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Tagliatelle al Ragù d'Anatra con Bitto DOP

Ingredients for 4 people

  • 3 pounds (about 6 pieces) of bone-in duck legs
  • Masserie Sea Salt
  • 1 pound of brown cremini (or other) mushrooms
  • 3 tablespoons Frantoia olive oil
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 2 celery sticks, minced
  • 2 carrots, minced
  • 2 tablespoons Strianese tomato paste
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • 1 Liter duck or chicken broth
  • 1 Liter Strianese crushed tomatoes or tomato puree
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 sprig fresh chopped oregano
  • 1 sprig fresh chopped sage
  • 1/4 cup chopped parsley
  • 2-3 packs of Spinosi Tagliatelle or other wide cut of pasta
  • Carozzi Bitto DOP or Carozzi Valtellina Casera & cheese shaver


  1. Lay the duck legs skin side up in a roasting pan. Sprinkle some salt over them and pop them in the oven. Turn the heat to 400°F. Don't preheat the oven, because you want the fat in the duck to slowly render out. If you are using skinless legs and wings, coat them in olive oil before you salt them. Roast until they are browned, 45 minutes to 1 hour.
  2. Chop up the mushrooms.
  3. When the duck legs have about 15 minutes to go, heat a large heavy steel pot over medium-high heat and add the olive oil. Add the minced onion, celery and carrot and brown them well. When the vegetables are slightly browned, add the tomato paste and stir it in. Cook until the tomato paste begins to turn dark red, about 5 minutes.
  4. Remove the legs and put them into a bowl. If there is a lot of fat in the pan, drain some off. Pour the white wine into the roasting pan and use a wooden spoon to scrape up the browned bits. Pour the deglaze into a heavy steel sauce pot.
  5. Mix the liquid from the roasting pan into the tomato paste-vegetable mixture and bring it to a boil. Cook it down by about half. Add the duck legs and any juices that have collected in the bowl to the sauce pot. 
  6. Pour in the duck / chicken broth, the tomato puree, add the bay leaves, oregano and sage, and mix well. 
  7. Bring to a gentle simmer and let this cook for at least 90 -120 mins. It will look like duck stew at this point, which is good. You want everything to cook down slowly.
  8. You're ready when the meat practically falls off the bones, you can check this on one of the legs when the meat looks loose. Fish out all the legs, remove the bones and discard. 
  9. Chop up the duck meat and return it to the pot. 
  10. At this point, it should look like a nice pasta sauce. If it doesn’t, check back in 10 min intervals until it has thickened. Add salt and black pepper to taste when you are ready to serve. At the last minute, stir in the parsley.
  11. Cook the Spinosi Tagliatelle according to the instructions on the package, drain but keep about 500ml of pasta water. In a separate, warmed pan, add the drained pasta and sauce till you have the desired amount. Ladle in some pasta water and stir gently to coat the pasta with the sauce, adding more if necessary.
  12. Plate and shave some Bitto DOP or Valtelina Casera DOP over the pasta dish at the table.