Yield: Yields about 1 quart ragu
Servings: 4 to 6
In northern Italy, ragùs tend to be less about tomatoes and more about the meat and aromatic herbs that flavor them. Venetian ragù, for example, is made from the meat of the wild ducks and is perfumed with native bay leaf and fresh sage. Some versions of this ragù use duck stock and the liver and giblets, while others (like the recipe below) get deep flavor from duck legs and thighs and dry red wine. Venetian duck ragù is typically served with fat, tubular buckwheat noodles called bigoli, but it’s also delicious with whole-wheat fettuccine, spaghetti, or pappardelle, as shown here.
Make Ahead Tips
The ragù can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 3 days or frozen for up to 3 months. Reheat gently before tossing with pasta.
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Wonderful recipe with lots of great flavors! At the end, since my family doesn't like chunks of tomatoes in the sauce, I used an immersion blender just before adding the duck back in--think it made a great improvement!
My son made this pasta for us (he's 22 and not a chef). We followed the recipe with a few exceptions. First, we had an abundance of wild duck breasts which we substituted for the legs and thighs. We first let them soak overnight in 2% milk (I think any kind of milk would be sufficient...just what we had on hand). The next morning, we made a simple brine of kosher salt and sugar,...about a quart of water and 1/4 cup salt and 1/8 cup sugar. We then washed the duck and then put them in the brine for the entire day. He prepared the recipe as written. My son used diced tomatoes and I think for me, I would use crushed in the future. No matter. This was one of the best Italian recipes we've ever made. Splendid and easily in the top 5 of our keeper Italian recipes. The next day, I brought the sauce to work and shared with 8 coworkers. 5 wanted the recipe!
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