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Rack of Lamb With Pasta Side Dish Makes a Great Holiday Dinner

March 17, 1988

Curried Rack of Lamb with Toasted Almond Orzo makes an impressive Easter dinner for four. Before roasting, the lamb is spread with a seasoning blend of garlic, ginger, curry powder, lemon peel and cayenne pepper.

Orzo, the rice-shaped pasta, makes an excellent accompaniment when flavored with spices, almonds, raisins and green onions. A green vegetable or salad, rolls and wine complete the elegant meal.

CURRIED RACK OF LAMB

2 (6-rib, 1 1/2- to 1 3/4- pound) lamb rib roasts

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 1/2 teaspoons minced ginger root

3/4 teaspoon salt

1 1/2 teaspoons curry powder

1 teaspoon grated lemon peel

1 teaspoon olive oil

1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper

Toasted Almond Orzo

Trim exterior fat on each lamb rib roast to 1/8 inch. Crush garlic and ginger with back of chef's knife and combine with salt to form paste. Add curry powder, lemon peel, oil and cayenne pepper, mixing well.

Spread curry mixture evenly over fat side of each roast. Place roasts, fat side up, on rack in open roasting pan. Insert meat thermometer so bulb is centered in thickest part, not resting on fat or bone. Do not add water and do not cover.

Roast at 375 degrees to desired degree of doneness, 30 to 45 minutes per pound for each roast. Remove roasts when meat thermometer registers 135 degrees for rare, 155 degrees for medium or 165 degrees for well done.

Allow roast to stand 15 minutes in warm place before carving. Roasts continue to rise about 5 degrees to reach 140 for rare, 160 degrees for medium or 170 degrees for well done. Makes 4 servings.

Toasted Almond Orzo

1/4 cup slivered almonds

1/2 teaspoon ground coriander

1/4 teaspoon ground cumin

Dash cayenne pepper

1 cup orzo

3 tablespoons lemon juice

2 teaspoons olive oil

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 cup golden raisins

1/4 cup sliced green onions

Lightly toast almonds, coriander, cumin and cayenne in small skillet over low heat. Set aside. Cook orzo according to package directions, omitting salt, and drain well.

Toss orzo with lemon juice, oil and salt. Stir in raisins, green onions and reserved almond mixture. Makes 4 servings.

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