Pappardelle with Duck Ragout

From issue #3.
Photography by Photography by Aaron McLean.
Pappardelle with Duck Ragout

If you are in a hurry, use duck breasts, as shown, for this dish. If time is not an issue, roast or braise a whole duck or some duck legs. Simply adjust the cooking time to ensure the meat is falling off the bone. Pappardelle is a wide noodle about 2.5-3cm wide and 20cm long.

Serves: 4


4 duck breasts
100g bacon, diced
1 red onion, very finely chopped
1 carrot, very finely chopped
1 celery stalk, very finely chopped
3 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
9 large sage leaves, or
2 tablespoons thyme, roughly chopped
1 teaspoon salt
125ml dry white wine
1 400g tin tomatoes, drained of juice and puréed
500ml chicken or beef stock
400-500 grams pappardelle pasta
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
freshly grated parmesan to finish


Score the skin of each duck breast in a cross hatch style. Brown the duck breasts, skin side down, in a sauté pan with a lid. Turn the duck over and brown lightly. Set aside. Leave 2-3 tablespoons of duck fat in the pan. Reserve the remaining duck fat for roasting potatoes. Add the bacon, onion, carrot, celery, garlic, sage and salt. Cook gently for 15 minutes, until soft but not browned. Pour in the wine and cook until it has evaporated. Add the duck, tomatoes and stock, cover and cook very gently for 40 minutes. Remove the duck breasts, and shred the meat. If the sauce is quite thin, reduce it, uncovered, over a high heat until it has thickened, then replace the duck.

Cook the pappardelle for 2-3 minutes in abundant boiling, salted water. Drain and toss the pasta with the butter. Spoon the sauce over the pasta. Serve with a generous grating of fresh parmesan. Serves 4