Sunday, 6 April 2014

Venetian Duck Ragu

I had lots of holiday to use up from work, so on one of my days off I decided to treat the family to this duck recipe for dinner!

We rarely eat duck in or family (usually only when we have a Chinese takeaway, duck pancakes mmm!!), so this was a treat! Additionally this is a very authentic Italian recipe, and we love Italian food in my family!

I stumbled across this recipe when it was the feature recipe on BBC Good Food website and the picture caught my attention. It is one of the most flavoursome pasta recipes I have ever made, and this will be because it is left to simmer and bubble away for 2 hours! It is simply divine!


4 duck legs
2 onions, finely chopped
2 fat garlic cloves, crushed
2 tsp ground cinnamon
2 tsp plain flour
250ml red wine
2x 400g cans chopped tomatoes
1 chicken stock cube, made up to 250ml
3 rosemary sprigs, leaves picked and chopped
2 bay leaves 
1 tsp sugar
2 tbsp milk
600g paccheri or pappardelle pasta


1) Heat the oil in a large pan. Add the duck legs and brown on all sides for about 10 mins. Remove to a plate and set aside. Add the onions to the pan and cook for 5 mins until softened. Add the garlic and cook for a further 1 minute , then stir in the cinnamon and flour and cook for a further minute. Return the duck to the pan, add the wine, tomatoes, stock, herbs, sugar and seasoning. Bring to a simmer, then lower the heat, cover with a lid and cook for 2 hrs, stirring every now and then.

2) Carefully lift the duck legs out of the sauce and place on a plate – they will be very tender so try not to lose any of the meat. Pull off and discard the fat, then shred the meat with 2 forks and discard the bones. Add the meat back to the sauce with the milk and simmer, uncovered, for a further 10-15 minutes while you cook the pasta.

3) Cook the pasta following pack instructions, then drain, reserving a cup of the pasta water, and add the pasta to the ragu. Stir to coat all the pasta in the sauce and cook for 1 minute more, adding a splash of cooking liquid if it looks dry. Serve with grated Parmesan, if you like!

Buon appetito!! xoxo

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