#038 | New Recipe #4


Last night was my very first attempt at cooking duck.  I was so nervous because I’ve always heard nightmare stories about how hard it is, how fatty the meat is and the number of ‘tricks’ to making it work.  But I am pleased to say that it was delicious.  I made it for date night, which is a week early since my partner will be in the UK for a couple of weeks from tomorrow.  It’s not often that he closes his eyes and holds his hand up to silence me so that he can focus on his sensation of taste, let alone that he holds food in his mouth long enough to enjoy the flavours.  Usually eating is the only time my partner stops talking, in order to shovel the food in his gob as quickly as possible (he comes from a family of 7!).

But last night, he did just that – savoured every morsel and went back for more, and more and more.  So I figure it must be a winner.

Duck Ragu with Pasta


400g dried pappardelle (I used rigatoni)
60g unsalted butter
60ml olive oil
2 rashers bacon, finely chopped
1 celery stalk, finely diced
1 small brown onion, finely diced
3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
sea salt
450g duck Marylands (thigh and leg attached), bones removed, flesh and skin finely chopped
500ml full-bodied red wine
60ml good-quality sherry vinegar
2 x 400g cans Italian tomatoes, chopped and juice reserved
freshly ground pepper


Heat a large, heavy-based saucepan over medium heat and add the butter and olive oil.  Add the bacon, celery, carrot, onion, garlic and some sea salt, stir and saute over low heat for 15 minutes.  Increase the heat to high, add the duck and cook, stirring, for about 5 minutes, or until meat is lightly browned.  Add the wine and vinegar, reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, for about 10 minutes, or until reduced by half.

Stir in the chopped tomatoes and their juice and simmer, for about 20 minutes, or until the duck is completely tender and sauce is rich.  Check the seasoning and add a grind of pepper.  Meanwhile, cook the pasta in a large saucepan of boiling salted water for about 8 minutes, or until al dente.  Drain the pasta and add to the duck ragu.  Gently toss together.

Serve into deep pasta bowls.  Spoon the remaining sauce over and sprinkle over some shaved parmesan.

Serves 4.




  1. congrats mami 😉

  2. Wow that sounds and looks divine!!! I wonder if I can buy duck at the supermarket?!? Maybe will have to make a trip to China town!

    I subsrcibe to your blog but not sure I use your feeburner address or not. Will have to check that!

    Your doing brilliantly with your list, you should be proud!

    ps: I signed up for 101 things starting April 1st! I knocked one thing off already and half of another task so am really loving it!

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