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Colorado Lamb Polpettes

Colorado Lamb Polpettes, Potato Gnocchi, Curried Pine Nuts, Mint Pesto and Goat Cheese

From: Executive chef Elise Wiggins, Panzano, Denver.  Yield: 12 servings.

5 lb. ground American lamb
1 cup fresh mint, finely chopped
¼ cup chopped garlic
2 Tbsp. sea salt
2 Tbsp. fresh cracked black pepper
6 cups gnocchi, cooked
mint pesto (recipe follows)
as needed, balsamic reduction
as needed, micro greens
as needed, crumbled goat cheese
1 cup curried pine nuts (recipe follows)

Mint Pesto:
1 cup fresh mint leaves
½ cup Italian flat leaf parsley leaves
2 Tbsp. chopped garlic
1 cup olive oil
1 cup grated Grana Padano

Curried Pine Nuts:
1 cup pine nuts
1 egg white
1 Tbsp. sweet curry powder

In a bowl combine lamb, mint, garlic, salt and pepper. Allow to sit in refrigerator overnight for flavors to infuse. Scoop mixture into 2-oz. meatballs. Pan-sear the lamb polpettes to medium-rare to medium. In a sauté pan, heat oil and butter. Toast gnocchi until golden.

For mint pesto: In a blender, add mint, parsley, garlic and oil. Combine. Pour mixture into a bowl; fold in Grana Padano.Toast pine nuts; cool. Toss pine nuts with slightly whipped egg white; dust with curry powder. Bake at 350°F until the spice has set, about 3 minutes.

Place mint pesto on a plate. Arrange gnocchi on top and lamb polpettes around the plate. Drizzle balsamic reduction on top. Finish with micro greens. Garnish with crumbled goat cheese and curried pine nuts.

PHOTO: American Lamb Board

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