Foie Gras and Duck Cappelletti

by John Wood

Foie Gras and Duck Cappelletti

There is a story behind this pasta and it starts with eggs.  Good eggs are a vital part of our business, so I am often visiting farms and seeking out the best eggs our area has to offer.  Eggs are one of those things that really cannot be produced in a large quantity if you want to have a high quality product.  As a result, we get our eggs from a few different suppliers at any given time.  You meet all sorts of people at small egg farms.  One day, I was visiting a small family operation in the area.  I had spoken to one of them on the phone and arranged a visit to their farm.  Shortly after arriving, I realized that things were ‘off’.  They didn’t have any chickens - just cows and ducks - and they were blatantly racist, and insisted on bringing up the topic of race in every conversation.  I wasn’t sure why they had lied to me about having eggs, but I came up with an excuse to leave quickly.  Before I left, the wife gave me a couple ducks as a gift for my time.  It was a bazaar situation and I haven’t spoken with them since that day.

Anyway, we are pasta makers - so when life gives us ducks….we make duck pasta.  We happened to have some foie gras in our fridge, so we experimented and came up with this filling.  I didn’t expect the pasta to go over too well, as many people in the area seem to be scared of eating duck.  I was wrong.  We sold out quickly, and all week I was getting phone calls and emails about when it will be offered again.  It is to this day our most popular pasta at the farmer’s markets.  

This is a very rich pasta and it generally isn't meant to be served as a huge meal in and of itself.  I rarely eat more than four pieces of it myself.  It can be served simply in a poultry broth or just with some brown butter and sage.  We have a video tutorial on how to make brown butter and sage in the Cooking Instructions section of our site. 

Here is a different recipe using asparagus.  Our menu has a side of asparagus at the moment, which also goes great with this dish and makes preparing it simpler.  Just chop up the asparagus and warm it up with a little EVOO or water.  

Foie Gras and Duck Cappelletti with Asparagus and Brown Butter

*serves 2

  1. Bring 3qts water and 1.5tbs sea salt to a soft boil.
  2. Add the asparagus to the water and cook until done, about 3-6 minuted depending on the thickness.
  3. Remove the asparagus and gently add the pasta to the simmering water.  The pasta will be done in about 5-6 minutes.
  4. In another small pot, while the pasta is cooking, heat the butter on medium heat.  
  5. It will turn golden brown and start to smoke a little.  Take off the heat, add the asparagus, and let it sit while the pasta finishes cooking.
  6. Strain the pasta when done and divide between two plates or bowls.
  7. Add the vinegar to the brown butter and asparagus and use a spoon to pour on top of the pasta.
  8. Decorate with the orange segments and top with the parmesan.
About the Author
John Wood
Chef John Wood
John’s passion for humble, authentic food developed from a childhood spent moving around in Africa and Central America. As the son of diplomats, he moved a lot as a child, immersing himself in the rich cultural and culinary traditions of different nations. In his teens, John got a job as a dishwasher in a small French restaurant in DC. It was there that he fell in love with the kitchen and decided he wanted to be wanted to be a chef. John has spent the last 20 years working with the areas best chefs and restauranteurs like Bob Kinkead and Ashok Bajaj. Strict adherence to proper technique and sourcing quality ingredients are the foundation of his cooking.
About Open Hand

We source the best ingredients available from farmers and purveyors and use what we find to create meals that are fresh, prepped for your convenience, and delivered to you.

Serving the DMV metro.

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