An Easter Parade Of Italian Flavors

Our Chef on a Shoestring guest Lachlan Mackinnon Patterson, executive chef and co-owner of Frasca in Boulder, Colo., prepares an Italian-influenced Easter dinner on a budget of $40. His menu includes Arugula Salad with Pickled Shallot Vinaigrette; Leg of Lamb with Glazed Radishes; and Gubana.

Chef Patterson's burgeoning culinary career began at the Old Warson Country Club in St. Louis, Missouri. In 1999 he moved to Paris to obtain his Certificate d'Aptitude Professionnelle at the prestigious Ecole Gregoire-Ferrandi, and later apprenticed with Benoit Guichard at the famed Jamin, a Michelin two-star restaurant renowned for its classic French cuisine.

Lachlan moved back to the U.S. in 2001 to join the staff of The French Laundry in Yountville, California, as chef de partie under chef Thomas Keller. It is here that he also met his future business partner, sommelier Bobby Stuckey.

Lachlan moved to Colorado in the fall of 2003 to join Bobby and to pursue their vision of opening a neighborhood restaurant reminiscent of the Frascas they had visited in Friuli-Venezia Giulia, Italy. Having researched and traveled throughout Italy many times, both were deeply inspired by this region in particular - the international influences of its cuisine, the profusion of local ingredients in its rustic yet elegant dishes, its passionate relationship between food and wine, and the gracious hospitality of the locals.

In July of 2005, Lachlan was named one of Food and Wine Magazines Best New Chefs. In 2006 he was nominated as a James Beard "Rising Star Chef." Numerous articles credit him with truly upping the profile of food and drink in Boulder, Co.


Boneless Leg of Lamb: This cut is becoming a favorite of home chefs. The butterflied leg - which means the bone is removed from the whole leg - is easy to stuff or grill, and it's quicker to cook than the bone-in version.

Pickled Shallots: Lachlan covers minced shallots in sherry vinegar for a full day in order to pickle them. He then adds these to his vinaigrette.

Radish: Most people think of radishes as an ingredient in a salad, or a garnish on a plate. But Lachlan is going to blanch the radishes in boiling water and then toss them with a dressing to make an easy, unique side dish.

Gubana: A yeast bread with a raisin and nut filling (similar to a strudel) that is traditionally served around Easter time in some parts of Italy.


Arugula Salad with Pickled Shallot and Pesto Vinaigrette

2 Tbls. Pesto (whatever pesto you like will do)
2 shallots, minced and marinated (cover with Aged Sherry Vinegar for 1 day)
Vegetable Oil
1 tsp. olive oil
Lemon juice
4 cups Young Arugula lettuce
X amount slivered almonds

Drain shallots; reserving about 1 Tbl. of sherry vinegar. Add this vinegar back to the shallots, season with salt and pepper to taste and stir to dissolve.

Add pesto along with half cup to three-quarters cup vegetable oil depending on how high in acidity you prefer your vinaigrette (adding less oil will make the dressing more acidic).
Add olive oil and a splash of lemon juice to finish.

Toss with arugula and almonds. Divide among four plates and serve.

Leg of American Lamb with Glazed Radishes

For the lamb:
2 lbs boneless leg of lamb
¼ cup Dijon Mustard
2 Tbls. chopped Rosemary
2 cloves of minced garlic
8 3/4-inch sprigs of thyme
8 3/4-inch sprigs of rosemary
Kosher Salt and Cracked Black Pepper

For the radishes:
1 bunch or radishes, split in half
1 Tbl. chopped fresh mint
1 Tbl. chopped fresh flat leaf parsley
1 tsp. lemon juice
¼ cup olive oil
Sea Salt and Cracked Black Pepper

Trim excess fat on the exterior part of the lamb leg. Lay exterior side down on a cutting board and butterfly the lamb slightly until it lays flat. (You can also ask your butcher to do this for you)
Brush inside of the leg with mustard and sprinkle with rosemary and garlic. Season with kosher salt and cracked pepper then roll up and tie tightly with butchers twine, leaving strings one inch apart. Weave sprigs of thyme and rosemary in and amongst the twine so they stick to the lamb during roasting.

Season the outside of the lamb with kosher salt and cracked pepper and place in a baking dish. Roast lamb in a preheated 350°F oven for approximately 90 minutes or until the interior temperature reaches 120°F. Let lamb rest for 15 minutes before slicing.

(**NOTE: this 90-minute estimation is based on the chef's original recipe which called for 2.5 lbs of lamb. When using less lamb the cooking time will also decrease ... Keep an eye on your thermometer!)

While lamb is resting, blanch radishes in boiling salted water until tender. Drain and pat dry but while warm add olive oil, lemon juice, mint and parsley and season with sea salt and pepper to your liking.

Slice lamb and serve with the warm radishes.


Brioche Ingredients:

2 Tbls. All-purpose flour
1½ Tbls. Whole milk
1 tsp. Fresh yeast

2 large Eggs
1 large Egg yolks
1½ Tbls. Granulated sugar
1 cup All-purpose flour
¼ tsp. Kosher salt

½ cup + 2 Tbls. Butter (room temp.)

If you would like to skip this step, you could purchase a Danish dough or croissant and substitute for brioche.

For sponge: mix flour, milk and yeast in a small container. Set aside in a warm place for 30 minutes.

Place sponge, eggs, yolk, sugar, flour and salt in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the dough hook.

Mix on speed 1 for 6 minutes. Mix on speed 2 while slowly incorporating butter; an additional 3 - 4 minutes.

Place in an airtight container overnight (leave room for the dough to double in size).

Filling Ingredients:

¼ cup + 2 Tbls. Golden raisins
½ tsp. Vanilla extract
2 Tbls. Grand Marnier (if budget allows)
¼ cup Dark rum (if budget allows)

¾ cup Walnuts, toasted
¼ cup + 2 Tbls. Almonds, toasted
¼ cup Pine nuts, toasted
3 Tbls. Granulated sugar

¼ cup Butter, melted
1½ teaspoons Cinnamon


Place golden raisins, vanilla extract, Grand Marnier and dark rum in a container and let macerate for at least 4 days. If you are not using liquor, you can substitute hot water. If you do this, you can cut the macerating time down to 30 minutes.

Place walnuts, almonds, pine nuts and sugar in the bowl of a food processor fitted with the blade attachment and process until finely chopped.

Strain raisins, reserve liquid to use again if desired.

Add raisins to nuts and pulse to roughly chop. Remove and place in a bowl.

Add butter and cinnamon and mix until incorporated.

Spray a 10" round cake pan and line with parchment paper.

Roll the brioche with your hands into a rope 20" in length on a floured surface. Flatten it to ½" thickness. Spread the filling evenly on the brioche, leaving a ½" border on all sides. Starting at the edge closest to you, roll the brioche away from you to seal in all of the filling. Pinch the seam to seal - additional flour may be necessary.

Coil the dough around itself, while sliding a floured 8" cake board underneath it simultaneously. Slide the gubana into the prepared cake pan. Rearrange the dough if necessary to allow room between the coils while proofing. Brush dough with egg white. This will help it become golden brown when baking.

Cover with plastic wrap and allow to proof at room temperature until the dough is almost doubled in size (about 1 - 1 ½ hours).

Bake at 425°F for about 25 minutes or until the gubana is a deep golden.

  • David Morgan

    David Morgan is a senior editor at and