I love to cook, though I often find myself in the slump of cooking the same things over and over again for the family.
I fall victim to that slump whilst making my own lunches as well - I went one month straight making the same smoothie, now I am 2 weeks into having a spinach/avocado/lemon juice salad.
This past Sunday I was dying to do something a little more elaborate, so I turned to my old friend, Jamie Oliver.
I am firmly in the Jamie Camp, and he has yet to steer me wrong.
And I had duck on my mind...
Jamie is nothing if not exuberant; not only were we having a slow-cooked duck pasta, it was going to be gorgeous!
First you must roast the duck...
And whilst the duck is roasting, you are making a ragu of pancetta, carrots, celery, onions, herbs:
Then comes the tomatoes and wine:
Cook your rigatoni, shred the meat from the roasted duck, and toss it all together and bring it to the table:
|Do you see the sun? It was a miracle!|
Then sprinkle on a little Parmesan cheese and voila!
My mouth is actually watering this morning thinking about this dish and I am pleased to say that it makes at least 6-8 servings, as we are having this for dinner again tonight.
For those interested, here's the recipe:
Recipe for Gorgeous slow-cooked duck pasta from Cook with Jamie
1 duck (or leftover roast duck)
freshly ground pepper
1 lb pasta (rigatoni or occhi di lupo work well)
2 knobs of butter
1 large handful of freshly grated Parmesan cheese, plus extra for serving
a small bunch of flat leaf parsley, finely chopped
zest and juice of 1 orange
red wine vinegar
For the sauce:
6 slices of pancetta, finely diced
1 red onion, peeled and finely diced
2 carrots, peeled and finely diced
2 sticks of celery, trimmed and finely diced
6 springs of fresh rosemary, leaves picked and finely chopped
1 stick of cinnamon
4 cloves of garlic, peeled and finely sliced
2x14 oz cans of good quality plum tomatoes
1/2 a 750 ml bottle of fruity red wine (Valpolicella of Barbera works well)
a handful of raisins
a large handful of pinenuts
Preheat the oven 350ºF/180C
Stuff a duck with a quartered orange; rub the outside with olive oil, salt, and pepper; and roast, breast-side down in a roasting pan, for two hours, turning every 30 minutes. Let it cool, and pull off all the meat.
Pour some olive oil into a large pot. Fry the diced pancetta until golden. Add red onion, carrots, celery, rosemary, cinnamon stick, and sliced garlic cloves. Cook slowly until it all softens up (about 10 minutes). Add the plum tomatoes and red wine. Let simmer for about an hour. Shred the duck meat and add it to the sauce. Cook for another half hour, adding water or chicken stock if it becomes dry. Remove the cinnamon stick, and add a handful each pine nuts and golden raisins. Continue to simmer while the pasta cooks.
Cook the pasta in plenty of boiling, salted water. Drain (preserving some of the cooking water).
Toss the pasta into the sauce. Remove from the heat and stir in a knob of butter, a handful of grated Parmesan, the zest and juice of 1 orange, chopped parsley, and a splash of red wine vinegar.
Loosen the sauce with the reserved cooking water if necessary. Check seasonings. Served with parmesan.
I continue to work away at the spring cleaning and it is going quite well.
On Saturday afternoon I spent an hour cleaning out and organizing my buffet:
My "extra" plates, neatly stacked. These are neither my china nor my everyday dishes. I admit to being a sucker for pretty dishes, especially pretty dishes with birds on them...
Platters and salad bowl waiting for future dinner parties:
And a freshly polished buffet:
I also washed three glass vases of seashells - they get so dusty and I can only be bothered to do them every few months or so.
There is something very soothing to me about a jar of shells - these were collected by me a few summers ago at the beach:
I wish you could have all come to dinner on Sunday night - it was divine! We had a nice bottle of Valpolicella to wash it all down and I would have gladly poured you a glass!
Have you been cooking anything special lately? Do tell!
Have a wonderful Tuesday - I am off to get a haircut - I may take a few inches off this time!
Stay safe out there!