Roast Duck Ragù
Recipe Type: Main
Prep Time: 
Cook Time: 
Total Time: 
Serves: 4
A rich duck pasta sauce
  • 2 duck legs
  • 3 slices of bacon, finely chopped
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 1 carrot, finely chopped
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • 200ml red wine
  • 1 x 400g tin of Italian chopped tomatoes
  • 2 teaspoons tomato paste
  • 1 bay leaf
  • Sugar or honey
  • Olive oil
  • Gremolata topping (optional):
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 tablespoon finely grated lemon rind
  • 1 finely chopped garlic clove
  1. Score the skin of the duck legs with a sharp knife and rub with the skin with salt, preferably seasalt.
  2. Roast for 1 hour at 180C skin side up, turning over halfway through and basting.
  3. Meanwhile start on the sauce.
  4. Fry the bacon in a large saucepan until crisp and remove with a slotted spoon.
  5. Add a little oil and fry the carrot and onion over a medium-low heat for 8-10 minutes until softened.
  6. Add the garlic for 1-2 minutes.
  7. Add the wine and cook down over a medium heat to reduce until thick and about a quarter of the volume.
  8. Add the tomatoes, tomato paste and bay leaves.
  9. Season with salt, pepper and a little sugar or honey.
  10. Bring to the boil and reduce to a simmer on a very low heat.
  11. After 1 hour roasting, heat the oven to 210C for 10 minutes and turn the duck back to skin side up to crisp.
  12. When the duck has cooled enough to handle remove the skin and shred the meat by hand.
  13. Add the meat to the sauce.
  14. I added a small amount of chopped duck skin to the sauce as well, but this is optional, you can just eat it or use it for something else.
  15. Cook the sauce for at least one hour, and up to four.
  16. Add water or a little white wine when the sauce starts to dry (I added about 1 glass of wine and 200ml of water over 3 hours, but use your judgment).
  17. Mix the parsley, lemon rind and garlic to make the gremolata.
  18. Serve with a thick ribbon pasta like fettucine, tagliatelle or pappardelle.
Recipe by Honest Cooking at