Pesto-stuffed lamb chops & baby marrow pasta

Pesto-stuffed lamb chops & baby marrow pasta

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  • Easy
  • Carb Conscious Dairy free Health conscious
  • 15 minutes
  • 12 minutes
  • Woolworths Neil Ellis Cabernet Sauvignon-Merlot 2014


  • For the pesto:
  • 200 g fresh basil or wild rocket
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 green chilli, seeded (optional)
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 70 g pine nuts
  • 150 g Parmesan grated
  • 4 T olive oil
  • 12 French-trimmed lamb rib chops
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 20 ml home-made pesto
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1 T olive oil
  • 50 g pine nuts, toasted, for serving
  • Basil leaves, for serving
  • For the stuffing:
  • 4 T basil pesto
  • 1 T pine nuts toasted and very roughly chopped
  • Salt a pinch
  • For the baby marrow “pasta”:
  • 1 T olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 800 g baby marrows, cut into spirals
  • 6 thyme sprigs
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Cooking Instructions

To make the pesto, place all the ingredients - except the olive oil - in a food processor or blender and process until smooth. Add the olive oil and blend. Transfer to a sterilised jar and cover with a layer of oil to seal. The remainder will keep for 5 days in the fridge.

Make an incision on the fat side of the chops. Mix the garlic, pesto, salt and pepper and rub onto both sides of each chop.

Mix the stuffing ingredients and, using a teaspoon, stuff a spoonful into the incision of each chop.

Heat the oil in a large non-stick pan until sizzling hot. Place the chops into the pan and cook for 3 minutes on each side, or until medium. Cover with foil and set aside.

To make the baby marrow “pasta”, heat the oil and sauté the garlic. Add the baby marrow and cook for 3 minutes until just cooked, taking care not to overcook it. Strip the thyme leaves from their stems and add to the pan and stir. Season to taste. Serve with the lamb chops, topped with the toasted pine nuts and basil.

Siba’s tip: When French-trimming chops, I normally leave about 5 cm of rib bone totally bare. This leaves the round of meat with a thin strip of fat on the side. Some people like to cut away so much that only a small “lollipop” of meat is left. I, however, tend to be more generous, leaving all the meat and a little fat.

I love this carb-free meal and my friends who are Banting always appreciate my efforts to consider their preferences. It's a great surprise biting into these lamb rib chops as the stuffing is so unexpected. I like mine cooked medium with the fat slightly crispy, but if you prefer yours rare, simply reduce the cooking time.

Siba Mtongana Recipe by: Siba Mtongana
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Siba Mtongana is a South African celebrity chef and television presenter known as the host of The Cooking Channel show Siba's Table.

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    Linda Jewell
    June 26, 2016

    There seem to be typos in this recipe: ” To make the pesto, place all the Steak with Spicy tomato reliSh ingredients except the olive oil in a food ” There’s no steak in this recipe?!

    1. default
      June 28, 2016

      Hi Linda,
      Apologies, a little gremlin seems to have crept in there. We’ve corrected the error – it now reads “place all the ingredients, except the olive oil, in a food processor…” Thanks for the heads up. Happy cooking!