The bright and vibrant pasta sauce is the perfect partner to the fuller flavour of duck in this duck ragu recipe. Merlot is classically paired with this Italian dish, however, any strong red will work perfectly. Leftover roast duck will work just as well as duck legs.

Season the duck legs and lightly rub with olive oil. Place on a baking tray and cook at 180˚C/gas mark 4 for 40 minutes.The idea is to have moist slow cooked duck and if the meat is not quite yet tender return to the oven for a further 10 minutes. Remove the legs from the oven and leave to rest for a few minutes
Pick and cut the meat from the bone using two forks. Set the meat to one side and lightly season - reserve the fat and skin
Place a wide pan over a low heat. Add a little of the reserved duck fat and then sweat the onion, garlic and celery. Then, add the tomato purée and cook for 2 minutes
What 'to sweat' means
To sweat is to cook something - usually vegetables - gently on a low-medium heat until tender but not coloured, while stirring frequently
Add the oregano, thyme and wine and turn up the heat. Reduce the sauce by half and then add the tomatoes and duck meat. Turn down the heat and leave to simmer for 15 minutes
Meanwhile, in a large pot, cook the pasta in salted boiling water until al-dente. Then, toss the hot pasta with the ragu
To serve, divide the duck ragu into 2 serving bowls and top with grated parmesan, chopped parsley and the reserved duck skin. Serve immediately
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Wine Matching

Find out why we suggest matching this Duck ragu recipe with a medium and round red wine, a rosé wine, or a light-bodied red wine


duck legs

Ragu sauce

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Matthew Tomkinson shares a duck ragu recipe, simple to prepare and divine to taste

Duck ragu recipe Tweaks

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My butcher only had duck breast, so I ended up using this shredder in place of the legs. I also ended up using about 2/3 of a bottle of wine. After the ragu was in the pot, i added some paprika and some gravy granules for a little extra thickness. it really brought out the flavour. apart from my changes though, i followed the recipe pretty close. we ended up getting 3 servings out of ours.
18 March 2013
I also used duck breast as I couldn't get duck legs. I cooked the breast very rare before adding to the sauce to prevent it from overcooking and being tough. This worked perfectly and made a lovely dish. Having said that, the recipe works best with shredded duck leg.
13 September 2014