“This is one of Scarpetta’s signature dishes – the sauce has been passed down through the family and enhanced over the years.”
- olive oil, for frying
- 1½ onion, finely chopped
- 1 carrot, finely chopped
- 1 stick celery, finely chopped
- 8 lamb leg chops, cut into 2 cm thickness
- 2 x 400 g cans whole peeled Italian tomatoes, blended
- 2 cups chicken stock
- 1 cup Cabernet Sauvignon
- 130 g frozen baby peas
- sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 2 x 500 g packets Woolworths gnocchi
- Parmesan, grated, for serving
1. Heat a generous glug of Italian-style olive oil in a heavy-based saucepan. Fry the onion, carrot and celery over a medium heat for a few minutes until soft and fragrant. Add the chops, tomatoes, chicken stock and wine to the pan.
2. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. Cover and simmer for 2½ hours over a medium heat. The Big Boss always makes sure to mix from the bottom up when stirring his lamb ragù to avoid anything burning on the bottom of the pot.
3. Remove from the heat and allow to cool slightly, then remove the lamb chops. Using your hands, carefully shred the soft meat. Add the peas and reheat.
4. Cook the gnocchi according to package instructions. The Big Boss’s secret to serving gnocchi is to delicately scoop the gnocchi from the water uisng a slotted spoon instead of draining it using a colander. Spoon a hefty amount of sauce onto a serving dish, then carefully spoon over a layer of gnocchi, then cover with more lamb ragù and shower in Parmesan.
Cook’s note: The lamb ragù also works well with rigatoni as it’s a lovely chunky sauce that will fill up the pasta tubes beautifully. Use this sauce instead of Bolognese the next time you make lasagne.
Photograph: Jan Ras
Production: Abigail Donnelly
Food assistant: Bianca Strydom