Remove the innards from the duck (if the butcher has not already done so) and “singe” it to clean off any leftover feathers. Wash and divide it into fairly small pieces, drying them with kitchen paper and setting aside the liver. Wash the tomatoes, cut them into pieces and purée them with a food mill. Clean the carrot, onion, celery and one clove of garlic; chop them finely together with the half orange (including its peel). Trim and wash the duck liver and chicken livers, pat them dry with kitchen paper and cut them into small pieces (using a sharp knife or a pair of kitchen scissors). Heat half of the olive oil in a fairly large, shallow, heavy-bottomed pan; add the pieces of duck, the remaining clove of garlic (peeled but left whole) and the chopped sage and rosemary leaves. Brown the pieces of duck, turning them continuously (without letting them burn) until they are crisp and fragrant. Season with salt, stir and turn off the heat.
Heat the remaining olive oil in a heavy-bottomed frying pan, preferably non-stick. Add the chopped vegetables and orange and the pieces of liver, browning everything, first over a medium heat, then a lower heat; stir continuously with a wooden spoon to make sure that nothing sticks to the bottom of the pan and burns. When this mixture is well browned, remove it from the heat and transfer it to the other pan with the pieces of duck, to cook for another 10 minutes, mixing together well.
Pour in the wine, add a spoonful of tomato paste and the puréed tomatoes, and season with salt (and some freshly milled pepper, if you wish). Leave to cook very slowly, over a moderate heat, for another hour to hour and a half, until the sauce is of the right consistency: neither too liquid, nor too thick. This sauce is characteristic to our area, because when used for dressing pasta, the pieces of duck are left whole. However, you may bone them (when they have cooled down a little), chop the meat coarsely and mix it into the sauce – choose the version you prefer, according to your taste.
Cook the tagliatelle in plenty of salted water; strain well (when “al dente”) and toss in the pan with the heated sauce for 1 or 2 minutes. Serve with a small bowl of grated Parmigiano (at least two teaspoons per person).
This is a rich, tasty and very wintery dish, one of the “best sellers” of the cuisine from the city of Arezzo and its province. Its preparation does take a little time and patience, but it will reward you with its flavour and with the satisfaction of your fellow diners!
(1) This sauce is excellent for dressing pasta and is also typically used with Pici and Pappardelle (an egg pasta shape, wider than tagliatelle, typical to Arezzo and its province), but feel free to experiment as you wish – it’s so delicious that, whatever type of pasta you use, it’s bound to be a success.