Primo piatto: Tagliolini al ragù di Anatra – Homemade tagliolini with white duck ragù

This was probably the most exciting course for me because…*drumroll*…we got to make FRESH PASTA! The tagliolini is just a slimmer version of a fettucini and according to Chef Andrea is the perfect heft to hold the ragù. A white ragù is just like a normal ragù without the tomatoes, and this specific one could be made with beef just as well as duck, but if you can get duck – it is delizioso! Make sure you get the meat from the whole duck, not just the breast, because it would be too dry.

This was the course that covered us in an inch of flour. If I get to make fresh pasta and bake every day of my life, I can deal with living in a coat of flour.

Read on for the recipe and photos…

Ingredients for the ragù (for 4 people)

1 lb ground and minced duck

1 stalk celery (keep the inner core with its eaves – they’re full of magnesium)

1 medium onion

1 carrot

Extra Virgin Olive Oil (yep, you guessed it, highest quality)

Dry white wine (Frascati or Chardonnay)

A few leaves of sage

1 bay leaf

1 small branch rosemary

Juniper berries (I have to say, I liked the flavor they gave the sauce, but I didn’t like biting into them. If you can, remove them after the sauce is done cooking.)

Zest of half a lemon

Salt to taste

Directions for the ragù

  • Mince the onion, carrot, and celery to form what’s called a “soffritto” (I think this may be rather like a mirepoix…).
  • Heat the olive oil in a large frying pan and add the soffritto. Cook until it begins to brown.

  • Turn down the heat to low-medium and toss in the minced duck. Stir very quickly to break up the meat to allow it to brown evenly.
  • As soon as you notice that the ingredients are beginning to get dry, add some white wine and cook until it evaporates.

  • Add all the fresh herbs.
  • Stir occasionally. The sauce should be fully cooked in about 15 minutes.
  • As a final touch, add the lemon zest and season with some salt.


Ingredients for the pasta (for 4 people)

4 cups (400 grams) SIFTED all-purpose flour

4 eggs

pinch of salt

Directions for pasta

  • Put the flour on a marble board and form a bowl in the center. Push off some of the flour to the side (you will not need all 4 cups in all likelihood).

  • In the bowl crack in 4 eggs.

  • Whip them so that bubbles form.
  • Start to add flour from the sides as you continue whipping until the dough becomes more solid.

  • Fold the dough into itself quickly.

  • Begin to knead. Add flour if the dough becomes sticky.

  • Now it’s time to roll the dough! If you’re doing it by hand, flour your marble surface and rolling pin and roll the dough out to an almost transparent sheet. Cut the pasta as thinly as you can by hand.
  • If you’re using a pasta roller. Pat out a chunk of dough into a rectangle and put it through the roller on 7. Do this a few time until the dough feels silky.

  • Fold the dough into threes into a smaller rectangle and put through the roller on 3.

  • Do not fold the dough again and put the pasta through the roller on 1, cutting it into the three rectangles (otherwise it will be waaay too long to work with).

  • Flour the dough on each side.

  • Put it through the fettucini cutting implement.

  • Put the cut pasta on a clean surface and throw on some semolina flour (or cornmeal). This will keep the pasta from sticking to itself and will prevent you from having to hang it (!!).

  • Boil a large pot of water.
  • Toss in a teaspoon or two with pasta.
  • Stir to keep the pasta from sticking.
  • Cooking for 2 to 3 minutes. (Yep, that’s it!)

  • Take the herbs out of the sauce. Put the pasta in the same pan and saute for a few tosses.

  • Plate and top with grated parmesan cheese…



Chef Andrea recommends a Cesanese di Olevano Romano – it’s a pure Cesanese (the typical red grapes from Lazio Region) aged in small barrels from the Winery Azienda Agricola Proietti ed. 2007. This time, that IS the wine pictured!

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  1. […] so Chef Andrea included this variation. Go ahead and use the same recipe for the pasta as the Duck Ragù entry and follow the recipe for the sauce! Maybe don’t pair it with the Eggplant parmesan because […]

  2. […] Primo piatto: Tagliolini al ragù di Anatra – Homemade tagliolini with white duck ragù September 20101 comment […]



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