Duck Bolognaise with Gluten Free Pasta

Hearty and rich duck bolognaise served with soft fresh gluten free pasta, all tummy friendly!



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About this Recipe

By: Amanda Higgins

Duck Bolognaise just sounds exotic and complicated, but it really is very simple. Duck has a very rich flavour all on its own so very little is needed to make this dish special.

The complicated part is the gluten free pasta. Once you get the hang of it and with the help of a trusty pasta machine, you will wonder why you ever buy pasta. It is also such fun to get the whole family involved. Elbows and arms are needed for the pasta making.



230g gluten free flour (in South Africa I use a mix which does not contain soy flour from Health Connection Foods containing rice flour, potato flour, tapioca flour, chickpea flour and a little xanthan gum; in the UK use Doves farm)

15ml olive oil

3 medium eggs

2 egg yolks

grated nutmeg

a pinch of salt


4 duck legs/thigh portions

Enough melted duck fat to cover the duck legs. This can be bought, but you will find you can re-use the duck fat from this recipe if you strain it and store in a glass container. Don’t throw away duck fat, it is a wonderful useful fat to keep and last for ages in the fridge.

6 garlic cloves whole with skin removed

4 sprigs of rosemary

1 finely sliced onion

Balsamic vinegar to taste – start with a tablespoon and adjust once the duck is added

Black pepper and salt

A little lemon zest and fresh thyme to garnish

Parmesan cheese grated

Step by Step Instructions

Step 1

Sieve the flour, grated nutmeg and the salt into a bowl. Mix the whole eggs with the egg yolks and the oil. Combine the two in a bowl and mix into a dough. If too dry you can wet your hands with water and continue mixing; the water on your hands adds moisture to the dough. Knead this on a surface for 2 minutes or so. Wrap in cling film and allow it too rest for about 20 minutes.

Step 2

It will then be ready to cut or pass through a pasta machine. Gluten free dough can be fiddly to get through a machine. I find it a good idea to break off a piece and shape it into a flattish circle. Pass it through the widest setting a couple of times until it holds together and then move through the settings until you are happy with the thickness of the sheet of pasta before putting it through the fettucini cutter. At this point I can almost hear most of you saying “I’m going to buy a bag of ready made fettucini pasta!” This homemade version is so much nicer, so persevere. Remember for those of you who are not gluten sensitive make your pasta with normal flour.

Step 3

Toss the pasta in some extra GF flour and store on a tray covered with a tea towel too prevent it from drying out and sticking together. This quantity should make enough pasta for 4 people. It can also be frozen in a bag for about 3 months and cooked from frozen.

Step 4

Heat the oven to 150ºC. Cover the duck portions in the melted duck fat with the garlic and rosemary sprigs. Make sure they are covered fully in the fat so the dish shouldn’t be too shallow and should be able to go in the oven. This is a slow bake so best not rush as these babies need 4 hours to cook slowly. You really don’t want a deep fry in the oven. The meat should fall off the bone. Duck meat cooked this way is beautiful and moist. Once cooked remove from the oven and allow the duck fat to drain from the duck by placing them on a wire rack. Keep about 120ml of the duck fat to use in the dish and allow the rest of the fat too cool and strain it into a glass container for future use.

Step 5

Sweat the onion in a little duck fat and mix with the vinegar and black pepper. Shred the duck meat off the bones and add to the pan. The duck mix can be a little dry so add a little duck fat. Adjust the seasoning by adding a splash more vinegar, salt and pepper. Cook your pasta in salted boiling water – it won’t take long as it is so fresh. Toss the duck bolognaise through the pasta. Garnish with a little parmesan, lemon zest and thyme. Too make it truly low carb you could skip the pasta and serve it with zucchini noodles or pumpkin noodles made with a spirilizer.

A delicious rich dish any night of the week!


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