This gorgeous dish is pronounced: Tagliatelle alla barbabietola con ragu’ d’anatra in Italian. 


  • Fresh Pasta

  • 250 g (8 oz) ‘00’ flour

  • 2 free range eggs

  • 1 free range egg yolk

  • 30 g (1 oz) beetroot juice

  • 3 tablespoons beetroot puree

  • pinch of salt

  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

  • Duck Ragu

  • 4 duck legs

  • 60 ml (2 fl oz) extra virgin olive oil

  • 60 g (2 oz) pecorino romano

  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed

  • ½ carrot, diced (1 cm/½ in)

  • ½ onion, diced (1 cm/½ in)

  • ½ celery stick, diced (1 cm/½ in)

  • 6 black peppercorns

  • 4 juniper berries

  • 2 bay leaves

  • 120 ml (4 fl oz) red wine

  • 400 g (14 oz) tin Italian whole

  • peeled tomatoes (or fresh

  • tomatoes)

  • salt and pepper


  • 1.

    To make beetroot puree, heat oven 180°C (350°F). Peel, dice and roast beetroot in oven until soft. Allow to cool and puree.

  • 2.

    To make the pasta, in a large bowl, mix together eggs, beetrootpuree, salt and olive oil. Stir well. Add flour to the mix a little at the time and kneed with your hand until a dough is formed.

  • 3.

    Kneed the dough on a flat surface for 10–15 minutes until smooth and elastic. Add extra flour if the pasta sticks to bench. Wrap in cling wrap and rest for a minimum of 2 hours in the refrigerator before using.

  • 4.

    Roll dough through the pasta machine until the second last narrow setting. Cut pasta sheets into 30 cm (12 in) lengths. Roll through the tagliatelle attachment on the pasta machine. Dust in flour. Set aside.

  • 5.

    To make the duck sauce, heat oil in a large pot. Add duck legs. Season with salt and pepper. Sear for 2–3 minutes on each side until golden.

  • 6.

    Remove legs and rest on a plate. Add garlic, carrot, onion and celery to the same pot and cook for 5 minutes. Add peppercorns, juniper berries, bay leaves and red wine. Cook until wine evaporates.

  • 7.

    Return duck legs to the pot, add tomatoes and stir well. Add a pinch of salt and pepper and simmer gently for up to 1½ to 2 hours with a lid on or cook in the oven at 160°C (325°F). Cook until meat is tender.

  • 8.

    Remove legs from sauce and shred meat into small pieces. Discard bones and return meat to the sauce.

  • 9.

    Bring plenty of salted water to the boil in a large pot. Drop in the tagliatelle and cook for 2–3 minutes. Drain and toss with the duck sauce for 1 minute. Serve with grated pecorino romano and a drizzle of olive oil.

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