Instant Pot Duck Ragu


2 star anise

2 cloves of garlic lightly crushed

2 stems of fresh rosemary

1 rib of celery

1 small red onion

2 tbsp. tomato puree

3 tbsp. marsala wine

salt and pepper to taste


  1. Start by slashing the skin on the duck legs several times to facilitate rendering out the fat.

  2. Using the Sauté mode on medium, cook the legs in the Instant Pot for 10 minutes, turning occasionally to brown the skin and render out as much fat as possible. (It is very worth spending the time to get as much as you can – strain it through some cheesecloth into a sterile jar and keep in the fridge for future roast potatoes.)

  3. Cancel the Sauté mode and pour off the excess fat, reserving it as above. Return the duck legs, star anise, garlic cloves and one of the stems of rosemary to the pot then just cover with cold water. Place the lid on, set to Sealing and cook on Manual for 45 minutes.

  4. Meanwhile, either throw the celery and onion into the food processor and pulse to a fine confetti (or soffritto as the Italians do) or use a very sharp knife and mince them up finely by hand. Chop the remaining rosemary to give approximately 2 teaspoons worth and set aside for now.

  5. When the alarm sounds, do a Quick Pressure Release. Drain the duck legs, keeping the garlic cloves and squeezing the soft contents of their papery skins into the soffritto and rosemary. Discard the water, herbs and spices.

  6. Meanwhile, put a large pot of water on to boil, salt it then add the fresh pasta. Reserve a cup (250ml) of the pasta water.

  7. Place the pot back on Sauté mode and add a tsp of the reserved duck fat back into it, followed by the soffritto, garlic and rosemary. Cook for 2-3 minutes until softened and fragrant, stirring occasionally. Meanwhile, remove the skin from the duck legs and flake the meat with two forks.

  8. Add the tomato purée into the pot, stir well then deglaze with the Marsala. Add the shredded duck.

  9. Use enough of the pasta water to bring all the ingredients of the ragu together into a sauce, albeit a none-too-liquid one. Season very well to taste with salt and pepper, and add in the cooked, drained pasta, stirring well to distribute the ragu over the ribbons of pasta.

  10. Serve in deep bowls with plenty of freshly grated Parmesan cheese and black pepper.

  11. Recipe credit: everynookandcranny.net