Pasta with Duck Sauce [ pappardelle al ragù d’anatra ]

By Claudia Roden Claudia Roden From the book The Food Of Italy
Pasta with Duck Sauce [ pappardelle al ragù d’anatra ]

The sauce is a rich stew with an abundance of flavours. Papardelle are wide egg tagliatelle. You can use tagliatelle instead.

For how many? Serves 4


  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 carrot, chopped
  • 1 celery stick, chopped
  • 2 duck breasts (about 350g), skin removed and cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 200ml tomato passsata
  • 250ml dry red wine
  • About 400ml chicken stock
  • A small bunch of sage leaves
  • 2 sprigs of rosemary
  • 2 bay leaves
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 250g papardelle
  • Grated parmesan to serve with


Heat the oil in a saucepan, add the onion, carrot and celery and sauté, stirring from time to time for 10–15 minutes over low heat. Add the duck pieces and cook stirring and turning them over until they change colour all over.

Stir in the garlic and when the aroma rises, add the wine, the tomato passata and about 200 ml of the stock. Add the sage, rosemary and bay leaf, the salt, pepper and sugar, and simmer, covered, over low heat for about 1 hour, adding more chicken stock as the sauce reduces. Taste and adjust the seasoning.

Cook the papardelle in a pan of boiling salted water until done al dent. Drain quickly, pour into the saucepan with the sauce and mix very well over low heat. Serve with the grated parmesan.

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