Spelt tagliatelle with duck & sangiovese sauce

Recipe from Nino Zoccali's cookbook Pasta Artigiana

Spelt tagliatelle with duck & sangiovese sauce


PREP TIME 30 minutes



2½ tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

1 onion, diced

1 carrot, diced

1celery stalk, diced

200 g (7 oz) pancetta, finely diced

1 garlic clove, finely chopped

fine sea salt, to taste

freshly ground black pepper, to taste

2 large duck marylands, skin removed

200 ml (7 fl oz ) Sangiovese (Chianti) red wine

250 ml (9 fl oz/1 cup) good quality tomato passata (puréed tomatoes)

300 ml (10½ fl oz) chicken broth (see below)

1 small bay leaf

1 thyme sprig

50 g (1¾ oz) dried porcini mushrooms, double-washed in hot water and strained

1 rosemary sprig

600 g (1 lb, 5 oz) spelt fresh egg pasta dough (see below), cut into tagliatelle

freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese, to serve


Heat half of the extra virgin olive oil in a saucepan over medium heat and add the onion, carrot, celery, pancetta and garlic. Season with the sea salt and black pepper and sauté until they are nicely browned. Be careful not to put in too much sale as the pancetta will be very salty. In a separate frying pan, heat the remaining extra virgin olive oil and brown the duck marylands. Transfer the duck to the pan with the sautéed vegetables. Raise the heat and pour in the red wine and continue to cook until the wine has completely evaporated, stirring occasionally. Add the tomato passata, chicken broth, bay leaf, thyme, porcini mushrooms and rosemary. Simmer over low heat for 2-2½ hours adding extra chicken broth or water, if required, until the meat is falling off the bones. Take the duck from the sauce and let it cool down. Remove the meat from the bones and then return the meat to the sauce.

Cook the pasta in abundant salted boiling water. When cooked, drain the pasta and mix with the sauce and a little of the pasta water. Serve with lots of freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese.

Chicken broth

(Makes approximately 2.5 litres (87 fl oz/10 cups)

1-1.2 kg (2lb, 4 oz - 2lb,10 oz) free-range chicken or boiling hen

1 kg (2lb 4 oz) fresh chicken bones, thoroughly washed

100g (3½ oz) carrot, roughly chopped

100g (3½ oz) celery stalks, roughly chopped

100g (3½ oz) leek, roughly chopped

100g (3½ oz) onion, roughly chopped

100g (3½ oz) Parmigiano Reggiano cheese rind

3 flat-leaf (Italian) parsley sprigs

4 litres (140 fl oz/16 cups) water

fine sea salt, to taste


Place all the ingredients in a large saucepan and bring to the boil. Lower the heat and simmer without a lid for 2½--3 hours. Skim away the excess fat and other particles that come to the surface of the liquid throughout the cooking process. Remove the chicken, shred the meat from the bones (discard the skin and bones), strain the liquid through a fine strainer and refrigerate. If there is excess fat, it will solidify at the top of the refrigerated broth. Remove this with a spoon before using the broth. The cooked chicken can be used in other recipes. Chicken broth can be made in advance and frozen in an airtight container for up to 2 months.

Spelt fresh egg pasta dough

(Makes approximately 600 g (1 lb, 5 oz)

330 g (11½ oz) spelt flour, plus extra, for kneading

70 g (2½ oz) fine semolina

½ teaspoon fine sea salt

4 x 59g (2¼ oz) free range or organic eggs


Combine the spelt flour, semolina and sea salt and place on a work surface or large wooden board. The flour should form a peaked mound. With your hand, make a hole in the top of the mound so that it resembles a volcano. This hole needs to be big enough to be able to 'house' the eggs. Break the eggs into the hole. With your hand or with a fork, gently beat the eggs, then slowly incorporate the flour into the egg mixture. I do this by moving my hand in a circular motion, slowly incorporating the flour from the inside wall of the mound. Don't worry if the dough looks like a mess. This is normal. Once fully combined, knead a little more flour into the dough if it feels a little wet and sticky. Set the dough aside and clean the work space. Dust some fresh flour onto the work surface and continue kneading the dough for another 5 minutes. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and set aside in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes. Next, roll the pasta to the desired thickness and cut into the desired shape. Tagliatelle is 6 mm (⅜ inch) wide.