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Alessi cuisine



Pappardelle with the duck

Pappardelle sull'anatra all'aretina ("maccheroni co' l'ocio")

  • A)
  • one duck (about 1,8 kgs cut in pieces, not too small
  • 2 sausages of pork
  • 3 spoons of olive oil
  • B)
  • a mixture composed by the following finely chopped ingredients:
    a medium size onion
    a rib of celery
    one carrot
    one leek
    2 garlic cloves
    the skin (only the yellow part) of 1/2 orange
    the small leaves of a big branch of rosemary
    5-6 leaves of sage
    8 leaves of sweet basil
    1 leave of laurel
    1 meat stock cube
  • C)
  • one glass of white wine and the juice of an orange (the one previously peeled)
  • D)
  • a mixture composed by:
    1/2 kg of red tomatoes
    2 garlic cloves
    a pinch of oreganum
    the leaves of a small bunch of sweet marjoram
    a pinch of fennel seeds
    a pinch of salt and one of spices
Take a saucepan of appropriate size, with thick bottom and with lid, cook in the oil for 3-4 minutes, over a low-medium heat, the two sausages indicated at point A), already peeled and undone, but do not brown them. Turn very well in order to melt all the grease, but it does not have to smoke. Then add the pieces of duck and brown them softly, turning them often, but do not roast them: they have to stew in order to have the removing of the grease (very aromatic) that the duck normally has between its skin and the flesh. You will need at least 10 minutes. At this time take out the pieces of duck from the pan, drain them very well, put them in a plate, covered and warm: you will use them later on. In the aromatic kind of sauce, which has been formed in the saucepan, put now the chopped vegetables and the meat stock cube indicated at point B). Turn very well, mix all this stuff and let boil over a quiet heat, but not too slowly; cover with a lid and let this stuff stew for 30 minutes taking care that anything will attach on the bottom of the saucepan: in this case you have to turn various times and after this action you have to cover the pan once again. In fact you do not have to lose neither vapour for the right stewing of the chopped vegetables, nor the tastes of the duck grease.
When the chopped vegetables will result very well cooked (you will need about 30 minutes), and perfectly mixed in all the aromatic elements, increase the heat, remove the lid and turn wildly, scraping the bottom of the saucepan because nothing should be given to the tentacles of the fire, while it is important to catch its transcendental qualities of forger of physical status and let cook the stuff by this way for about 3-4 minutes. Then lower the heat to a minumum. Turn by caressing the bottom of the pan a little bit more in order to avoid that the burning metal would cause any damages to the stuff, then put in the pan the pieces of duck over the chopped vegetables. Turn and mix this stuff; increase the heat to start the boiling and cook for 5-6 minutes, bathe with wine and orange juice; then turn and mix once again and let evaporate for 5-6 minutes with uncovered saucepan.
In the meanwhile take a blender and put inside all the ingredients indicated at point D) and after having well mixed, add this mixture to the duck and chopped vegetables in the saucepan. Turn and mix very well, adjust the heat for a very slow boiling and cook for 20 minutes, using a lid to cover the pan and turning sometimes. At the right time taste and add, if necessary, some salt, then take out the pieces of duck with some of the sauce to prepare them with the re-made celeries, then switch off the heat and let stand for an entire night.
At the right time remove with care all the grease that, in the meanwhile, has appeared on the surface and eliminate it, then boil the pasta, drain it and put a first layer in the bowl, season the pasta with abundant sauce (that have been previously re-boiled). Then form another layer of pasta and sauce in order to fill the entire bowl; you can keep some sauce in order to season the pasta when it will be served in the plates. This pasta does not want anything else, like cheese and so on.
This is a very traditional preparation (in fact all the types of pappardelle seasoned with the sauce obtained from different types of meats, such as hare, wild boar, roe deer, duck, can be dated back to the Etruscan periods), which is normally made (but with the real gosling) for the dinner of the "battitura" threshing of the corn, like a gorgeous feast to celebrate the end of this joyful and fertile event.
We have suggested to remove the grease of the sauce after the cooking, instead of removing the grease from the duck before the cooking, because the meats take their more characteristic tastes from the grease, so that if you remove it you will remove also their aromatic features, rendering them anonymous.

A Giuseppe Alessi recipe
Translated by Gianna Toni
Picture by Kee-Ho Casati

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