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  • Writer's picturechefalisonbiebs

Orzo Pasta with Duck Confit Pistachio Pesto Comté and Cherry Tomato

For Thanksgiving dinner this year I made duck confit and had a few legs left over. This easy-to-make orzo pasta with pistachio basil pesto is perfect with the pulled duck meat. This recipe would also be delicious with your leftover holiday turkey or roast chicken. Happy cooking! Watch video

Yield: serves 4

Preparation time: 30–40 minutes

Cook time: 25–30 minutes


2 oz fresh basil leaves

2 cloves of garlic

¼ cup parmesan cheese, grated

¼ cup pistachios, toasted

3 tbsp olive oil

Pinch of salt

Fresh cracked black pepper

Duck Pasta

2 tbsp rendered duck fat

1 yellow onion, diced small

½ cup liquid from the confit (use chicken stock if you are using store-bought confit)

1½ cups cherry tomatoes halved

½ cup pistachio pesto

7 oz orzo pasta (200g)

3 oz comté, grated (90g)

Pistachios chopped for garnish

Shaved parmesan for garnish

For the pesto

  • Place all the ingredients into a food processor and blend.

  • Remove the pesto from the food processor, top it with olive oil, and store it in a sealed container in the fridge.

For the pasta

  • Preheat the oven to 350°F.

  • Remove the duck legs from the fat and separate the fat from the liquid that comes out when the duck is cooked. It should be a gelatinous layer at the bottom and easy to separate. If you have purchased already confit duck legs, use chicken stock for the recipe.

  • Add the duck fat to a large frying pan and turn it on medium heat.

  • Add the onions to the pan and sauté, stirring occasionally, until golden brown.

  • While the onions are browning, remove the skin from the duck legs and place the skins onto a tray lined with parchment paper.

  • Place the tray in the oven and cook the skin until it becomes golden brown and crispy about 10 minutes. Remove the skin from the oven and set aside.

  • Pull the meat from the bone of the duck legs and set it aside.

  • Once the onions have browned, add the liquid from the duck confit to the pan and cook for 2 minutes, until it has a sauce-like consistency. Use more liquid if it becomes too dry.

  • Now add the duck confit meat, cherry tomatoes, and pistachio pesto, and mix.

  • Cook for 2 minutes, turn off the heat and mix in the comté.

  • Plate the orzo pasta in a hot pasta bowl and garnish with chopped pistachios, crispy duck skin, and shaved parmesan cheese.


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