While I was in hospital recently, I was privileged to meet some lovely ladies who transported me to my MRI. One of them breeds ducks. I am eagerly anticipating her call when she has duck eggs for sale. I love this recipe, and couldn’t help but think of her as I prepared it this evening. I wasn’t well enough to see it through myself, but my beloved partner helped me out. I think the trick to this ragu is the long thin cut of the vegetables, which is mimicked by the duck once its pulled from the bone, and the curly fettuccine that grabs the ragu so well.
|400||gram tin||chopped tomatoes|
Finely slice the bacon. Cut the onion in half and slice thinly into half rings. Cut the celery and carrot into julienne. Place a frying pan that has a lid on the stove to medium heat. When the pan is hot, place the duck, skin side down, in the pan and cook till the fat renders and the skin crisps. Turn the duck to brown the other side. Remove duck from the pan and set aside. Add the bacon to the pan and cook till golden and crisp. Add the onion and cook till it begins to soften, then add the celery and carrot. When the vegetables soften add the bay leaf, cinnamon, star anise, wine, tomato and duck. Cover and simmer gently for 1 – 1 ½ hours. Stir occasionally and add water as required to ensure it doesn’t dry out.
Remove the duck from the pan and pull the meat from the bones with two forks. Pull the meat apart and return to the ragu. If the olives have pits in them, squash them with your kitchen knife, remove the pit and slice the flesh roughly. Add the olives to the ragu. Cook the pasta according to the packet directions, drain and divide among serving bowls. Divide the ragu and place atop the pasta. Serve with chopped parsley and grated parmesan cheese.