“Sienna told me about an amazing ragù she’d enjoyed in the Val d’Orcia region of Tuscany, and this is my take on that recipe for her. Think of it as a richer and meatier version of your average Bolognese – it’s a real treat, and when topped with amazing duck skin breadcrumbs, it really is out of this world. ”
Get the duck out of the fridge and up to room temperature before you cook it. Preheat the oven to 180ºC/350ºF/gas 4.
Rub the duck all over with olive oil, sea salt and black pepper. Put into a snug-fitting roasting tray and roast for 2 hours, or until golden and cooked through, then remove the duck to a board and set the tray aside for later.
Peel the onions, garlic and celery, then finely chop and place in a large, wide pan on a medium-low heat with 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Cook for 10 to 15 minutes, or until softened and lightly golden, stirring occasionally.
Meanwhile, remove the duck skin and keep to one side (wear clean rubber gloves!), then shred the meat off the bones. Pour most of the Chianti into the pan and let it reduce for 10 to 15 minutes, then stir in the shredded duck meat.
Stir the remaining splash of wine into the roasting tray and scrape all the lovely, crispy bits from the bottom, then pour into the pan. Scrunch in the tomatoes through your clean hands, then add 2 tins’ worth of water.
Stir in the raisins, strip in the rosemary leaves and add the bay leaves, then simmer for 1 hour 30 minutes, or until thickened and reduced – if you’ve got any Parmesan rind, throw that in too for an added flavour dimension (just remember to take it out before serving!).
Meanwhile, peel the garlic and place in a food processor with the reserved duck skin. Tear in the bread, strip in the thyme leaves, then blitz until fine. Tip into a frying pan on a medium heat with ½ a tablespoon of olive oil and fry for 3 to 5 minutes, or until golden and crisp, stirring regularly. Decant into a small bowl.
Make the Royal pasta dough. Once it’s relaxed for 30 minutes, roll out on a clean flour-dusted surface into a rectangle roughly ½cm thick.
Using a sharp knife, cut it into long ½cm strips, then with lightly oiled fingers gently roll each strip into a long thin sausage shape, starting at the middle and carefully rolling outwards, placing them on a semolina-dusted tray as you go.
When the ragù has around 10 minutes to go, cook the pici in a large pan of boiling salted water for 6 to 10 minutes, or until al dente. Drain, reserving a cupful of cooking water.
Toss the pici with the ragù, adding a splash of extra virgin olive oil and a little reserved cooking water to loosen, if needed. Divide between bowls, then grate over some Parmesan, sprinkle over the pangrattato, and serve.