Venetian Duck Ragu


  • 1 tbls Olive Oil
  • 4 Duck Legs
  • 2 finely chopped Onions
  • 2 cloves minced Garlic
  • 2 tsp ground Cinnamon
  • 2 tsp Plain Flour
  • 250ml Red Wine
  • 800g Chopped Tomatoes
  • 1 Chicken Stock Cube
  • 3 sprigs Rosemary
  • 2 Bay Leaves
  • 1 tsp Sugar
  • 2 tbs Milk
  • 600g Paccheri Pasta
  • Grated Parmesan Cheese


Heat the oil in a large pan. Add the duck legs and brown on all sides for about 10 mins. Remove to a plate and set aside. Add the onions to the pan and cook for 5 mins until softened. Add the garlic and cook for a further 1 min, then stir in the cinnamon and flour and cook for a further min. Return the duck to the pan, add the wine, tomatoes, stock, herbs, sugar and seasoning. Bring to a simmer, then lower the heat, cover with a lid and cook for 2 hrs, stirring every now and then.

Carefully lift the duck legs out of the sauce and place on a plate – they will be very tender so try not to lose any of the meat. Pull off and discard the fat, then shred the meat with 2 forks and discard the bones. Add the meat back to the sauce with the milk and simmer, uncovered, for a further 10-15 mins while you cook the pasta.

Cook the pasta following pack instructions, then drain, reserving a cup of the pasta water, and add the pasta to the ragu. Stir to coat all the pasta in the sauce and cook for 1 min more, adding a splash of cooking liquid if it looks dry. Serve with grated Parmesan, if you like.