This dish requires only seven ingredients: lamb shank, salt, pepper, thyme, flour, egg, and pecorino cheese. The lamb shank is cooked sous-vide, then shredded, and fresh homemade pasta is tossed with the shredded meat and the juices from the sous-vide bag. Finally it is served with freshly grated pecorino cheese. That’s it. For such a simple recipe, it is surprisingly delicious and elegant. You should really use fresh pasta for this, as for a dish like this it makes a huge difference compared to dry store-bought pasta. With homemade pasta, it is special enough to serve a smaller portion as a primo piatto for an Italian dinner party. My usual time and temperature to cook lamb shank sous-vide is 48 hours at 62C/144F, but for this it is better at 74C/165F, as the lamb will have a more appropriate (flaky) texture, and there will be more juices to dress the pasta.
For 2 servings
2 small or 1 large lamb shank, about 700 grams (1.5 lbs)
salt and freshly ground black pepper
200 grams (1 1/3 cup) Italian 00 flour
freshly grated pecorino cheese
Season the lamb shanks on all sides with salt and freshly ground black pepper, and vacuum seal together with some fresh thyme.
Cook the lamb shank sous-vide for 24 hours at 74C/165F.
Make fresh pasta dough, allow it to rest for at least half an hour, roll it out, and cut into narrow ribbons. Bring a large pot of water to a boil.
Take the lamb out of the sous-vide. Pour the juices into a frying pan.
Take the meat off the bone…
…and chop it.
Bring the juices to a boil, then turn off the heat, add the chopped meat, and stir. Taste and adjust the seasoning. Keep warm over very low heat.
When the water boils, add salt and the tagliolini. Cook them for about a minute (depending on how thick you made them and whether you allowed them to dry or not). Drain them when they are still al dente, reserving a bit of the cooking water. Add the drained pasta to the lamb, together with fresh thyme (leaves only) and freshly grated pecorino.
Toss to coat the pasta with the sauce, adding some of the reserved cooking water if needed.
Serve at once on preheated plates, sprinkled with some more grated pecorino.
This is great with medium-bodied pinot noir (not too light, not too heavy), for instance from Burgundy, Germany (Spätburgunder), South Africa, Chile, Austria, or even northern Italy (Pinot Nero).
Wild boar cheeks sous-vide with a hint of nutmeg and cloves.