Homemade Strazopretti, Duck, Star-Anis Ragù

This dish might require some time but that definitely pays off! Letting the ragu simmer for up to 4 hours will give you an unbelievable texture and so many layers of flavour. Because I had some pasta dough left, I also made some Fettuccine, that work perfectly with the sauce as well!

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Ingredients:

For 4

Pasta dough:

  • 300gr 00-Flour
  • 3 Eggs
  • 10ml Olive oil
  • Salt

Sauce:

  • 2 Duck breasts (skin and fat on)
  • 1 stick Celery
  • 2 large Carrots
  • 2 white Onions
  • 2 cloves Garlic
  • 1 Tbsp Tomato paste
  • 200ml Red wine
  • 700ml Chicken stock
  • 3 Star anis
  • 1 tsp Cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp Nutmeg
  • 1 Bay leaf
  • 30gr Sugar
  • 1 Bay leaf
  • Parsley
  • Parmesan

Method:

  1. For the pasta dough, place the flour in a large bowl and form a well in the middle of the flour. Mix the eggs with salt and the olive oil, pour into the well and start to incorporate the flour slowly using a fork.
  2. When the dough has started get together and it starts to have a crumbly texture, press the dough together using your hands and put the dough onto a floured wok surface and knead by handd until the dough has combined and is a homogenous “lump”. This can alo be done in a Kitchen Aid, using the dough hook attachement.
    I personally prefer using my hands as it gives me a better feel for the dough.
  3. When the dough has reached a nice consistency, wrap it in cling film and let it rest in the fridge for 1 hour.
  4. Seperate the skin and fat from the duck, score the skin and place in a cold pot that you want to make the sauce in later. Let the pan heat up slowly to release the fat from the skin and achieve the maximum flavour. When the the skin has released its fat, remove from the pan and discard the fat. Cut up the Onions, Carrots, Garlic and celery in very small pieces and sweat woth some salt and a closed lid by medium heat in the pot with the duck fat.
  5. Add the tomato paste and set the temperture to high. Mix and cook until every piece is covered in tomato paste and the tomato paste gives off a warming and delicious smell.
    Add the duck breasts to the mix, add the spices and half the stock and let it simmer for 1 hour at medium – high heat, after that time add the rest of the stock and turn down the heat of the pot onto medium. Let it continue to simmer for another 3 hours.
  6. Take the pasta dough out of the fridge and, using a pasta machine, roll the dough out to a thin shee. Every machine is different but on mine the thickness for Strazopretti is 5 out of 8, and the thickness of Fettuccine is 6 out of 8.
    Cut the sheets into strips of 1cm x 4cm, to form strazopretti. Take the strips between two hands and roll both hands in the opposite way to create a rolled look.IMG_8181
  7. For the Fettuccine cut the sheets into long strips of 2 cm width. (Approx. 15 – 20 cm length). IMG_8182
  8. After the 4 hours, remove the duck breasts and let them cool down so you can shred them by hand. When cooled, shred into pieces and set aside for later.
    Take the bay leaf and the cloves out of the ragu and puree with an immersion blender, not until completely smooth, but until the texture of the sauce is thicker then it was before. Keep the sauce warm and season.
    The sauce should have some the acidity from the tomato, sweetness from the carrot and onion, saltiness from the stock and celery, bitterness from the red wine and the duck fat gives it a silkiness in the mouth.
    All in all this is meant to create the Umami flavour evey chef is after, the one that maked you crave more and more of it.
  9. Place a big pot of salted water on high heat and bring to a rolling boil.
    Put olive oil into a pan and add the duck meat to reheat. Place the pasta in the boiling water and cook until al dente.
    After the duck has heated up, add some of the sauce and stir in the pasta until everything is coated. Add some pasta water if necessary to dilute the sauce.
  10. After combining, mix in some olive oil as it gives a shine to the sauce that can’t be recreated otherwise.
    Classically the dish would be plated with basil as it is the italian tradition, but the dish combines a lot of warm flavours that are better balanced out with parsley, so plate with chopped parsley and freshly grated parmesan.
    The Fettuccine look best when swirled with a carving fork and placed in the middle of the bowl.DSC_0310

I hope you can enjoy the dish, as it gave me a lot of happiness when I ate it the first time!

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