Duck can be a tricky meat to perfect, but you’ll be well rewarded by this recipe. By using a whole duck you can take advantage of a bevy of byproducts: reserve the rendered duck fat (it’ll keep in the fridge for several months) for the ultimate roast potatoes, and make a homemade stock with your duck carcass. The real treat is in the crunchy pangritata (poor man’s Parmesan), a textural dream of breadcrumbs and crispy duck skin.
Serves 4 | To prep 30 minutes | To cook 3 hours
1 x size-18 duck, head and feet removed
4 tablespoons olive oil
salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 large onion, cut into 4 thick rounds
2 red onions, diced
4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
2 stalks celery, finely sliced
2 cups red wine
2 x 400g cans chopped tomatoes
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
½ cup golden raisins
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh rosemary
2 bay leaves
400g fresh lasagne sheets
½ cup fresh breadcrumbs
1 clove garlic
1 tablespoon olive oil
Preheat your oven to 180°C.
Pat the duck dry, inside and out, with paper towels and rub all over with half the olive oil, and salt and pepper. Place the onion in a roasting pan and set the duck on top. This will keep the bird raised above the fat, which renders out while cooking, keeping the skin crispy. Cook for 2 hours or until the duck is golden-brown and cooked through. Remove from the oven and cool.
Remove the crispy duck skin and set aside. Pull the meat off the carcass and shred any larger chunks into bite-sized pieces.
Heat the remaining olive oil in a large saucepan over a medium heat and sauté the red onion, garlic and celery for 8–10 minutes until soft. Add the wine and reduce for 10 minutes. Stir in the duck meat, tomatoes, balsamic vinegar, raisins, rosemary and bay leaves. Reduce the heat and simmer for 1 hour, stirring occasionally. Remove the bay leaves and set aside.
To make the pangritata, place the reserved duck skin, breadcrumbs and garlic in a food processor and blitz until the mixture resembles fine crumbs. Heat the olive oil in a frying pan and fry for 3–5 minutes until golden and crisp.
Bring a large saucepan of salted water to the boil. Cut the pasta sheets into long strips, about 2.5cm wide. Cook for 2–3 minutes until al dente. Drain and drizzle with a splash of olive oil.
To serve, toss the cooked pasta in the ragu and top with a sprinkling of pangritata.