Duck confit, one of the greatest French classics out there. Pairing this rich filling with the sweet sauce, this tortellini is enough to impress anyone. Recipe below...
300g Tipo 00 flour
1 tsp Salt
7 Egg yolks
900g duck legs
4 tbsp flakey sea salt
1 tbsp peppercorns
2 dried bay leaves
2 garlic cloves (peeled)
1 sprig of thyme (woody stalks removed)
700ml duck fat or vegetable oil (enough to cover meat)
Sprig of thyme (no need to remove stalks)
3 dried bay leaves
1 tbsp peppercorns
4 garlic cloves (peeled)
Confit duck meat
Bunch of parsley (stalks removed and finely chopped)
Sauce (enough for extra helpings):
1/2 a butternut squash (peeled and diced)
4 shallots (diced)
75g unsalted butter
700ml chicken or vegetable stock
Salt and pepper
2 tbsp double cream
Day 1 (evening before):
1. Begin by curing the duck legs (important). Prick a few holes in each of the duck legs - skin side only (don’t go to deep as you do not want to pierce the meat, only the skin and fat). Crush the salt, peppercorns, bay leaves, garlic cloves and thyme in a pestle and mortar. Rub this mixture onto the legs, then cover and leave in a fridge overnight.
2. Mix together all of the pasta dough ingredients and knead for 10 minuets until smooth. Wrap in clingfilm and leave to rest in the fridge overnight. This step can be done the day of cooking - make sure to rest for at least 2 hours if so.
1. Remove the duck legs from the fridge and wash off the salt. Pat dry and place in a pan. Cover with the duck fat (or vegetable oil). Add in the whole sprig of thyme, peppercorns, garlic cloves and bay leaves. Cover the pan and place into an oven of 140°C. Here you do not need to worry about preheating the oven as this will make sure that the oil comes up to temperature slowly (keeping the duck juicy). Cook for 3 hours or until falling off the bone.
2. Whilst the duck is in the oven, prepare the sauce. Lightly brown the butter in a pan. Add the shallots and cook until translucent. Add the butternut squash, cook for a few more minutes, then add in the chicken stock. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Cook on a medium heat until the squash is soft.
3. Remove the sauce from the heat and add in the cream. Blitz with a hand blender until smooth. At this point if you want the sauce thicker, reduce on the heat further. If you would like it thinner, add some stock.
4. One the duck legs are cooked, remove from the oil. Take off the skin and crisp this up for the topping. Remove the meat from the bones (should just fall off) and pull apart (to how big you want the duck inside the tortellini). Have a taste of the duck by itself before adding into the filling - this is heavenly!
5. In a separate bowl add the ricotta, a few gratings of nutmeg, parsley and a generous grating of parmesan. Add in the duck meat and mix. Season with black pepper and more parmesan if you would like it saltier.
6. Remove pasta dough from fridge and bring back to room temperature before rolling out.
7. Roll the dough out to 1/8 inch thick (normally lowest setting on a pasta maker).
8. Using a cutter, cut circles in the dough (roughly 9cm diameter).
9. Get a teaspoon of the filling, roll into a ball then place in centre of circle.
10. At this point you are looking to fold it into tortellini (there will be plenty of videos online to help show how to do this). Simply get some water on your finger and rub it around the perimeter of the circle of dough. Don’t use too much water - need just enough to help seal sides. Fold in half into a semi circle and join edges. Make a small dent in the centre of the filling. Fold the corners together and join.
11. Place all shaped tortellini onto a tray lined with plenty of semolina so it doesn’t stick. Cover with a tea towel until you cook them.
12. To cook the tortellini, generously salt some boiling water. Lower the pasta into the pan and cook for 5-7 minutes. Strain and serve.
13. To serve, place the sauce on a plate, followed by the pasta and then any toppings you would like (parmesan, parsley, olive oil and crispy duck skin). Alternatively, put the sauce into a pan and add the tortellini. Add some pasta water and toss until nicely coated.