You can imagine my dilemma. Having a couple of pesky duck confit legs left over from my confit project a couple of weeks ago (from this recipe; worked beautifully, maybe even better than the first time). Maybe "dilemma" isn't the right word. A dilemma would be having duck confit legs that your dog dragged off the counter and wolfed down, like "what a dilemma, I like my dog but now I'm going to have to kill him". How about "opportunity"? Much more positive.
So in the long list of ways to take advantage of this opportunity...risotto, salad, sauce, etc....a simple seasonal pasta sounded perfect, especially since w had picked up a rather large bag of fresh favas at the farmer's market. Of course as we all know a large bag of favas quickly becomes a small dish of favas (and every time I shell them, I can't help but feel sorry for the poor prep bitch at any restaurant who has to do a dinner service's worth. That would so quickly suck). In keeping this simple and light, yet really focus on the duck and favas, I only added some fennel to the mix, a little garlic, a sprinkle of parma and that was it. Obviously this recipe is endlessly adaptable with what is available at the markets right now. It's all about being a vehicle for the glory that is duck confit. If you haven't been inspired to make this duck confit before, hopefully this will spur you on. It really is SO incredibly easy. And maybe you'll find yourself with the same "dilemma" as I did!
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Duck Confit Pasta with fresh favas and fennel
an E.D.T. original
(click here for printable recipe)
2 duck confit legs with meat shredded off
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 pounds fresh favas, shelled and with outer skins removed
1 large fennel bulb, chopped in half, removing fibrous cores at bottom of bulb, and sliced thinly crosswise (with some chopped fronds reserved if attached. This is optional)
3 garlic cloves, finely minced
Salt and freshly ground pepper
Parmigiano-Reggiano for sprinkling
1 pound dry pasta (it doesn't really matter what kind. I liked how the fusilli worked)
Put large pot of water on to boil. When water comes to boil, add small handful of salt and pasta and cook until desired doneness.
While water comes to boil, add olive oil to sauté pan over medium-high heat. When pan is hot add sliced fennel and sauté until softened, about 8-10 minutes. Add garlic and cook for another 2 minutes, turn heat down to medium-low, add favas and duck ad briefly until heated through (you don't want the duck to cook any further).
Drain pasta and combine with duck-fava mixture. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Plate immediately, top with chopped fennel fronds and a drizzle of olive oil. Pass grated parma for sprinkling.