Thursday, May 10, 2007

Duck pasta

I've been experimenting with duck confit as part of pasta dishes. A few weeks ago, I had some leftovers: Brussels sprouts leaves, duck confit, and fresh pasta sheets. I shredded the leaves, sauteed them in duck fat with shallots and fresh sage, and added shredded confit. Cut the pasta sheets into pappardelle (wide ribbons) and cooked it, then tossed it with the duck "sauce." It was really good. But a bit heavy for spring -- though that day was one of those cold rainy days that pass for spring here in Seattle much of the time.

Took another try at it this week, as I had just confited some duck and once again had fresh pasta sheets. This time the veg on hand was asparagus, and the herbs were the blossoms of chive and sage out on my deck. I sliced the asparagus very thin on the diagonal and gave it a quick saute with the duck, added a couple of spoonfuls of duck glace (can you tell I was cooking with duck a lot last week?) and then added the pasta, this time cut into 1/2 inch ribbons. After giving that a toss, I added the whole blossoms and a little bit of minced chives. Finally, topped it with some asparagus tips and a sauteed round of goat cheese (my thinking here was that the tanginess of the goat cheese would offset the richness of the confit).

It was very pretty and very good. As I mentioned, I went through another one of my ducky stages last week. The duck who gave its legs for this confit also contributed to this seared duck breast plate, where I deglazed the pan with maple syrup and hot pepper sauce, and served it with a puree of sweet potato and a green salad with blue cheese:

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