Roasted Lamb Loin with Sheep’s Milk Ricotta Gnocchi, Morel Mushrooms, Pea Tendrils, and Lamb Jus

This is a recipe by Tyler Florence. I watched him prepare this at The Pebble Beach Food and Wine Festival 2010. Now you can make it yourself. The gnocchi is very special, so try hard to find the sheep’s milk necessary. But cows milk ricotta, very well drained, may be substituted. Roasted Lamb Loin with Sheep’s Milk Ricotta Gnocchi, Morel Mushrooms, Pea Tendrils, and Lamb Jus.

Roasted Lamb Loin with Sheep’s Milk Ricotta Gnocchi, Morel Mushrooms, Pea Tendrils, and Lamb Jus 

Print This Recipe Total time Yield 6Source based on a Tyler Florence recipePublished


  • 2 large yellow onions, chopped
  • 3 sprigs of fresh oregano
  • 3 sprigs fresh marjoram
  • 7 sprigs fresh thyme
  • kosher salt and pepper, as needed
  • 1½ pound sheep’s milk ricotta
  • sticks, unsalted butter
  • 1½ cup plus 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting a work surface
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 1 pound dried pasta
  • 4 stalks celery, chopped
  • 1 cup parmesan cheese, grated
  • 2 litre lamb bones with plenty of marrow
  • 3 large carrots, chopped
  • 9 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, separated
  • 2 (1lb) lamb loins
  • 4 garlic cloves, peeled and lightly crushed
  • 1 (750ml) bottle fruity red wine
  • 2 (28oz) cans tomatoes
  • water, enough to cover the bones by about 1 inch for stock
  • 3 cup fresh morel mushrooms
  • 3 tablespoon shallots, minced
  • 3 tablespoon champagne vinegar
  • big handful of fresh pea tendrils


Place the sheep’s milk ricotta into a cheese cloth lined strainer set over a bowl. Allow it to drain for a couple of hours. Save the liquid. Place the ricotta onto a very lightly floured surface. Make a well in the center of the cheese and put the egg yolks into this well. Adding the flour a little at a time, along with a couple of pinches salt and pepper. Carefully and gently mix and fold the ingredients together adding more flour as needed. You may not use it all. In fact finding the perfect balance of cheese to flour is what keeps the gnocchi light and fluffy. Use as little as you can but use your judgment. Let the dough rest 30 minutes at room temperature.

After the dough rest bring a large pot of water to a boil and add a good amount of salt to it. Roll the gnocchi into 1 to 1 ½ inch thick ropes, then cut crosswise into 2 inch pieces. drop the gnocchi one at a time into the boiling water and blanch them until they float to the surface. Remove them, adding more, as the finish cooking and plunge them into cool water to stop the cooking. Move them to a a parchment lined tray. Until ready to plate the meal.

At which time you may melt ½ stick of butter with 2 T olive oil in a large saute pan. Brown the gnocchi in batches, adding another ½ stick of butter and 2 more T olive oil as the pan dries out. Once they are golden move them to a serving tray with the rest of the elements of the dish.

Lamb Loin
Pre-heat oven to 425 degrees F. Place a large saute pan on the stove set over medium heat for 3 minutes, or until very hot. Add 2 tablespoon olive oil to the pan and sear the lamb loin on all sides until nicely browned. Move the pan to the oven and cook until an internal temperature reaches 125 degrees for the rarer side of medium-rare. Let the meat rest 10 minutes before slicing.

Butafuso Sauce
Bring 3 quarts water to a boil. Do not add salt to the water. Cook the pasta in water until slightly overcooked. Strain the pasta, reserving it for another use if you like. You want the water for this recipe. Continuing boiling the water until it is reduced to about 4 cups. Add 1 stick butter, 3 T olive oil and the Parmesan cheese. Continue cooking until a thickened silky texture is achieved. Season with salt and pepper.

Lamb Demi
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Rub bones with 2 T olive oil and put them in a Dutch oven and roast them until they are a deep golden brown, about 1 hour. Move the pot to the stove top and add the chopped carrot, celery, onion and garlic. Cook the vegetables for several minutes until they begin to caramelize. Add the red wine and cook until the liquid is reduced by half. Cover the vegetables and bones with water by about ½” add salt and pepper. Bring to a boil over high heat and then turn down to a simmer. Add the tomatoes, 1 sprig marjoram and 1 sprig thyme, and cook ½ hour. Strain out all the solids, then return the sauce to the stove and continue to reduce until depth of flavor and a velvety consistency is achieved. Adjust seasoning with salt and pepper. 

Soak the fresh morels in water to allow the sand and grit to sink to the bottom. Remove the mushrooms from the water, drying them well. Discard water. Place a saute pan over medium-high heat, add the final T butter and the shallots, cooking until translucent. Add the mushrooms and cook until they weep out all their moisture and the pan begins to dry out, about 4 minutes. Finish the mushrooms with the vinegar and salt and pepper. Add the pea tendrils at the very end. Turn off the heat and let the heat from the mushrooms wilt the tendrils.

To Plate
Place the lamb gnocchi, mushroom and tendril mixture on a large serving platter in an attractive manner. Drizzle the Butafuso sauce on top and serve with the Lamb reduction sauce on the side.