery

Rack of Lamb with Pistachio Pesto

Lamb is one of the most wine friendly meats and is usually right at home with red Bordeaux, but we have found that the unique flavor of lamb also pairs nicely with a full bodied and a fruity Sangiovese. The fresh acidity of the wine offsets the slight fattiness of the lamb and combined with the rosemary and pancetta the pairing is a match made in flavor heaven.  This dish comes together quickly and is pleasing enough for any elegant table, but simple enough for a Wednesday.
1/3 cup raw unsalted pistachios
1 tbsp fresh thyme leaves
1 1/2 tsp chopped fresh rosemary
1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil Coarse salt (kosher or sea) and freshly ground pepper
1 rack of lamb (about 8 chops)
6 slices of pancetta, cut into 1 inch wide strips (or bacon, no maple, please)
8 scallions, white and green 
Preheat the oven at 400 degree F.

Place the pistachios, thyme, and rosemary in a food processor. Add half of the olive oil and process into a paste. Season, to taste, with salt and pepper. Pour half of the pistachio pesto into a small bowl, stir in the remaining olive oil, and set aside to use as a sauce. 

Spread some (lightly) of the remaining pistachio pesto all over lamb. Then lay the strips of pancetta or bacon between the bones and wrap it around the meat, leaving the bones uncovered. Spread the remaining half of the pistachio pesto over the pancetta and place the rack in a medium sized roasting pan.  Bake until 130 degrees, about 40 minutes.

Transfer lamb to a cutting board and allow to rest about 5 minutes. Spoon 1 teaspoon of the pancetta fat into a medium sized skillet and heat over high heat. Add the scallions and cook until softened, about 4-5 minutes.

Carve the rack of lamb and serve with scallions and a drizzle of the pistachio pesto. And don’t forget the Sangiovese!