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Lamb Chops with Greens and Crispy Orecchiette Pasta with Walnut-Rosemary Pesto


  • Salt

  • 1 pound orecchiette pasta

  • 1 1/2 cups walnuts

  • 7-8 stems rosemary, 1/4-1/3 cup leaves, loosely packed

  • 2 cloves garlic, cracked from skin

  • Black pepper

  • 3 tablespoons plus 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil (EVOO), divided

  • 1/2-3/4 cup grated Parmigiano Reggiano

  • 4 shoulder lamb chops, bone-in, 8-10 ounces each

  • 2 tablespoons butter

  • Grated nutmeg, to taste

  • 1 red onion, thinly sliced

  • 2 large heads kale, dinosaur kale or chard, chopped

  • 2-3 tablespoons aged balsamic vinegar


Bring water to a boil for pasta, salt water and cook to al dente.

Toast walnuts in a dry skillet over medium heat until golden and fragrant, a few minutes then cool. Add the nuts to a food processor with rosemary, 1 clove garlic, salt and pepper and turn processor on. Stream 1/3 cup EVOO into food processor to form pesto then scrape into a bowl and stir in about 3/4 cup grated cheese.

Rub chops with cut clove of garlic then season with salt and pepper. Heat 1 tablespoon EVOO in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add chops and cook 4 minutes each side for medium rare doneness.

While lamb cooks, drain pasta and return pot to heat. Add 1 tablespoon oil and butter in pasta pot and melt over medium heat. Place the pasta back in the pot and crisp 4-5 minutes, toasting the pasta. Season the pasta with salt and pepper and a little nutmeg.

Remove lamb from skillet and cover with foil to let meat settle. Heat remaining 1 tablespoon EVOO over medium-high to high heat. Add onions and greens and sear them. Season the greens with salt and pepper and wilt down, 3-4 minutes. Add vinegar and turn greens to coat in vinegar.

Serve a chop alongside greens. Top greens with toasted pasta and drizzle some pesto over everything.