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Mike Isabella

Chef Isabella earned accolades and national attention for D.C.’s Mediterranean powerhouse restaurant. Now, with the momentum from "Top Chef" under his toque, Isabella is opening his first restaurant, Graffiato, in Washington D.C.

Read more about Chef Isabella

Roasted Potato Gnocchi and Lamb Ragout with Spiced Yogurt

From Chef Mike Isabella, Graffiato, Washington, D.C.
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Chef Mike Isabella of Graffiato in Washington, D.C., and recently of “Top Chef All-Stars” fame, shares his recipe for gnocchi with lamb ragout.

Serves: 4


For the gnocchi:

4 large Idaho potatoes, washed
1 teaspoon salt
4 tablespoon Parmigiano cheese
2 egg yolks, beaten
1 ½ cups all-purpose flour

For the spiced yogurt:

1 cup Greek yogurt
1 tablespoon olive oil
½ tablespoon lemon juice
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon ground cumin
½ teaspoon ground fennel
½ teaspoon chili flakes
½ teaspoon ground coriander
¼ cup mint leaves, for garnish

For the lamb ragout:

¼ cup olive oil
1 ½ pound ground lamb
1 cup onion, finely diced
¼ cup garlic, finely diced
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 ½ cups white wine
1 cup chopped canned tomato
3 cups chicken broth
2 bay leaves
1 teaspoon ground fennel
½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 tablespoon fresh rosemary leaves
1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon ground black pepper


For the gnocchi:

1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
2. Prick each potato several times with a fork, then place on baking sheet. Cook for about 1 hour.
3. Remove from oven, let cool for 6 to 10 minutes until cool enough to handle.
4. Cut each potato open lengthwise; scoop out the flesh and place through a ricer, into a bowl.
5. Stir in salt, Parmigiano, yolks and 1 cup of flour, just enough to combine to avoid overworking the dough (otherwise gnocchi will become tough).
6. Roll out into 12 x ¾-inch snake-like shape; sprinkle with flour to avoid sticking. Cut into ½- to 1-inch pieces.
7. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.
8. Add all gnocchi pieces and let cook until the pieces all float, about 1 to 2 minutes

For the lamb ragout:

1. Heat olive oil in a large stew pot.
2. Break up ground lamb into small pieces and add to pot, browning over high heat.
3. Add onions and garlic. Cook together until vegetables start to soften, about 2 minutes.
4. Add tomato paste and stir to incorporate, about 1 minute.
5. Add wine and cook until it evaporates, about 2 minutes.
6. Add remaining ingredients, bring to a boil, and then reduce heat to medium low to keep ragout cooking at a simmer. Cook for about 1½ hours so all liquid is reduced and flavors have combined

For the spiced yogurt:

1. Mix all ingredients in a small bowl, except mint.
2. Sprinkle mint leaves on top of yogurt mixture.

To assemble:

Place lamb ragout in a bowl, set gnocchi on top and finish with a dollop of yogurt.


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