Saturday, December 28, 2013

Lamb, Mint and Feta Ravioli

Well, friends, it was that time of year again. The Valente/Young Christmas Eve tradition. Our good friend came over for wine and yummy ravioli's! This year, I came up with something a bit Greek inspired. I absolutely adore the Greek "lasagna" pastitsio and D and J love lamb. I decided to combine the two. I used the pastitisio sauce and created a lamb filling. The ravs turned out heavenly. I hope one day soon, you all will attempt to make homemade ravioli. It is definitely a labor of love, but oh soooo worth it. Last year, D and I actually hosted a ravioli swap with neighbors and friends and this year, I plan on hosting two. It is akin to hosting a cookie swap. I provided the dough and the sauce, and everyone brought their own filling. We then split the raviolis and was able to bring home the different types (sausage, meatball and three cheese). So much fun I tell ya!! Well here is my lamb ravioli! Enjoy!

3 lb leg of lamb, preferably boneless

Marinade for the lamb:
1/2 cup fresh lemon juice (from 3 to 4 lemons)
4 cloves garlic, crushed or finely chopped
2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leave parsley
1 tablespoon each chopped fresh oregano, rosemary, thyme, and basil
1/2 cup olive oil
Salt and pepper

Filling for the raviolis:

2 onions, sliced
2 pks frozen spinach, thawed and drained well
3 pks feta cheese (3 oz)
3 tbsp fresh mint, chopped
Leg of lamb above, minced in the food processor
For the marinade, stir together the lemon juice, garlic, parsley, oregano, rosemary, thyme, and basil in a bowl. Whisk in the oil. Use right away. Make sure the lamb is completely covered. If not, add more lemon juice and olive oil. Marinade for up to 24 hours. Pour the marinade into a slow cooker. Bring a large pan up to medium high heat and sear the lamb on all sides. Place the lamb into the slow cooker. Deglaze the pan with a dry white wine and pour the scrapings into the slow cooker. Cook on medium for 7 hours. Separate out the lamb from the marinade.

Heat up about 2 – 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil. Add all of your sliced onions. Let sauté for about 45 minutes on medium heat, until they become a nice golden brown. This is known as caramelizing.  In the food processor, add the lamb and pulse until, the consistency pretty much looks like ground meat. Move to a large mixing bowl. Put the carmelized onions, spinach mint and feta cheese, pulse until well blended and minced together. Add mixture to the lamb. Combine very well and add salt and pepper to taste.

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