Strozzapreti with duck and porcini sauce

Strozzapreti with duck and porcini sauce

Modern Italian Food
Earl Carter

Like most people, I like the faint gaminess of duck. Turning duck into a pasta sauce is a good way to use the bird and it makes a dish that is filling and economical. The addition of porcini mushrooms enriches the sauce, making it more silky and exotic.

You will probably need the meat from at least four duck marylands (jointed leg and thigh) for this dish. Don’t use duck breast for this sauce as it tends to dry out too much.

Reserve the duck bones to submerge into the sauce as it cooks for extra flavour.


Quantity Ingredient
4 tablespoons butter
4 tablespoons olive oil
2 small onions, peeled and chopped
1 carrot, peeled and chopped
1 stick celery, chopped
4 duck marylands, skinned, deboned and finely diced
50ml white wine
4 fresh sage leaves
100g fresh tomatoes, chopped and peeled
salt and pepper
20 pieces dried porcini mushrooms, softened in warm water
300g strozzapreti pasta
grana padano, freshly grated, to taste


  1. Heat the butter and oil in a large heavy-based pan. Sauté the onions, carrot and celery until they soften. Add the duck and fry until it browns all over. Add the wine, duck bones, sage leaves and tomatoes, season with salt and pepper, and simmer very gently for 30 minutes.
  2. Remove the porcini mushrooms from their soaking liquid, squeeze thoroughly and chop finely. Add the mushrooms to the sauce and simmer until it has reduced to a lovely thick consistency, a little like a bolognese sauce. If it dries during the simmering process, add a few tablespoons of hot stock or water. You may also add a little of the porcini soaking liquid to the sauce for extra depth of flavour. Remove the duck bones before you dress the pasta.
  3. Cook the strozzapretti in plenty of boiling salted water. When you are ready to serve, toss the strozzapretti in the sauce. Serve with Grana Padano.
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