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05 November 2015- BY Damian Clisby

Being game season, this is a wonderful dish to have on our menu. You could substitute the wild duck using partridge, pheasant or venison haunch should you wish.  The recipe involves preparing the pasta fresh though if your restricted by time or experience in making fresh pasta, there are a couple of alternative options.  My favorite Italian deli in Compton Street, London called Camisa sells the most fantastic dry pappardelle. Although if you ask I'm sure they will make you some fresh as well.  There is also Lina Stores on Brewer Street, failing that most supermarkets stock De Cecco pasta, which I find is the best larger brand. I suppose however the best option is to come to one of our pasta workshops starting soon here at the nurseries!

Pappardelle is traditionally from Tuscany, and wild duck ragu you will find on many menus in the Veneto region, but even with the difference in region they go hand in hand together. Give it a try, and tweet us your pictures if you can!

For the Pasta

470g "00" pasta flour
6 egg yolks
3 eggs
1 tsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Pinch of salt

Whisk the yolks, whole eggs and olive oil together. Put the flour and salt into a mixer (we use a Kitchenaid) on a low speed and begin to add the egg mixture.  The dough will start to form into a ball in the middle. Beat the mixture for around 7 minutes and then remove, wrap in plastic and rest in the fridge for 1 hour.

After it has rested, divide the pasta dough into quarters. Now, using a pasta machine or rolling pin, roll your dough on a floured surface which has been dusted with the semolina flour, until it is 2mm thick.  Using a sharp knife, shape the dough into a rectangle 30cm/15cm. Lightly flour the dough and fold the two shorter ends together. Now you can cut your pappardelle, each strip should be roughly 1cm across and 30cm long. Rest your pappardelle on a semolina-lined tray in the fridge.

For the Ragu

8 Wild duck legs diced
1 small celeriac finely diced
1 stick of celery finely diced
1 carrot finely diced
1 shallot finely diced
1 clove of garlic chopped
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 bay leaf
1 tsp fresh thyme leaves
1 1/2 Litre of good brown meat stock or chicken stock
1 glass of Zisola wine
Salt & Pepper

Ask your butcher for 8 wild duck legs, removed form the bond and diced.

Lightly flour and season the meat. Using a heavy bottomed pan heat the olive oil and lightly brown the meat. Remove from the pan, set aside. Add the vegetables to the pan with the bay leaf and thyme; cook until soft but with no color, approx 10 minutes. Add the glass of Zisola wine, reduce by 1/2 then add the duck and stock back into the pan.

Gently simmer for approx. one hour or until the meat is soft and the sauce is thick and glossy. If the meat needs cooking longer add a little water and continue. Adjust the seasoning if necessary.

Cook the pasta in rapidly boiling and generously salted water, it will not take long if you’re using fresh pasta, perhaps just 2-3 minutes. To serve, toll the pasta through the ragu.


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