This recipe is to be done in stages (a weekend, on holiday, early minutes from work). One day you braise some duck. Next day you make pasta. It is easy if you take your time. And it is OH so worth it. The recipe also works with osso bucco in exactly the same way.
Day 1- Braise the duck.
6 duck legs
3 T olive oil
sea salt and black pepper
2 onions, chopped
1 carrot, chopped
2 celery stems, chopped
1 leek, chopped
3 cloves garlic, chopped
1/2 T tomato paste
500ml chicken stock
1 bay leaf, dried
1 stem oregano, fresh or dried
2 stalks parsley, fresh
In a large, heavy based pot render the duck legs using a little of the oil to get them going. Season the meat side before you turn them over then, once brown, remove from pot and tip out the duck fat. Add the rest of the oil then the vegetables and garlic and cook 5 minutes, stirring, over a medium heat, until softened and slightly coloured. Add tomato paste and stir for another minute. Return the duck to the pot and fill with stock and cold water until the water covers the duck by a few centimeters, add the herbs. Simmer 2 hours, topping up with water if necessary.
Dinner Day 1- Braised duck legs with mashed potato and broad beans
Make some buttery mashed potato, cook some broad beans in dill and olive oil and serve with the braised duck legs and some of the stock from cooking the duck (reduced a little). You can serve the duck with whatever you like- polenta, braised cabbage and smoked bacon, steamed spring vegetables etc, whatever is in season and takes your fancy. Just don’t eat all the duck. Yet.
Refrigerate the remaining duck in the stock.
Day 2 or 3-make (and eat) the tortellini
You should have 4 or at least 3 duck legs left with most of the stock they were cooked in. Degrease the stock, strain the stock and reserve 2 tblsp. of the vegetables from the cooking.
for the pasta
5 eggs, 60g
500g ‘OO’ pasta flour
for the filling
15- 20g porcini
1 T butter
1 shallot, finely chopped
parmigiano reggiano or grana, finely grated to make 1/4 cup plus extra to serve
salt and pepper
1 tsp. truffle paste (optional)
1 small egg, beaten
2 T parsley and young celery leaves, chopped
1 t butter
Soak the porcini in warm water.
Make the pasta, knead for 10 minutes, wrap in cling film and rest for 30 minutes in a cool place or in the fridge.
Take the meat off the duck legs and remove the skin. Chop finely with a knife to a course paste consistency. Put in a bowl with the reserved vegetables.
Take the porcini out of the soaking water, squeeze and chop finely, reserve the porcini water.
Heat the butter in a pan and fry the shallot gently until softened, add the porcini and continue to fry a few minutes, stirring, add to meat. Stir in the parmesan and truffle paste, if using, season the mixture with salt and pepper. Add enough egg to wet and bind. Mix well.
Roll the pasta through a machine to a setting for tortellini, I use number 7 on my machine. Cut the pasta into rounds with a pastry or biscuit cutter, fill with a teaspoon of duck mixture and make into tortellinis.
Continue to roll, cut, fill and shape until all pasta or filling is gone. Set the tortellini aside on grease proof paper as you make them.
Boil the broth and check the seasoning, add as much porcini water as you like. Simmer the tortellini in the broth until done, about 5 minutes. Add the parsley and celery and swirl in the teaspoon of butter to enrich the broth or sauce which will have thickened from the flour on the pasta. Serve with the extra reggiano or grana.
There should be enough tortellini for 2 meals for 2 people, so freeze half. This means you get Bonus day!
Bonus day: Duck and porcini tortellini with sage butter
Boil water and cook the tortellini from frozen being careful not to have the water boiling too rapidly or they will split. In a pan melt butter and as it changes colour to brown throw in about 10 whole sage leaves. Serve immediately with parmesan or peccorino