Venetian duck ragu

Treat yourself to the rich and flavorful Venetian duck ragout, where every bite is a harmony of juicy duck meat and aromatic spices. Slowly cooked to perfection, this pasta sauce releases the exquisite flavor of cinnamon that adds its magic to every forkful. With its tempting aroma and unbeatable taste, this ragu goes perfectly with paccheri pasta, whose large tube shape catches every delicious drop of sauce. For a more elegant touch, try using pappardelle ribbons to allow the silky smoothness of the pasta to dance with the bold flavors of the ragu. Prepare to be transported to the canals of Venice with every heavenly bite.


  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 4 duck legs
  • 2 onions, finely chopped
  • 2 thick garlic cloves, crushed
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 2 tsp plain flour
  • 250 ml red wine
  • 2 x 400g cans of chopped tomatoes
  • 1 cube of chicken stock, made up to 250 ml
  • 3 rosemary sprigs, leaves picked and chopped
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 2 Table spoons of milk
  • 600g paccheri or pappardelle pasta
  • Parmesan, grated, for serving

Preparation steps


  1. Heat the oil in a large pan.
  2. Add the duck legs and fry on all sides for about 10 minutes.
  3. Remove the duck legs from the pan and set aside.
  4. Add the onions to the pan and cook until softened, 5 minutes.
  5. Add the garlic and cook for another minute.
  6. Stir in cinnamon and flour and cook for another minute.
  7. Put the duck legs back in the pan.
  8. Add wine, tomatoes, broth, herbs, sugar and spices.
  9. Bring to a boil.
  10. Reduce heat, cover with a lid and cook for 2 hours.
  11. Stir the mixture occasionally during cooking.
  12. Carefully remove the duck legs from the sauce and place them on a plate.
  13. Remove the fat from the duck legs.
  14. Shred the meat with two forks and remove the bones.
  15. Add the shredded meat back into the sauce.
  16. Add the milk to the sauce and simmer uncovered for another 10-15 minutes.
  17. Cook the pasta according to the package instructions.
  18. Drain the pasta, reserving a cup of the pasta water.
  19. Add the pasta to the ragu sauce.
  20. Stir to coat all the pasta with the sauce.
  21. Cook for 1 minute more, adding a splash of cooking liquid if it looks dry.
  22. Serve with grated Parmesan if desired.

Nutritional Information

505 12g 2g 62g 8g 2g 30g 0.9g

Equipment and tools

  • Large frying pan
  • dulcimer
  • Knife
  • A garlic press
  • measuring spoon
  • spatula
  • wooden spoon
  • Big pot
  • Sieve
  • Serving plate
  • grater

Allergen information

This recipe contains the following allergens:

  • Dairy products (Parmesan)

Storage and leftovers

If you have leftovers, let the ragout cool completely before transferring it to an airtight container. It will keep in the fridge for up to 3 days. To reheat, gently heat the ragout in a skillet over medium-high heat until warmed through. Serve with freshly cooked pasta and grated Parmesan.

Health Benefits of Venetian Duck Ragout

When it comes to traditional Italian cuisine, Venetian duck ragu is a rich and hearty dish that not only satisfies the palate but also offers several health benefits. The combination of healthy ingredients makes it a balanced meal that you can enjoy without feeling guilty. Let’s explore the health benefits of this delicious dish:

1. Rich in protein

The main ingredient in Venetian duck ragout is duck legs, which are an excellent source of protein. Protein is essential for the growth, repair and maintenance of tissue in our body. It also helps build and strengthen muscles, supports a healthy immune system and ensures a feeling of satiety.

2. Rich in antioxidants

The use of onions and garlic in this recipe adds a wonderful depth of flavor and also provides a range of antioxidants. Antioxidants help fight oxidative stress and inflammation in the body. Onions in particular contain quercetin, a powerful antioxidant that may have anti-cancer, anti-inflammatory and heart-protective effects.

3. Nutrient-rich tomatoes

Incorporating chopped tomatoes into the duck ragu not only improves the flavor but also provides a nutritional boost. Tomatoes are packed with essential vitamins and minerals such as vitamin C, potassium and folic acid. They are also a rich source of lycopene, a powerful antioxidant known to reduce the risk of chronic diseases, including certain types of cancer.

4. Source of healthy fats

Using olive oil in the recipe not only adds flavor but also provides healthy fats. Olive oil is known for its monounsaturated fats, which have been linked to reduced risk of heart disease and improved cholesterol levels. These healthy fats also support the absorption of fat-soluble vitamins.

5. Herbal Digestive Support

Adding herbs like rosemary and bay leaves not only add flavor but also provide potential digestive benefits. Rosemary is traditionally used to stimulate digestion and relieve stomach problems. Bay leaves, on the other hand, can help reduce flatulence and relieve digestive problems.

6. Calming and satisfying

While it’s important to focus on the nutritional aspects of a dish, it’s also worth noting that Venetian duck ragu is comforting and filling. To maintain a healthy relationship with food and overall well-being, it is important to eat meals that bring joy and satisfaction to our taste buds.

To enjoy the health benefits of Venetian duck ragu, serve it with pasta of your choice such as paccheri or pappardelle, which are a good source of carbohydrates and fiber. Top with grated Parmesan to enhance the flavor even further.

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