CLASSIC pasta pappardelle with duck ragu








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Pappardelle is the sine qua non for quite a few wonderful, rich, hearty sauces. made for each other. Here is one for duck.

for the sauce:

  • four store-bought duck confit legs
  • one quarter cup olive oil
  • two cloves garlic, peeled and diced
  • one quarter cup celery, minced
  • one quarter cup minced carrots,
  • one medium onion, finely diced
  • three sprigs fresh thyme
  • twelve Nicoise olives, pitted and halved (optional)
  • one half teaspoon chopped rosemary
  • one half cup red wine
  • two cups chicken stock
  • one pound ground beef
  • salt and freshly ground pepper
  • six tablespoons butter
  • one half cup freshly grated Parmesan

Heat the duck legs in oven or microwave until warm. Remove the skin from the legs. Remove the meat from the bones and cut it into quarter inch squares.

In a heavy casserole or saute pan, add the olive oil over a medium heat. Add the garlic and saute for a minute. Add the onion, carrot and celery, a teaspoon of salt and some freshly ground pepper and saute over a medium high heat until soft and slightly browned, several minutes.

Add the olives (optional) and rosemary, and stir. Add the duck and stir gently to get it will mixed into the sauce. Add the wine and cook for a minute to get rid of the alcohol, Add the stock and simmer until the liquid is reduced somewhat -- enough to have a properly dense but not too dense sauce -- about eight minutes. Add and stir in half the butter and remove from heat.

Get five quarts of water up to a boil.  Add one tablespoon of salt. Add the pappardelle. Cook until al dente. Reserve one cup of the pasta liquid. Then drain.

Re-heat the sauce. Add the pappardelle and stir. Add the reserved pasta water as needed to get a properly fluid sauce. Add the remaining butter and stir again. Add the parmesan and taste for salt and pepper, and stir once again. Serve with a parsley garnish on pre-heated plates.



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