Duck Leg Ragu Pappardelle

This is an absolute cracker of a recipe, I’m not gonna lie! It’s perfect for these colder evenings and even though its quite an easy recipe, it’ll definitely impress when you bring it to the table!

It serves four perfectly and if you’re only cooking for one or two, you can freeze the ragu (without the pappardelle) easily. Finished with some freshly grated pecorino and served with a glass of red wine, it is the perfect Sunday evening dinner.

Duck Leg Ragu Pappardelle

Ingredients (serves four)
4 duck legs
1 onion, finely diced
1 stalk celery, finely diced
1 small carrot, finely diced
2 cloves crushed garlic
Small bunch fresh thyme
1 bay leaf
2 tsp cinnamon
250ml red wine
500g tomato passata
1 chicken stock cube or pot
250g pappardelle pasta
Salt & pepper
Pecorino, to serve

1. Preheat your oven to 160c fan. Place the duck legs on a large baking tray, prick the skin a few times with a sharp knife and season with salt and pepper. Roast in the oven for 60 minutes, until the meat is tender and the skin is crisp.
2. Once the duck has been cooking for 20 minutes, remove it from the oven and carefully pour some of the fat, about a tablespoon, from the tray into a large saucepan, then return the duck to the oven. Put the saucepan over a medium heat.
3. Once hot, add the diced onion, carrot and celery and cook for five minutes with a pinch of salt until soft. Add the garlic, cinnamon, bay leaf and fresh thyme and cook for a further minute, then pour in the red wine and leave to bubble and reduce for 5-10 minutes.
4. Add the passata, then half-fill your passata tub/jar with water and add it to the pan along with the chicken stock pot or cube. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat to low, season with salt and pepper to taste. Pop the lid on and leave to simmer while your duck finishes cooking.
5. After the hour is up, remove the duck legs from the oven and let them rest for a couple of minutes. Remove the skin and keep the crispy bits – they are great scattered on top of the dish – then shred the meat with two forks and add it to the saucepan, stirring it into the sauce. Keep it over a low heat.
6. Put a large pan of salted water on to boil. Once boiling, add the pappardelle and cook for 1 minute less than packet instructions. Scoop the pasta directly into the ragu, it’s good if a little pasta water comes with it, then toss everything together until evenly mixed. Pile into bowls and top with the grated pecorino and little pieces of crispy duck skin. YUM.

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