Tuesday 29 December
Back to the duck. Our inspiration for this bout of leftovers was pappardelle alla lepre, with duck standing in for hare.
We spent the day picking over the duck carcass, setting aside all the little bits of meat and skin, and making duck broth out of all the bones, simmered on the back of the stove with celery tops, parsley, a few sage leaves, the butt of a red onion, and the required odd number of black peppercorns, for about three hours.
While Holt whipped up a batch of fresh pasta, Barbara took half of the nice fatty pieces of duck skin and sautéed them in a pan to render some fat out. In it, she sautéed a soffrito of minced vegetables: a small onion, a half a stick of celery, a small carrot, and a pinch of salt. When they were getting tender, she stirred in a clove of minced garlic and some fresh chopped garden rosemary.
Next, she added a half cup of dry red wine, a half cup of crushed tomatoes, and a ladelful of smoked duck broth from the pot on the stove, and simmered the whole thing down until it was tender, adding half the duck meat, and a driblet of broth as necessary to keep it liquid.
When it was ready, we rolled out the pasta, cut it by hand into broad pappardelle, boiled it up, and tossed it in the pan with the ragù.
Rich and flavorful, no grated cheese necessary. It's the sort of primo you might find some Sunday in an osteria somewhere between Florence and Umbria - if you're lucky.