Leatherwood Honey– and Sichuan Pepper–Glazed Rack of Lamb with Eggplant Pasta and Green Goddess Olive Oil and Lemon Sauce

The best way to cook rack of lamb is over a wood or charcoal fire, seared on high heat the first ten minutes, then over a slow fire ten minutes, then left for thirty minutes at the edge of the heat to rest and continue cooking. Follow this procedure and the lamb will be the most flavorful and tender you have ever tasted. But by all means use whatever grill or broiler you have.

The lamb is served with spiced eggplant and lentils stuffed into pasta tubes and sauced with green goddess olive oil and lemon sauce.

Ingredients

  • 2 pieces rack of lamb (10–12 chops total), trimmed and “Frenched”
  • ¼ cup Sichuan peppercorns
  • ½ cup leatherwood honey (or any floral honey)
  • 1 recipe spiced eggplant and lentils
  • 6 large pasta tubes (manicotti), cooked in salted water until barely tender
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • ½ cup green goddess sauce
  • 6 nasturtium flowers, stemmed, shredded

Method

Heat the peppercorns over low heat in a sauté pan for 2 minutes to bring out the flavor. Do not burn. Add the honey and heat for 5 minutes. Let the honey cool, and rub the honey and pepper mixture all over the racks. Cover the lamb loosely and marinate for 2 hours. Wipe off the marinade, strain, and reserve the strained honey.

Stuff the pasta tubes with the eggplant-lentil mix. Oil a shallow ovenproof gratin dish just large enough to hold the tubes, add them in 1 layer, brush with olive oil, and cover with foil.

Start a charcoal or wood fire, or preheat the broiler or grill.

Grill the racks for 8 minutes on each side. Then turn down the heat and finish the racks on the fat side, brushing the racks with marinade each time you turn them.

Meanwhile, bake the eggplant pasta for 10 minutes covered, then remove the cover and bake for 5 minutes more.

Slice the racks between the ribs into chops, and serve them with the eggplant and lentil filled pasta. Spoon the green goddess sauce over the pasta tubes. Garnish the plates with the nasturtium flowers.