What is the most delicious comfort food you can make at home to fight the dropping temperature outside your cozy kitchen? This pappardelle duck ragu! With luxurious fall-apart duck legs, yummy pasta and plenty of veggies, this may be your go-to recipe all winter long. Also, this is a hearty make-ahead dish: it improves over time and lends a richness to the noodles that keep you wanting more.
Pappardelle Duck Ragu
Prep Time: 5 minutes (but you can prep all your ingredients while the duck is browning)
Cook Time: 2 hours
Total Time: 2 hours
1 ½ tsp kosher salt, divided
2 duck legs, pat dried
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 onion, chopped
1 sweet bell pepper, chopped
1 celery rib, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 bay leaves
1 tsp cracked black pepper
3 Tbsp tomato paste
½ cup red wine
1 can (796 ml/28 oz) San Marzano tomatoes or plum tomatoes, chopped
1 cup chicken broth
400 g pappardelle pasta or other pasta
1. Sprinkle duck legs all over with 1 tsp of the salt. Heat the oil in a large Dutch oven over medium-low heat and arrange the duck, skin side down. Cook and render the fat for 10 to 12 minutes so the skin browns and crisps, flip and cook until browned on the other side. Transfer to a plate and drain all but 2 Tbsp fat from the pot.
Tip: The remaining rendered duck fat should be saved and refrigerated or frozen to make the most gloriously crispy potatoes or brushed on a whole chicken for a succulent roast chicken.
2. Add the onion and cook on medium, stirring for 5 minutes. Stir in bell pepper, celery, garlic, bay leaves, remaining ½ tsp salt and pepper; cook until translucent, about 5 minutes.
3. Push vegetables to one side and stir in tomato paste, cooking for 30 seconds. Stir in the wine and cook for 1 minute to allow alcohol to evaporate. Add the tomatoes and broth. Bring the mixture up to a simmer and return the duck legs (with any juices) to the pot.
4. Cook partially uncovered over low heat, making sure the sauce is simmering until the duck meat falls off the bone, about 1 ½ hours. Skim excess fat using a spoon if desired.
Related: Quick and Easy One-Pot Recipes
5. Remove duck legs and using two forks, shred the meat off bones, discarding the skin if unwanted. Stir shredded duck into the sauce.
Tip: Make the ragu up to 4 days ahead of time, refrigerate covered and warm in a pot over medium-low heat.
6. Cook pasta according to package instructions; drain and stir into duck ragout. To serve, sprinkle pasta with Parmesan.