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Spicy Duck Meatballs with Mint Cavatelli

The recipe for spicy duck meatballs with mint cavatelli is courtesy of Harold Dieterle.

  • Servings: 4

Source: The Martha Stewart Show, March Winter 2008


  • 3 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1 onion, very finely chopped
  • 5 cloves garlic, very finely chopped
  • 1 pound ground duck
  • 1 tablespoon coarsely chopped basil
  • 2 tablespoons chile sauce such as sriracha or sambal
  • 1/4 cup panko
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 3 shallots, sliced crosswise
  • 2 plum tomatoes, chopped
  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • 8 cups Brown Chicken Stock
  • 8 sprigs fresh thyme
  • Mint Cavatelli, cooked
  • 1 cup water spinach
  • 4 tablespoons butter, cut into small pieces
  • 4 teaspoons chopped mint
  • 4 teaspoons chopped chives
  • Freshly grated Parmesan cheese, for serving
  • 4 quail eggs


  1. Heat 1 teaspoon olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add onion and 3 cloves garlic. Cook, stirring, until translucent, about 5 minutes; remove from heat and let cool.

  2. Add onion and garlic mixture to a large bowl, along with, ground duck, basil, chile sauce, panko, and eggs. Knead mixture until well combined; season with salt and pepper. Transfer mixture to refrigerator and let chill for 30 minutes.

  3. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

  4. Remove duck mixture from refrigerator and form into 1 1/2- to 2-inch balls. Transfer to a baking sheet. Transfer baking sheet to oven and cook for 10 minutes.

  5. Heat 1 teaspoon olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add remaining 2 cloves garlic, 1 shallot, and plum tomatoes. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 2 minutes. Add wine and cook until liquid is reduced by half, about 4 minutes. Add chicken stock and thyme; let simmer for 20 minutes.

  6. Strain liquid through a fine mesh strainer set over another large saucepan, discarding solids. Transfer meatballs to liquid and place over medium heat. Let meatballs simmer until cooked through, about 30 minutes.

  7. Heat remaining teaspoon olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add remaining 2 shallots and cook, stirring occasionally, until translucent, about 2 minutes. Add water spinach, meatballs and their cooking liquid, cavatelli, butter, mint, and chives; let cook for 2 minutes.

  8. Divide mixture evenly between 4 bowls. Sprinkle over freshly grated parmesan cheese and crack a quail egg into each bowl; serve immediately.

Reviews Add a comment

  • schimmel
    19 MAR, 2008
    what is panko? gloria
  • Pegglett
    14 MAR, 2008
    Corsely ground. Looked heavenly. He used duck breast