Mazzini’s Lamb Chops with Summer Squash Gratin

Prep: 10 minutes

Cook: 45 minutes

Serves: 5

Chef William Gioi of Mazzini Trattoria in Berkeley, California, specializes in Italian comfort food. These lamb chops are prepared very simply because, says Chef Will, “The flavor of the meat speaks for itself.”

Ingredients

Lamb Chops:

Niman Ranch lamb chops (2 to 3 per person)

2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil, preferably Tuscan

Salt and pepper to taste

Lemon wedges

Summer Squash Gratin:

2 white onions, thinly sliced

1 1/2 lbs summer squash, any variety (zucchini, pattypan, crookneck), cut into 1/2 rounds

Salt and pepper to taste 1 c Pecorino cheese, grated

Directions

  1. Salt and pepper chops and bring them to room temperature for 30 minutes. Heat olive oil in a pan until hot. Add chops and cook 3 1/2 minutes per side (for medium rare) until a nice crust forms. (Chops can alternatively be rubbed with oil and grilled over hot coals.)
  2. Preheat oven to 400°F
  3. Stew onions in olive oil, salt and pepper over low heat until soft and golden. Line the bottom of a casserole dish with the onions. Layer the squash slices on top of onions. Salt and pepper to taste. Cover with grated Pecorino cheese. Cover the dish with aluminum foil and bake for 20 minutes. Remove foil and test for tenderness with a fork. Finish in the oven without foil for 10 to 15 minutes until the cheese forms a nice crust.
  4. Drizzle with extra olive oil and serve with a wedge of lemon and the Summer Squash Gratin.