Saturday, October 2, 2010

Lord luv a duck! Duck ragu pasta

I think I’ve eaten more duck in the past few months than I have in my entire life. Duck breast here, duck breast there, Peking duck legs everywhere. I had thought that my duck-eating phase was over, but then some duck that had been lurking in the back of the refrigerator somehow waddled its way to the front…

For this duck ragu pasta recipe, I used some overlooked duck shanks from the Luv-a-Duck people that I’d picked up at the Good Food and Wine Show (note to self: must write about that fine event *I am super bad!*). Yes, there are things called duck shanks – they are like a smaller, cutdown drumstick (on the bone), and they do have a bit of meat on them. The Luv-a-Duck ones are marinated and pre-cooked, and just need to be microwaved before using.

If you don’t have pre-cooked duck on hand, you can pan-fry some duck breast or duck legs in some butter and olive oil until cooked, then shred the meat off the bones for this tasty recipe.

Duck Ragu with Pappardelle
serves 2

200g cooked duck meat, shredded
1 tblsp olive oil
3 slices pancetta, chopped
1 onion, finely chopped
1 carrot, finely chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1 celery stalk, finely chopped
1 bay leaf
10g porcini mushrooms, soaked, drained and chopped
2 tbs tomato paste
1/2 cup (125ml) dry red wine
400g canned diced tomatoes
1 cup (250ml) chicken stock
Pappardelle pasta and grated parmesan, to serve

1.  Heat 1olive oil in a pan over medium heat. Add pancetta, onion, garlic, carrot, celery and bay leaves to the pan and cook, stirring, for 2-3 minutes until they start to colour.
2.  Add the duck to the pan together with the porcini, then add the tomato paste and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Add the red wine and cook for 2-3 minutes until the liquid has reduced slightly.
4.  Add the diced tomatoes and chicken stock, bring to a simmer, then reduce heat to low, cover and gently simmer for 45 minutes or until the sauce has thickened slightly.
5.  Season the sauce to taste, then serve the ragu with the pappardelle and parmesan.

Recipe adapted from

Ingredients, including pappardelle, pancetta, dried porcini, bay leaf, onion, celery, carrot, tomato paste and diced tomatoes

Very rich and tasty duck pasta, with grated parmesan cheese
And it has some vegetables as well, for the vege-conscious.


  1. Yummy! I haven't had any duck dish for a long while....I shall buy some Barbie duck breast to try with the pasta.
    Have a great weekend!

  2. I think that you're cooking all this duck to make up for the fact that I've never cooked it. Ever. I would LOVE to though especially one of your delicious recipes! This ragu sounds incredibly delicious!

  3. Delicious! You've made a few duck dishes, I hardly ever cook duck so maybe it's time to change that!

  4. My my... you sure have eaten/cooked loads of duck dishes. This one particularly caught my fancy - I've always thought of ragu as a meat dish - beef, veal and pork - to use duck is a great idea. Your dish looks like an Italian grandmother made it.

  5. This looks so hearty. I love duck and alwasy eat it but never in a pasta. I think this looks like a keeper. Simply lovely combination!

  6. I always feel that duck is an indulgence - it's so rich (and fatty) and I guess relatively expensive - but ooh do I love it. Ragu anything and I'll be sitting at the table banging my fork at the ready :) This looks like a lovely version. I had not heard of duck shanks before - I can imagine having several whole tiny shanks instead of one large lamb shank in a slow cooked something or other.

  7. Just reading the title of your recipe makes my mouth water! Don't know why but pappardelle sounds lovelier than any other pasta name I know of!

  8. This looks very bright and cheerfful =) And delicious too! We don't eat duck that much....and I've never cooked it =)

  9. That papperdelle looks perfectly cooked - well done!

  10. Hearty and lovely. love the photos as well

  11. I somehow bypassed the duck stall at our show. I blame it on all the wine tastings. So much wine.

    Looks super delicious, Bel.

  12. Hey Bel, yummerz! This pasta looks so wonderful. It reminds me of a pappardelle pasta with wild boar ragout, except for your version is delicious as well as kosher (smile)...!

  13. We have a duck lover here!! I am so going to make this duck ragu!!

  14. this looks amazing! my mouth is watering as we speak!

  15. I've been eating so much duck lately - confit, grilled breast, stewed. Lovin' the ragu!

  16. Do you remember when duck and duck eggs were hard to get? I'm loving how easy they are to get nowadays! This looks great Bel and papardelle is perfect for it :)

  17. funny you should mention the amount of duck you've been having - i've just managed to get through my last pack of duck that i bought at the show too (i have a feeling we both got the same showbag). good thing that the duck has a long fridge life!

  18. Yum! I eat pasta for practically every meal :) My favorite fall pasta dish, though, is this pumpkin and goat cheese lasagna! I made it once and I've been hooked ever since!