Gnocchi Duck Ragu

By Olimpia Bortolotto

Gnocchi Duck Ragu

Gnocchi Duck Ragu. Nothing says winter like a slow-cooked duck ragu, mopped up with fluffy clouds of homemade gnocchi.

Serves 12

Duck ragu

1 kg duck legs*

250 grams Spanish onion, chopped

1 bay leaf

100 ml red wine

30 grams tomato paste

500 ml duck stock

¼ bunch sage, chopped

250 grams Roma tomatoes, diced

¼ bunch parsley, chopped butter


500g King Edward potatoes, skin on, uncooked

125g ’00’ flour

1 egg

1 egg yolk

1 tbsp olive oil

1 tbsp salt

50g grated parmesan



Debone the duck legs and dice into bite-sized pieces. In a large pot, fry off all the duck pieces until golden brown and set aside.

In the same pot, sweat off the onion, add the bay leaf, then sauté for 2 minutes. Add the red wine and reduce the liquid by half.

Add the tomato paste, duck stock and sage and bring to the boil. Add the fried duck pieces. Add the tomato, return to the boil and simmer for 30 minutes, or until tender. Check the seasoning.

When serving, finish with a knob of butter and chopped parsley.

To make gnocchi:

Bring lightly salted water to a gentle simmer, then add potatoes and cook. Once well cooked, remove potatoes from heat and drain. Remove the skin from the potatoes and pass through a potato mouli while still hot. Spread potato out on a wooden chopping board, cover with a damp cloth and allow to cool for 7 minutes.

Place all other ingredients (no need to pre-mix) over cool potato and gently work together to form a dough. Be careful not to overwork the dough or the gnocchi will become rubbery.

Cut the dough into 10 workable pieces. Lightly flour a wooden board and roll each piece of dough into a long, thin sausage, approximately 1-1.5cm in diameter. Cut each sausage into 2cm lengths and transfer gnocchi onto lightly floured tray, ready to cook.

To cook, place gnocchi in lightly simmering (not boiling) water. Once all the gnocchi has floated to the surface, allow the gnocchi to cook for another 2 minutes before removing with a spider/clotted spoon.

When all the gnocchi are cooked, drain and toss with olive oil and set aside to use later. Keeps in the fridge for up to 4 days.

*You may substitute the duck for quail pieces if you prefer.

Recipe extract from Olimpia Bortolotto’s new cookbook, ‘La Tavola Della Famiglia’. Available online (  and at Cecconis restaurant: 61 Flinders Lane Melbourne


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