Fans reacted with something that smelled like skepticism when Gwyneth Paltrow released her cookbook, My Father's Daughter, last week. But reviews have been overwhelmingly positive, and as it turns out, this lady can really cook!
Gwyneth's fabulous Pappardelle With Duck Ragu is a savory pasta dish in a simple tomato sauce that requires minimal cooking skills. The rumor is that Jamie Oliver taught her how to make it initially, and then she added her own signature twists.
- 1 organic large duck, washed and dried
- 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- Black pepper
- 4 slices duck bacon, finely diced
- 1 medium yellow onion, peeled and finely diced
- 2 medium carrots, peeled and finely diced
- 2 medium stalks celery, finely diced
- 5 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
- 2 sprigs fresh rosemary, stems discarded and leaves finely minced
- 3 (14-ounce) cans whole peeled tomatoes with their juice
- 1 cup Italian red wine
- 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 1 pound pappardelle (fresh or dried)
- Bread crumbs or freshly grated Parmesan cheese, for serving
Rub duck with 1 tablespoon of olive oil and sprinkle liberally with salt and pepper, inside and out. Roast for two hours at 350, flipping it from its back to its breast (and vice versa) every 30 minutes. Let it cool in the pan until you can handle it. Drain off the fat.
While the duck is roasting, heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat and add the duck bacon. Cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, or until it start to crisp. Add the onion, carrots, celery, garlic, and rosemary, turn the heat down to low, and cook, stirring occasionally, for 15 minutes, or until softened. Add the tomatoes and their juice and put 1/2 cup water into one can, swish it around to get all the tomato stuck to the sides, pour into the next can, and repeat again with the third. Add the tomato water to the Dutch oven along with the wine, a good grind of pepper, and a healthy pinch of salt. Bring to a boil and then turn the heat down very low and let simmer for 1 hour and 15 minutes.
After the duck has cooled down a bit, remove and discard the skin and bones and shred the meat. Fold the duck meat into the ragu along with the tomato paste and cook on very low heat, uncovered, for at least 1 hour and up to 4, adding splashes of water if necessary to keep it from drying out (continue to season with salt and pepper as you splash).
To serve, cook the pasta, divide it among bowls, and spoon a generous amount of duck ragu over the pasta. Top with the bread crumbs or Parmesan.
Image via Maggie Hoffman/Flickr