Prep Time  20minutes
Cook Time  40minutes
Total Time  60minutes

Cavatelli with Duck and Mushroom

While I would certainly not claim to be a restaurant quality cook, let alone a fine dining chef, I do get a ton of menu ideas from restaurants, and believe with some core cooking techniques, I can make some pretty good versions of their specialities.  This is a recipe for Cavatelli with Duck and Mushrooms that is based on a dish I had at One Market in San Francisco.  I had to go by memory, and I’m sure that the restaurant used ingredients and techniques that I don’t, but that doesn’t make the dish any less delicious.  I’ve also simplified it so that just about anyone can make without much muss or fuss.  Hope you enjoy it as much as I do!

Recipe Overview and Keys to Success

To make the best Cavatelli with Duck and Mushroom just make sure to do the following:
  1. Cavatelli is a short pasta, rolled over on itself, and it may be a bit hard for you to find.  If so, just swap out penne, orecchiette, or your favorite pasta.  Just make sure you don’t over cook it.  Take it out of the water at al dente and finish it off in the sauce
  2. I look to cook the mushrooms first, and until they are well done, with just about all the water evaporated out.  That gives them a nice firm texture, and a great flavor.
  3. There isn’t really a good substitute (that I know of) for the duck confit.  Obviously, you can swap it out for chicken, or anything else, but the flavor, textures will be hugely different and unlike a lot of swaps, will really change the dish.  The duck confit should be available in specialty grocery markets, and many grocery stores
  4. The type of mushrooms and greens however, can be swapped pretty easily; use just about any mushroom or green you’d like


Ingredients for Cavatelli with Duck and Mushroom (for 4)
  • 2/3 lbs of cavatelli pasta
  • 1 duck leg confit
  • 2 diced shallots
  • 2 minced garlic cloves
  • 1 cup sliced crimini mushrooms
  • 1 cup baby spinach
  • 3/4 cup chicken stock
  • 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 2 tablespoons of butter
  • Large pinch of fresh rosemary
Making the Cavatelli with Duck and Mushroom
  • Remove the duck leg from the package, and place in cold pan.  Put it into a 250 degree oven for about 20 minutes so that it softens and is easier to shred
  • While the duck heats, sauté the mushrooms over medium high heat in a large sauté pan, until the mushrooms are well cooked
  • Bring a pot of salted water to the boil while the mushrooms cook
  • Remove the duck from the oven and use a fork to pull the meat off the bone, and separate into bite size pieces
  • Add the shallots and garlic to the mushrooms, and season with salt and pepper; cook over medium heat until the shallots soften
  • Drop the pasta in the boiling water and cook until al dente
  • While the pasta cooks, turn the heat up on the mushrooms to high, and add the chicken stock, rosemary, and the shredded duck pieces
  • Reduce the stock by half
  • Once al dente, drain the pasta well, and add to the mushrooms/duck sauce
  • Season with salt and pepper, and toss together for a few minutes
  • Turn the heat off, and add the greens, parmesan cheese and the butter; toss to combine
  • Serve it up in a pasta bowl and garnish with a bit more grated parmesan cheese
Wine Recommendation

I love to match regional foods to wines when I can.  While I don’t say every pasta dish is Italian, I certainly would say this Cavatelli dish has some Itailian roots.  With the mushrooms and duck, it is also pretty rich and can stand up to some big, tannic reds.  Try a Barolo with this one and I don’t think you’ll be disappointed.

Cavatelli with Duck and Mushroom

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