Wednesday, March 24

Tagliatelle with Duck Ragu

My unconditional love for duck breast and wish to do something different to it  this time than just the classical way of making it (which is also a very superb way to make duck breast) inspired me to try out this Italian recipe, which I got from, the best resource for all sorts of exciting recipes.

Since I made no changes to this recipe (miracles do happen occasionally), then I will simply quote the recipe, see below:

Yield: Makes 4 servings
Active Time: 30 min
Total Time: 1 3/4 hr
(actually may take a bit of longer, unless you want to rush it through)


1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 teaspoon olive oil
1 (1-pound) boneless Muscovy duck breast with skin or 2 (7- to 8-ounce) Long Island (also called Pekin) duck breast halves with skin
(I used 2 and it was more than enough for 4 women)
1/2 medium onion, chopped
1 garlic clove, smashed
1 teaspoon chopped rosemary
1/2 cup dry red wine
2 cups rich chicken stock or reduced-sodium chicken broth
1 (14- to 15-ounce) can whole tomatoes in juice, drained, reserving juice, and chopped
1/2 pound dried egg tagliatelle or egg fettuccine


Heat butter and oil in a deep 10-inch heavy skillet over medium heat until foam subsides.

Meanwhile, pat duck dry and sprinkle with 1/4 teaspoon each of salt and pepper.

Sear duck, skin side down, until golden brown and some of fat has rendered, about 6 minutes. Turn over and cook until browned, about 2 minutes more. Transfer duck to a plate, then add onion to fat in skillet with garlic, rosemary, and 1/8 teaspoon salt and cook, stirring occasionally, until onion is softened and golden brown, about 6 minutes. Add wine and boil 3 minutes.

Return duck, skin side up, to skillet, then add any juices from plate, stock, and tomatoes with their juice. Bring to a boil, then gently simmer, covered, 1 hour. And under no circumstances do less than 1 hour, more is acceptable and advisable, since the duck will be even softer. The long time simmering of the duck is the ultimate trick in this recipe that makes it so special.

Duck Ragu with Pasta (1)

Transfer duck to a cutting board, then skim off about three fourths of fat from sauce and discard.

Purée sauce in batches in a blender (use caution when blending hot liquids). Return sauce to skillet and boil, stirring occasionally, until reduced to about 2 1/2 cups, about 8 minutes.

While sauce reduces (I think I did it a fair 15 minutes or so and make sure you do not salt beforehand, because then the sauce my end up being over salted because of the liquids that evaporated), finely chop duck with skin.

Return chopped duck to sauce and season with salt and pepper.

Cook tagliatelle in a pasta pot of boiling salted water (3 tablespoons salt for 6 quarts water) until al dente, then drain pasta and toss with duck ragú.

Duck Ragu with Pasta (2)

Duck ragú; can be made 1 day ahead and chilled, covered (once cool). © Condé Nast Digital, Inc. All rights reserved.

Recipe available at:

My overall comment on this recipe would be that if you would like to make luxurious tasting pasta for special guests who can value the effort that this making requires and you do not mind spending time on making it then this definitely do it! It is not a complicated recipe to be honest, but it requires patience and plenty of time spared.

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