Noisettes d’Agneau Monegasque

A simple but tasty dish, Noisettes d’Agneau Monegasque (nwah-zet dah-nyoh mon-ay-gahsk) may be served with Duchess

Potatoes and a crisp green salad.

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 onion, finely chopped

1 garlic clove, crushed

1 lb. tomatoes, blanched, peeled and chopped or

14 oz. canned peeled tomatoes

2 teaspoons chopped fresh basil or

½ teaspoon dried basil

1 bay leaf

½ teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon black pepper

2 tablespoons tomato puree

8 circles of warm toasted bread,

3-inches in diameter

2 oz. butter

8 large mushroom caps, wiped clean 8 lamb noisettes 4 fl. oz. dry white wine

In a large saucepan, heat the oil over moderate heat. When it is hot, add the onion and garlic. Fry, stirring occasion- ally, for 5 to 7 minutes or until the onion is soft and translucent but not brown.

Add the tomatoes and, if they are canned, the can juice, the basil, bay leaf, salt, pepper and tomato puree. Reduce the heat to low and simmer, stirring occasionally, for 30 minutes, adding a little water if the tomato sauce becomes too thick.

Meanwhile, arrange the slices of toast on a serving dish and keep warm.

In a large frying-pan, melt the butter over moderate heat. When the foam subsides, add the mushrooms and fry them, stirring occasionally, for 3 to 4 minutes or until they are tender. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the mushrooms to a plate lined with kitchen paper towels. Set aside and keep warm.

Add the noisettes to the pan and fry them for 4 to 6 minutes on each side, or until they are tender but still slightly pink inside. Using tongs, remove the noisettes from the pan and place them on top of the toast slices. Remove and discard the string. Top each noisette with a mush-room. Keep warm.

Add the wine to the pan and stir well, scraping the brown bits from the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon. Increase the heat to high and boil the wine until it has reduced by half. Stir in the tomato sauce, reduce the heat to moderate and cook for a further 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove and discard the bay leaf- Remove the pan from the heat and pour the sauce into a warmed sauceboat.

Serve the noisettes immediately, with the sauce.

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