Venetian Duck Ragu

I always thought a meal like this would be off the cards when trying to eat healthily, but if this recipe proves anything its that, with an element of portion control you really can eat whatever you fancy!

I used paccheri pasta (found it in Morrison’s) but it would be equally as nice with a nice chunky pasta like pappardelle. The sauce may take a little while to simmer but don’t let that put you off, it only takes about fifteen minutes to get going and then you can basically leave it to simmer while you potter around. If you knew you had to leave the house you could even pop it in a low oven or in the slow cooker! The sauce is so rich and luxurious and it feels like a real treat of a meal!



Serves 4 = 12sp each

240g dried pasta of your choice but paccheri and pappardelle are good options to soak up all the lovely sauce
1 tsp olive oil
2 x Duck Legs (around 450g, gives you around 250g of meat, I got my duck legs in Morrison’s)
1 large onion, finely chopped
2 x garlic cloves, finely chopped
Small box of button mushrooms, quartered
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp plain flour
125ml red wine
1 x 400g tin of chopped tomatoes
150ml of chicken stock (made of ½ a chicken stock cube)
Dash of tabasco
2 sprigs of rosemary, picked and finely chopped
1 tsp crushed chillies
2 bay leaves
1 tsp sugar
2 tbsp single cream
30g fresh parmesan, grated

Heat the olive oil in a large heavy based pan then add the duck legs and brown on both sides for around 10 minutes. Once nice and brown, remove the duck from the pan, pop on to a plate and put to one side.

In the same pan, pop in the onions and fry for 5 minutes until softened. Add a little water if the onions start to stick to the pan. Then add the garlic and the mushrooms and cook for a further two minutes. Next stir in the cinnamon and flour and cook for another minute, then pop the duck back into the pan and add the wine, tomatoes, stock, tabasco, herbs, chillies, sugar and seasoning. Bring everything to a simmer, then lower the heat, cover with a lid (or tin foil) and cook in the pan on low for 2 hours, stirring every now and then. I only needed to stir it three times.

After two hours, lift the duck legs out of the sauce and place on a plate, pull off and get rid of the fat, then shred the meat with 2 forks and bin the bones. Add the meat back to the sauce with the single cream, season and simmer, uncovered, for a further 10-15 minutes while you cook the pasta.


Once the pasta is cooked, drain and add to the sauce. Add a little of the pasta water too. Stir well and cook the pasta in the sauce for a minute and then serve in four nice big bowls. Top with a little fresh parmesan.


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15 thoughts on “Venetian Duck Ragu

  1. amberboo says:

    Tried this dish last night(but with a duck crown), it was amazing. I cook a lot but have never used those combination of flavours. Will be making this again soon. Thank you!

  2. Me says:

    One of my favourites lost count of how many times I have made this, my son who is not dieting really enjoys it, thanks

  3. Judith Ray says:

    Hi Laura
    I am Margaret Craddock’s sister in law Judith and I joined WW last week and have lost 41/2 pounds. I am following some of your recipes and would like to try this one. I have a whole duck to cook and wondered if I could use cooked duck and reduce cooking time. What do you suggest? X

    • lakettle says:

      Hey Judith! Good work on losing 4 1/2 pounds so far. You could do yes, I would double check the points through the recipe builder but there shouldn’t be any harm. I would just let the sauce simmer for an hour, then add the cooked shredded duck and simmer for another half an hour. Should be just as good 🙂

  4. Nat says:

    This recipe is amazing! Both my partner and I absolutely loved it. Will definitely be making this again. Thank you!

  5. Su says:

    So tasty, left in slower cooker all day so just had to cook pasta and add cream when I got home from work. Love ❤️ your recipes

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