Duck ragu with pappardelle & swede served in a bowl

Duck ragu with pappardelle & swede

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(17 ratings)

Prep: 30 mins Cook: 1 hr, 20 mins


Serves 4

Substituting half your pasta for swede ribbons and the breast of the duck rather than the leg makes this a leaner, but equally delicious, ragu

Nutrition and extra info

  • Freezable
  • Healthy

Nutrition: Per serving

  • kcal471
  • fat11g
  • saturates2g
  • carbs49g
  • sugars21g
  • fibre9g
  • protein32g
  • salt0.5g
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    For the ragu

    • 2 tbsp olive oil
      olive oil

      Olive oil

      ol-iv oyl

      Probably the most widely-used oil in cooking, olive oil is pressed from fresh olives. It's…

    • 2 duck breasts, skin removed
    • 1 onion, finely chopped



      Onions are endlessly versatile and an essential ingredient in countless recipes. Native to Asia…

    • 1 tsp fennel seeds
      Fennel seeds

      Fennel seeds

      feh-nell seeds

      A dried seed that comes from the fennel herb, fennel seeds look like cumin seeds, only greener,…

    • 2 garlic cloves
    • 1 bay leaf
    • ½ small pack parsley, leaves picked and stalks finely chopped



      One of the most ubiquitous herbs in British cookery, parsley is also popular in European and…

    • 8 thyme sprigs, leaves picked
    • 150ml red wine
    • 1 tbsp tomato purée
    • 400g can plum tomatoes
    • 200ml stock
    • 1 tsp red wine vinegar
    • 1 tbsp raisins
    • toasted pine nuts and parmesan, to serve

    For the pasta

    • fresh pappardelle (see our recipe)
    • 750g swede (1 large or 2 small) peeled, then cut into thick ribbons using a vegetable peeler
      Two slices of swede



      A member of the cabbage family, the swede is often confused with the turnip, though they look…


    1. Heat 1 tbsp of the olive oil in a large deep frying pan over a high heat and fry the duck breasts for 2 mins on either side until well browned, then set aside. Tip the fat from the frying pan into a dish (keep it for later use if you like), and turn the heat on the pan down to medium, then add the rest of the olive oil. Tip the onion and fennel seeds into the pan, add a large pinch of salt and cook for 5 mins until the onion is starting to soften. Crush in the garlic cloves, then add the bay leaf, parsley stalks and thyme leaves. Stir well and cook for 2 mins more.

    2. Turn the heat up, then pour in the red wine and cook for 2 mins until it has reduced a little. Spoon in the tomato purée and tip in the can of tomatoes along with the stock, stir and bring to the boil, then turn the heat down to low and return the duck breasts to the pan, cover and simmer very gently for 40-45 mins or until the meat is tender.

    3. Remove the duck breasts with a slotted spoon, put in a bowl, turn the heat up and reduce the tomato sauce for 10 mins until thick enough to coat your pasta. Use two forks to shred the duck, then tip the meat back into the sauce. Add the red wine vinegar and raisins, then season to taste. Set aside.

    4. When ready to serve, cook your pasta. Heat a large pan of well salted water, add the pappardelle and cook following pack instructions. For the final minute of cooking time, drop in the swede. Drain, reserving a ladleful of the pasta water to add to the sauce. Toss the pasta and swede through the sauce. Divide between bowls and top with the toasted pine nuts, parmesan and a scattering of parsley.

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    Comments, questions and tips

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    Molly Nerison's picture
    Molly Nerison
    5th Jun, 2020
    Love! I made an account just to post how much I enjoyed this ragu recipe! I've made this twice now and will make again. I thought the time to prepare the rutabaga wasn't really worth the effort, so I'll just use straight pasta from now on.
    14th Sep, 2019
    Fantastic! So much to love about this recipe. Swede ribbons mixed with pappardelle = a great combination of textures and tastes. The ragu is rich and sumptuous like a proper ragu should be. Easy to make more weight loss friendly: I used spray oil, replaced the red wine with stock made with a red wine stock pot, and didn’t bother with the pine nuts. A slightly elaborate recipe but well worth the effort.
    19th Mar, 2018
    Really tasty - and easy - although I found I needed to add a little sugar as it tasted a little bitter. Pine nuts made it extra special
    Guinevere Peach
    17th Mar, 2018
    'Tip the fat from the pan into a saucepan, and turn the heat down to medium, then add the rest of the olive oil. Tip the onion and fennel seeds into the saucepan' This is confusing, you use pan and saucepan in no.1 and then refer to the 'pan' for the rest of the recipe. Later you say 'return the duck breasts to the pan' which to me suggests putting them back in the frying pan.
    7th Feb, 2018
    It does not say how much fresh pappardelle to use?
    goodfoodteam's picture
    12th Feb, 2018
    Thanks for your question. There's a recipe here to make your own which will make enough for 4 people. Alternatively if you're buying it, we would suggest around 75g - 100g per person on depending on appetite.
    Be the first to suggest a tip for this recipe...Got your own twist on this recipe? Or do you have suggestions for possible swaps and additions? We’d love to hear your ideas.
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