Duck Ragu

Duck Ragu with Parpadelle

Duck ragu is a classic Venetian dish that’s bursting with flavour. The duck is cooked low and slow in a rich tomato and red wine based sauce, before being shredded and added to long ribbons of fresh parpadelle pasta. This dish is one of our favourites and we hope it will be one of yours too.

You should be able to get duck legs from all good butchers and some larger supermarkets. Duck legs are often vaccum packed, so we recommend taking them out of the fridge and the packaging at least 15 minutes before cooking.

To make this dish, you need to put in the work upfront in the pan to brown the duck, reduce the wine and bring together bring some of the other ingredients. Then it’s over to the slow cooker to work it’s magic.

After a low and slow cook, you’ll be able to shred the duck meat before stirring everything into freshly cooked parpadelle. Of course, remember to top with plenty of parmesan cheese and sprinkle on some chopped parsley.

We’ve broken this recipe down into 10 steps – with 10 pictures to follow along.

Duck Ragu

Slow Cooker Duck Ragu with Parpadelle

Shredded, slow cooked duck with fresh pasta
Print Recipe
5 from 3 votes
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 8 hours
Course Main Course
Cuisine Italian
Servings 4
Calories 562 kcal


  • Slow Cooker
  • Frying Pan


  • 4 Duck legs or breasts
  • 2 tbsp Olive oil
  • 3 cloves Garlic Minced
  • 1 Large onion diced
  • 2 sticks Celery diced
  • 2 Carrots diced
  • 1 tsp Ground cinnamon
  • 3 tbsp tomato puree
  • 400 g Tinned chopped tomatoes
  • 200 ml Chicken stock
  • 187 ml Red wine 187ml = UK miniature bottle
  • 2 Bay leaves

For later

  • Parpadelle Or other fresh pasta of your choice
  • Parmesan
  • Fresh parsley


  • In a large hot pan with a little oil, brown the duck legs on all sides for a few minutes. Do this in batches if needed and then set aside.
  • In the same pan on a medium heat, soften finely diced onion, celery and carrot for 5 minutes.
  • Add minced garlic and ground cinnamon and stir well. 
  • Add tomato purée, stir well and cook for a further few minutes.
  • Add the red wine and simmer until the liquid reduces by half.
  • Add chopped tomatoes and chicken stock and simmer for a further 5-10 minutes. You want the ragu sauce to have a thick consistency at this stage, but don’t want to cook out the liquid entirely.
  • Place the browned duck legs in the slow cooker.
  • Cover with the ragu sauce and add bay leaves. Cook for 6-8 hours on low (recommended) or 3-4 on high.
  • After cooking, discard the bay leaves. Carefully remove the duck legs and shred. Add the shredded duck back to the ragu sauce and stir well. 
  • Combine with parpadelle pasta and top with plenty of parmesan and fresh chopped parsley.


Nutrition calculations only account for the ingredients stated in the slow cooker recipe. Serving suggestions such as rice and potatoes are not included. Remember to account for the nutritional values of anything you choose to accompany the recipe with. 


Calories: 562kcalCarbohydrates: 19gProtein: 50gFat: 28gSaturated Fat: 6gPolyunsaturated Fat: 4gMonounsaturated Fat: 15gCholesterol: 198mgSodium: 437mgPotassium: 659mgFiber: 4gSugar: 9gVitamin A: 5469IUVitamin C: 18mgCalcium: 93mgIron: 6mg
Keyword 8 hour
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