Venetian Dishes
duck, duck sauce, duck meat, meat sauce, bigoli fresh pasta, bigoli, main course, pasta dish, pasta with duck sauce

Bigoli fresh pasta with duck

  • Portions: 6
  • Time: about 4 hr.
  • Difficulty: medium-high
  • Ingredients
  • 1 whole duck, eviscerated and flamed
  • 1 celery rib
  • 1 carrot
  • 3 small golden onions
  • 3 grains of pepper
  • Fresh rosemary
  • Fresh sage
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 glass of dry white wine
  • 2/3 juniper berries
  • Fresh pasta bigoli 500 g
"Arna lessa e bigolo tondo, a Rosario contenta il mondo" 

Flora is my friend Roberta’s mother.

We often have dinner at her house when there are birthday parties to celebrate and every time we can enjoy delicious meals prepared with care: in fact we always eat very well by her, but one dish in particular I could appreciate, also considering the time that has dedicated us and the difficulty in preparation.
I'm talking about bigoli with arna, a typical Venetian pasta similar to rough spaghetti that is obtained by passing the dough into the "bigolaro" and then seasoned with a duck sauce, cooked "in tecia" and then finely chopped with a knife.

In fact, in supermarkets we can find fresh bigoli ready to cook and at the butchers there are ground duck meat to speed up and make more accessible to all this delicious dish: the complete preparation is reserved for the Madonna of the Rosary celebration, celebrated on October 7 of each year.
This day was established under the name of "Madonna della Vittoria" by Pope Pius V in honor of the Battle of Lepanto held on October 7, 1571, in which the fleet of the Holy League (formed by Spain, the Republic of Venice and the Church State) was defeated that of the Ottoman Empire.
The successor Pope, Gregory XIII, transformed it into the feast of the "Madonna del Rosario", to thank the Virgin Mary for the protection she had provided in the battle following their invocations and recitals of the Holy Rosary.

This recipe I leave you is the Flora’s recipe, the true and traditional made in Venetian families: I thank her for giving it to me and now I give it to you so you can try it. The result is a full-bodied and substantial white meat sauce, but neither heavy nor fat: the bigolo is the perfect pasta because with its rough surface can accommodate and embrace every nuance of the flavors of this sauce but if you don’t find them, you can try fresh egg pasta.
Get the onions ready: one of them cut in half, another roughly chopped and the other chopped as finely as possible.

Separate the wings and the neck from the body of the duck and place these parts in a large pot with the celery rib, the clean carrot, the first onion cut in half and the peppercorns. Fill with water (2 liters, 2 liters and a half) and let it cook on low heat for a couple of hours, so as to obtain a tasty broth.

Once ready, filter through removing the vegetables and meat and keep aside.

Inside the body of the duck insert 1 sprig of sage, 1 of rosemary and the onion cut into large pieces: place it now in a heavy pan on the bottom of which you will have poured a generous layer of oil and half of the chopped onion.
Heat (do not fry) then golden brown the duck on all sides keeping a medium-low heat: wet with white wine, add in the pan some other sage and rosemary and cook with the lid, often wetting the duck with the sauce that will form in the pan.
It will take about 1 hour, but you can check the cooking time as if it were a chicken, checking when the meat will detach from the bone.

Once cooked and a bit cold, remove the skin and the contents, shred it with your hands and then cut all the meat with a knife, finely chopping (also mince a couple of sage leaves together).

Prepare another pan pouring a generous round of oil, the rest of the chopped onion and heat until it becomes translucent then add the finely chopped meat and juniper berries (which you will then eliminate) cooking for a further 30 minutes.

Now the sauce is ready: heat the broth and use it to cook the bigoli, they will be very tasty. Season generously with duck sauce and, if you like, some parmesan, also if it is not usual to do it here.