Recipe – Duck Ragu with tagliatelle, flatbreads and wild garlic pesto oil

This a variation of a recipe by Gwyneth Paltrow that I’ve used for years. The original recipe called for a whole roast duck but I like to use tins of duck confit that we buy when in France. Using the confit makes the dish really nice and rich and cuts out the step of having to roast a duck

Here’s what you’ll need to feed 4:

For the ragu:

  • 4 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 1 tin of duck confit (you usually get 4 pieces per tin) Discard the skin & remove the meat from the bones & shred. You can use the preserving fat for roasting potatoes!
  • 2 tins of chopped tomatoes
  • 3 medium carrots, finely diced
  • 3 medium onions, finely diced
  • 6 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 large glass of red wine
  • 5 tablespoons of tomato paste
  • 2 teaspoons of dried rosemary
  • 3 rashers of smoked bacon, chopped into small pieces
  • Salt & pepper

For the flatbreads

  • 175g self raising flour, plus a little extra for dusting
  • 175g sour cream
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 50g butter, softened
  • Handful of fresh wild garlic, very finely chopped

For the wild garlic pesto

  • A couple of large handfuls of wild garlic
  • A small handful of grated parmesan
  • Juice of a lemon
  • Tablespoon of pine nuts
  • Salt
  • Olive oil

Fresh egg tagliatelle


In a large pan, heat the olive oil over a medium heat, then add the bacon and fry until slightly browned. Once the bacon is browned, add in your diced carrot, onion, garlic, rosemary and stir to combine. Keep stirring occasionally and after about 15 minutes your ingredients will be nicely softened

Next add to the pan your chopped tomatoes and red wine, then fill the two empty tomato tins with water and add that too, along with some salt & pepper. The contents of your pan will be pretty watery at this stage

Simmer the mixture over a low heat for 2 hours, stirring occasionally. After this time, it will have reduced down quite considerably so you have a much thicker base. Now you want to add your shredded duck, tomato paste, a large cup of water & some more seasoning. Stir everything together & leave on a low heat for another 2 hours – every so often you will need to stir the ragu, and if it’s looking a little dry you can add a touch more water. Don’t forget to season and taste as you go

 Whilst the ragu is having it’s final simmer you can then make your flatbreads – combine the self raising flour, sour cream and baking powder in a bowl and mix until it starts to form one large ball. Tip the dough onto a floured surface and use your hands to knead it for a couple of minutes, just to bring everything together. Place the dough in a clean bowl, cover with a teatowel and leave until you’re ready to roll out

Make your pesto by whizzing the wild garlic, parmesan, pine nuts, lemon juice and salt in a blender, and gradually adding olive oil to loosen the mixture until it’s thin enough for drizzling

When you’re ready to make your flatbreads (do this just before your ragu is fully cooked), dust your surface with flour and grab your rolling pin. Divide the dough into 4 balls and roll each one out until they’re just under half a centimeter thick – they don’t need to be a perfect shape. Combine the softened butter with the chopped wild garlic ready to brush over your hot flatbreads at the end

Heat a frying pan until hot, then place your flatbreads into it and cook until the bread starts to puff up (you can carefully lift the edge of the bread with tongs to take a peek at how it’s cooking) Turn the bread over in the pan and brush the top liberally with the wild garlic butter you made earlier, whilst the second side cooks exactly as the first. Remove from the pan and brush the other side with the butter

Cook your pasta in a large pan of boiling water and when it’s ready, drain & serve with your ragu, flatbreads and a drizzle of pesto oil!

Categories: Recipes

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