Duck Tail Pasta with Creamy Mushroom Ragu

2014 Recipe Contest Grand Prize Winner, Suzanne Clark, Phoenix, AZ
Rich and creamy mushroom sauce paired with pasta 'duck tails' stuffed with Duck Confit and Manchego cheese creates the perfect bite.


Prep Time {1 hr 40 min}

Cook Time {45 min}

Serving Size {6 servings}


Duck Tail Pasta
1 package Maple Leaf Farms Duck Leg Confit (two legs)
4 Tbsp. Maple Leaf Farms Rendered Duck Fat
1/4 cup Finely Diced Shallots
1/3 cup Bread Crumbs
2 Egg Yolks
1 cup Grated Manchego Cheese
36 Wonton Wrappers or Premade Pasta Sheets cut into 3-inch squares

Creamy Mushroom Ragu
2 cups Low Sodium Chicken Broth
1 oz. Dried Porcini Mushrooms
6 Tbsp. Maple Leaf Farms Rendered Duck Fat, divided
12 Fresh Sage Leaves, + 3 Tbsp. Diced Sage
8 slices Maple Leaf Farms Duck Bacon, cut into thin strips and diced
1 Diced Shallots
1 cup Diced Onion
4 cups Sliced Baby Bella Mushrooms
1 tsp. Salt
1/2 tsp. Fresh Ground Pepper
1-1/2 cups Marsala Wine
1-1/2 cups Heavy Cream
1/3 cup Diced Roma Tomatoes
1/2 cup Shredded Manchego Cheese


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1. Remove thawed duck leg confit from package. Remove all meat from the duck legs and finely dice.

2. In a medium sauce pan over medium-high heat, add duck fat and shallots. Cook for about 3-4 minutes or until tender. Remove from heat and cool slightly.

3. Stir in duck meat, bread crumbs, egg yolks and cheese. Stir until mixture starts to form a ball and sticks together.

4. Place about a 1/2- to 3/4-inch ball of filling in the center of pasta. Wet edges of pasta with water, fold edges together on the diagonal to form a triangle. Press edges together, making sure to seal well. Position the folded section on the bottom, and the sealed edges on the top portion of the triangle on your work surface. Fold in bottom corners toward the middle and seal with water to form a duck tail. Place duck tails on a wire rack until ready to cook.

5. In a medium bowl, add chicken broth and dried mushrooms. Let mushrooms soak until softened, about 20 minutes. Strain mushrooms, reserving broth for sauce. Dice mushrooms and reserve until needed.

6. In a large deep skillet, over medium-high heat, add 4 tablespoons of duck fat and the whole sage leaves. Cook until sage begins to brown, about 2-3 minutes. Remove leaves from pan and place on paper towel to drain, reserving until needed.

7. Add bacon to pan and cook for 3-4 minutes until bacon begins to brown. Add shallots and onions and cook until softened, about 3-4 more minutes.

8. Add remaining duck fat, diced porcinis, bellas, salt and pepper to the pan. Cook until mushrooms begin to brown and most of the liquid has evaporated, about 5-7 minutes.

9. To deglaze, add reserved chicken broth and Marsala wine to pan, scraping all the brown bits that have formed on the bottom. Simmer until 1/2 cup of liquid remains in the pan, about 10 minutes.

10. Stir in cream and diced sage and cook until sauce thickens, about 3-4 minutes, remove from heat. Check for seasoning, add additional salt, if needed.

11. In a deep skillet add 3-4 inches of salted water, bring to a low boil. Add duck tails and cook for about 4-5 minutes or until the desired doneness is achieved, cooking in batches, if needed. Cooking in a skillet using this method will help keep duck tails intact while boiling. Strain off water.

12. To serve, ladle creamy mushroom ragu into the bottom of six pasta bowls. Add six duck tails to each bowl. Garnish with fried sage, diced tomatoes and sprinkle with Manchego cream.

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