Jo’s Pappardelle with Duck Ragu

We’re staying over with my daughter’s family tonight and since we all enjoy our food, we try to cook something a bit special. Tonight it’s this fabulous duck ragu which turned out better than expected. The extra ingredients of porcini, prosciutto and feta combined give a really tasty meal.

As we didn’t have a recipe we just improvised as we went and used what was in the fridge (even the flowers in the salad came out of the garden). Thankfully we were very happy with the result and we’ll be making this one many times.

Pappardelle with Duck Ragu

Ingredients (Serves 4)
4 duck marylands (1 kg)
2 tbsp olive oil
2 brown onions, chopped
1 small carrot, finely chopped
2 pieces of celery, chopped (each about 15cm)
150g mushrooms (we used a mixture of exotic mushrooms)
100g prosciutto, finely chopped
2 sprigs rosemary
2 tbsp thyme leaves
2 big cloves garlic, crushed
10g dried porcini mushrooms ground up (use a mortar & pestle or pop into the kitchen whiz)
375g white wine
500ml chicken stock
250g pappardelle pasta
200g feta, chopped
2 tbsp freshly grated parmesan plus extra for serving
Salt & black pepper

Preheat the oven to 180 degrees.
Heat the olive oil in an enamel casserole pan with lid.
Season the duck marylands with salt and pepper and sauté each side till brown – about 10 minutes.
Remove from the casserole pan to a plate and set aside.
Pour out all but 2 tablespoons of the oil then add the onion, carrot, celery, mushrooms, rosemary, thyme, garlic and prosciutto to the casserole pan and saute until the vegetables soften.
Add the crushed porcini and white wine and simmer for a few minutes till slightly reduced.
Add the stock, bring to the boil, add the duck marylands and pop into the oven for 1-1/2 hours, turning halfway through cooking.
Remove the duck from the casserole pan and set aside to cool.
Leave the casserole pan uncovered in the oven in order for the liquid to reduce somewhat.
When the duck is cool enough to handle, remove the skin, fat and bones.
Shred the meat and return to the casserole pan with the feta.
Keep warm while cooking the pappardelle. The feta will soften and melt into the sauce.
Heat a big saucepan of water, add the pappardelle, bring back to the boil quickly and cook till al dente.
Drain the pappardelle, stir into the duck ragu, add 2 tablespoons of grated parmesan and serve with extra parmesan and a green salad, with flowers added if you have them!

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