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Lemon Tagliarini With Duck Ragu

The.Meal.Reel's picture
The lemon pasta really complements the savory ragu well here. In Florence we used both fine semolina and "00" flour for the pasta dough (50/50) and just yolks instead of the whole egg. I've streamlined my fresh pasta video to make it a little easier for the home cook. Check it may help you with the fresh pasta part of this recipe. In addition, don't cook this ragu to death. Just make sure you give it enough time for the heat to break down the duck so it's nice and tender and the sauce it to the right consistency.
  All purpose flour 2 1⁄2 Cup (40 tbs)
  Eggs 3 Large
  Extra virgin olive oil 1 Teaspoon
  Kosher salt 1 Pinch
  Lemon zest 4 Teaspoon
  Water 1
  Duck legs with thighs skinless 4
  Yellow onions 2 Medium, finley diced
  Carrot 1 Large, peeled
  Celery stalks 4 , finely diced
  Bay leaf 1
  Dry red wine 2 Cup (32 tbs)
  Vegetable stock 2 Cup (32 tbs)
  Whole peeled tomatoes 16 Ounce
  Salt To Taste
  Pepper To Taste

Let's start with the pasta dough. Mound the flour on a flat work surface. Form a well in the center and place the eggs and lemon zest inside. Make sure the well is big enough to hold all the eggs as you don't want them to flow over the sides and all over your work surface. Next, take your middle and index fingers, stick them in the eggs and swirl them around in a circular motion while slowly incorporating the flour. Keep doing this until you have most of the flour and eggs mixed together, then begin kneading the dough until it is smooth, pliable and just barley sticky. Add a little water during the start of the kneading process if the dough seems too dry. This step should take about 10 minutes. Now, wrap the dough in plastic film or cover it with a bowl and let it rest for 30 minutes.

While the dough is resting begin to work on the ragu. Rinse off the duck legs, off any fat and dust them with flower. Heat about 1/4 cup of extra virgin olive oil in a stock pot (any pot 4 quarts or larger will do) until just about smoking. Add the duck legs and cook until they are well browned all over. Now, add the celery, carrot and onions and saute on medium heat until the vegetables are soft. Next add the wine, bring to a simmer and reduce the liquid by half. Add the tomatoes, bay leaf and stock and bring back to a simmer. Reduce the heat. cover the pot and continue cooking the ragu for about 45 minutes. At this point the duck legs should be cooked through and very tender. Remove them from the pot and pull off all the meat (do this when they are cool). Chop the meat up and return it to the pot. Discard the bones. Continue cooking the ragu uncovered and over a slow simmer until the sauce is nice and thick. Season the ragu with salt and pepper to taste and reserve.

The next step is to roll out the pasta dough. The easiest way to complete this task is by using a pasta rolling machine (about $50 bucks online or at your local kitchen supply shop). Set the machine up, then grab your pasta dough. Unwrap it and cut the dough into 4 pieces. Working with one piece at a time, flatten it with the palm of your hand and roll it through the widest setting of the machine. Dust the dough with some flour if it sticks. Continue rolling the dough each time adjusting the machine to a thinner setting. I've found that #7 on most machines gives the dough it's proper thickness for pasta. Your pasta dough should be as wide as the machine is. Cut your long pasta sheet into 10 inch lengths. Dust them with flour, then roll each one up like a jelly roll. With a sharp knife cut strands 1/4 inch thick into perfect tagliarini pasta. Unroll the cut dough and place on a floured sheet pan until all the pasta is cut. You can also purchase an attachment to your pasta machine that will cut perfect strands as well, but by hand is more rustic and a little less expensive.

Once the tagliarini has been prepared, bring 5 to 6 quarts of salted water to a boil. Add the pasta and cook for around 2-3 minutes. Fresh pasta cooks very fast. Drain the pasta and toss with the ragu. Neatly plate and serve with a little grated Pecorino Toscana and a drizzle of fine Tuscan olive oil.

Recipe Summary

Difficulty Level: 
Main Dish
Slow Cooked
Gourmet, Party
Preparation Time: 
60 Minutes
Cook Time: 
90 Minutes
Ready In: 
150 Minutes
This is a dish I learned to prepare while studying in Italy. We used the whole duck including the liver, kidneys and heart. I don't now that I'm home (my wife wouldn't appreciate it), but give it a go if you feel so inclined.

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1 Comment

shantihhh's picture
I love duck ragu and usually serve it with home made parpadelle. Some times I add some porcinis. Another favourite is rabbit ragu. Both great with polenta-oh yummy good for cold winntery weather. Where's that bottle of Amarone-perfect with these. We're making pasta tomorrow with our "kids". Maybe a duck ragu would be the perfect sauce-I know I have several ducks out in the freezer someplace. (Wood ducks and Mallards) Shanti/Mary-Anne