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Duck meatballs with lasagnette

Australian Gourmet Traveller Italian main course recipe for duck meatballs with lasagnette

By Emma Knowles
  • Serves 4
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Duck meatballs with lasagnette


  • 1 duck (about 2.2kg)
  • 200 ml red wine
  • 2 fresh bay leaves
  • 80 ml extra-virgin olive oil (1/3 cup)
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 1 carrot, peeled and finely chopped
  • 2 stalks celery, finely chopped
  • 70 gm fresh breadcrumbs (1 cup)
  • 1 egg
  • ½ tsp ground cinnamon
  • 100 ml pouring cream
  • 400 gm dried lasagnette (see note)
  • 1 tbsp finely chopped French tarragon
  • To serve: shaved parmesan


  • 1
    Using a sharp knife remove skin from duck and discard, then remove fat and flesh from bones and reserve all.
  • 2
    Preheat oven to 250C. Coarsely chop duck carcass and place bones in a roasting pan. Roast for 20 minutes or until browned, deglaze roasting pan with red wine then transfer duck bones and juices to a large saucepan. Add 1.5 litres water and bay leaves and simmer over medium-high heat for 40 minutes or until reduced by half. Strain stock through a fine sieve and set aside.
  • 3
    Heat 2 tbsp olive oil in a small saucepan and sauté onion over low-medium heat, stirring occasionally, for 6 minutes or until translucent. Add carrot and celery, cook for a further 3 minutes or until softened. Cool.
  • 4
    Place duck meat and fat in a food processor and pulse until finely chopped. Add breadcrumbs, egg, vegetable mix and cinnamon and pulse to combine. Season to taste, then with wetted hands form 1½ tablespoonfuls of mixture into balls. Place on a tray in a single layer, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
  • 5
    Heat remaining olive oil in a large frying pan, add meatballs and cook over medium-high heat, turning occasionally, for 6 minutes or until golden brown, add reserved stock and simmer for 10 minutes or until reduced to a sauce consistency. Meanwhile, cook pasta in a large saucepan of boiling salted water until al dente, drain and return to pan. Add cream to meatballs and bring to a simmer, then add pasta, toss to combine, sprinkle with tarragon and serve with parmesan.


Note Lasagnette is a long pasta, about 4cm wide with rippled edges. It's available from Simon Johnson and select delicatessens.

  • Author: Emma Knowles