Thursday, July 24, 2008


makes 2 servings

Kosher salt
6 ounces strozzapreti or other medium-sized rolled pasta
3 thick-cut bacon slices
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 spring onion or sweet onion, trimmed and and cut into thin slices
Duck breast
Black pepper in a mill
1 cup fresh favas, blanched and peeled
2 tablespoons minced fresh Italian parsley or fresh basil

Fill a medium saucepan two-thirds full with water, add a tablespoon of kosher salt and bring to a boil over high heat. When the water boils, add the pasta and stir until the water returns to a boil. Cook according to pasta directions until the pasta is al dente, about 20 to 24 minutes for most brands. Drain the pasta but do not rinse it.

Meanwhile, cook the bacon in a medium saute pan until it is crisp. Transfer the bacon to absorbent paper and pour off all but 3 tablespoons of the bacon fat.

Return the pan to the heat, add the olive oil and saute the onion until it is limp and fragrant, about 10 to 12 minutes. Season with salt and remove from the heat.

Score the duck skin, making slashes about every inch, cutting almost but not entirely through the skin. Season it all over with salt and pepper. Heat a scored cast iron pan over high heat and when it is very hot, add the duck, skin side down. Cook until the skin is crisp and has given up much of its fat. Turn and cook the duck skin-side up until it is just rare, 2 to 3 minutes. It will still be soft when pressed with your finger.

Set the cooked duck on a work surface and let rest 3 or 4 minutes.

Put the pasta into a warm serving bowl and toss with the onions and all the pan juices. Add the favas and toss again.

Cut the duck into thin slices and add to the pasta. Quickly crumble the bacon, scatter on top, add the parsley and basil and toss very gently. Serve immediately.

Variations: You can omit the bacon and saute the onions in olive oil. Add 2 ounces crumbled blue cheese to the pasta with the cooked onions.

Instead of using duck, you can use beef; I particularly like this dish with hanger steak. If you don't have fresh favas use fresh peas, blanched until just barely tender.

courtesy of: Michele Anna Jordan, the Press Democrat, 427 Mendocino Avenue, PO Box 569, Santa Rosa, California 95402, June 20, 2007

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