This is a lovely warming pasta that's perfect for the cooler months. The duck ragu is packed full of flavour thanks to the herbs, red wine and slow-cooking method.
- 4 duck legs
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 onion, finely chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped & minced
- 1 celery, finely chopped
- 1 carrot, finely chopped
- 2 tsp cinnamon
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 cup red wine, medium to full-bodied
- 2 cans whole tomatoes
- 1 cup chicken stock
- 3 sprigs fresh thyme
- 2 tbsp oregano
- 600 g pappardelle pasta
- Parmesan cheese, to serve
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
In a large cast iron or casserole dish, add the oil over medium-high heat and cook the duck legs until browned all over (you may need to do this in batches), remove and set aside. Drain off all but 2 tablespoons of the fat in the pan. Place the pan back on medium-high heat and sweat the onion, garlic, celery and carrot for 3-5 minutes or until onions start to turn brown. Add the cinnamon, then pop the duck legs back on and deglaze the pan with the red wine, scraping all the goodness off the bottom.
Pour the tomatoes into a bowl and squish them with your hands before adding them to the pot along with the bay leaves, stock, thyme and oregano. Season with salt and pepper, bring to the boil then turn heat down to low. Cover and cook for 2 hours, stirring every so often.
Transfer duck legs to a board or plate, discard the fat and shred the meat (two forks can come in handy here). Pop the meat back into the uncovered pot, turning heat to medium, and cook for a further 15-20 minutes or until the sauce thickens slightly.
In a large saucepan, bring water to the boil and add 2 good pinches of salt. Cook pasta until al dente (8-10 minutes). Drain pasta, reserving some of the water, and set aside. In a frypan, add a good ladle of the sauce along with some pasta. If it is too dry, add a couple of tablespoons of the reserved water. Give it a toss and transfer to a serving bowl. Finish off with a good sprinkle of parmesan.