I’m not the most adventurous in the kitchen. Preferring to rely on tried-and-true recipes to, you know, get the hell out of the kitchen, I seldom venture out of my comfort zone. And while, in theory, I love trying new cuisines and foods, I just don’t want to be the one to make them.
Thank goodness for my husband.
Ever-ready to don an apron and whip out a cookbook, he has been instrumental in expanding our entire family’s palette. From chicken chow mein to kalbi (Korean BBQ short ribs) to chicken adobo, he’s cooked it, and we’ve enjoyed it. But the thing that makes him a great home cook is that he’s fearless; as long as he has a recipe, a grocery list and a sous chef who can provide a little counselling from time to time (that’s my role), he’s good to go.
So when he said he wanted to make Mario Batali’s Pappardelle with Duck Ragu, I scoffed. I mean, who makes these things? Duck ragu – seriously? That’s the kind of meal you order at a restaurant, not try to recreate at home.
Except, he showed me the recipe and insisted that aside from the homemade pappardelle, which we opted to swap with a quality store made, the rest of it was actually a cinch. And, with duck meat readily available at most supermarkets, it was actually (to quote him) “no big deal”.
(In fact, we used duck breast instead of two legs, because that’s what we found at our local Loblaws.)
So, my husband made us Spinach Pappardelle with Duck Ragu. Melt-in-the-mouth duck meat, a rich, earthy flavoured sauce, and spindly pappardelle just waiting to be gobbled up. He followed Mario’s sauce recipe to a tee with one exception: instead of adding shredded duck meat back into the sauce, he diced the cooked breast finely to make it kid-friendly and give it a less rustic appearance.
Happy Friday All! Whats for dinner?