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Cavatelli with Fennel-Scented Duck Sausage


Olive oil

1 large garlic clove, finely minced

3 cups fresh spinach

1 ½ cups duck sausage (recipe follows or use your preferred brand), cooked al dente

2 tablespoons butter

¼ cup Parmigiano Reggiano, plus more for serving

Salt and black pepper

Basil for garnish

Duck Sausage

6 duck legs, deboned (about 3 pounds) and ground or finely minced

¼ cup red cooking wine

2 tablespoons chopped fennel seed

1 teaspoon fennel pollen

1 teaspoon ground Szechuan peppercorns

2 teaspoons red pepper flakes

3 tablespoons salt

1 ½ tablespoons black pepper

1 teaspoon sugar

½ large yellow onion, microplaned or puréed

8 cloves garlic, microplaned or puréed

Cavatelli Pasta

3 cups flour

2 cups semolina

1 ½ cups warm water

1 tablespoon salt


  1. Heat olive oil in a large skillet with garlic, then add spinach and duck sausage.
  2. Deglaze with white wine and add pasta.
  3. Take pan off heat. Add butter and cheese and swirl to incorporate. Salt and pepper to taste and place in serving bowl. Garnish with fresh basil and more cheese desired.
For Duck Sausage
  1. Add all ingredients together and thoroughly mix. Test for seasoning by cooking a small amount in a sauté pan and tasting.
  2. Cook sausage through and let cool in the liquid it produces.
For Cavatelli Pasta
  1. Mix all ingredients in a mixer with dough hook until smooth and elastic.
  2. Roll to approximately ¼-inch×1-inch strips and pass through a cavatelli pasta maker.
  3. Boil in salted water for 1 minute or until al dente. Drain and set aside.
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