What is the most delicious comfort food you can make at home to fight the dropping temperature outside your cozy kitchen? This pappardelle duck ragu! With luxurious fall-apart duck legs, yummy pasta and plenty of veggies, this may be your go-to recipe all winter long. Also, this is a hearty make-ahead dish: it improves over time and lends a richness to the noodles that keep you wanting more.
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Refrigerate or freeze remaining duck fat to use on potatoes or chicken. Make the ragu up to 4 days ahead. Refrigerate and warm over medium-low heat.
Sprinkle duck legs all over with 1 tsp of the salt. Heat the oil in a large Dutch oven over medium-low heat and arrange the duck, skin side down. Cook and render the fat for about 12 minutes so the skin browns and crisps, flip and cook until browned on the other side. Transfer to a plate and drain all but 2 Tbsp fat from the pot.
Add the onion and cook on medium, stirring for 5 minutes. Stir in bell pepper, celery, garlic, bay leaves, remaining ½ tsp salt and pepper; cook until translucent, about 5 minutes.
Push vegetables to one side and stir in tomato paste, cooking for 30 seconds. Stir in the wine and cook for 1 minute to allow alcohol to evaporate. Add the tomatoes and broth. Bring the mixture up to a simmer and return the duck legs (with any juices) to the pot.
Cook partially uncovered over low heat, making sure the sauce is simmering until the duck meat falls off the bone, about 1 ½ hours. Skim excess fat using a spoon if desired.
Remove duck legs and using two forks, shred the meat off bones, discarding the skin if unwanted. Stir shredded duck into the sauce.
Cook pasta according to package instructions; drain and stir into duck ragout. To serve, sprinkle pasta with Parmesan.