January can be a difficult month, but it doesn't have to be too gloomy. Take the opportunity to spend some quality time at home, recharge and cook some delicious, comforting, meals.

SERVES: 6

COOKING TIME: 2hrs 30mins

INGREDIENTS:

- 1 tablespoon of olive oil

- 4 duck legs

- 3 large shallots, finely chopped

- 2 cloves of garlic, peeled and crushed

- 2 teaspoons of plain flour

- 2 teaspoons of ground cinnamon

- 250ml full bodied red wine

- 2 x 400g cans of chopped tomatoes

- 250ml chicken stock

- 3 sprigs of rosemary, leaves chopped

- 2 bay leaves

- 1 teaspoon sugar

- 2 tablespoons of whole milk

- 600g paccheri pasta

- Salt & Pepper, to season

TO SERVE:

Grated parmesan

Small bunch of parsley, chopped


METHOD:

1 - First, heat the oil in a large non-stick sauté pan over a medium heat and brown the duck legs for 5 minutes on each side. Then remove the duck legs with a slotted spoon and set them aside on a plate.

2 - Lower the heat and add the chopped shallots to the pan. Fry gently for 5-8 minutes until soft and translucent. Then add the garlic and fry for a further minute before stirring in the flour and cinnamon.

3 - Add the red wine, tomatoes, stock, rosemary, bay and sugar to the pan and stir. Bring to a simmer and season to taste. Return the duck to the pan and cover with a lid. Cook on a low heat for 2 hours, stirring every so often.

4 - After a couple of hours, lift the duck legs carefully from the pan onto a plate. Allow to cool slightly and remove the skin. Then, using two forks, shred the meat from the bones.

5 - Put the shredded duck back into the pan and add the milk, then stir and simmer uncovered for 15 minutes while the pasta is cooking.

6 - Cook the pasta according to instructions on the packet and drain, reserving a little of the cooking water.

7 - Check the seasoning of the duck ragu before adding the pasta to the pan. Stir to coat the pasta with the ragu, adding a little pasta water if it seems too dry. Heat through for one minute and serve immediately with grated parmesan and chopped parsley, to garnish.

Slow Cooked Duck Ragu