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DDC week 15: Linguini with Duckballs - Backyard Grocery

DDC week 15: Linguini with Duckballs

duckballs and linguini

Linguini and duckballs adds a little class to the old family favorite.

Life is a little out of control right now. Case in point—I made this dark days meal on Tuesday. It’s now Sunday, and I’m needing to steal a quick five minutes to get it posted before round 2 of my insane family weekend begins. This weekend is the fun kind of insane: my brothers are in town because my nephew is auditioning for the Vienna Boys Choir and my sisters-in-law are celebrating their 40th birthday. Somehow, I became the coordinator for the birthday party. So I’ve had a lot on my plate. To top it off, I’m getting ready for my talk on Thursday at the Maple Avenue Market, which I learned yesterday is at 6:30, not 7:00 like I thought.

(pause for deep breathing exercise)

I wish I could list the suppliers for all the lovely local goods that made up this meal. But my husband was helping me deal with my stress by cleaning the kitchen for me and he threw away all the labels I had saved so I’d remember where the food came from. I can report that I got the duck sausage, ground meat, eggs, and spinach linguini at the Maple Avenue Market. The mushroom pasta sauce came from Mom’s Organic Market and was made somewhere near Charlottesville. The Nick’s All purpose spice comes from Baltimore. The fennel was organic, but not local. I used it because I simply forgot to buy an onion at the market, and at 5:30 a.m. as I made the meat balls, I wasn’t running out to get one.

The verdict: very rich and decadent. The fennel added a nice mellow flavor that paired well with the richness of the duck and beef. And they were filling! Alas, I have no pictures of the assembly process. It was too early in the morning to deal with my camera, and I forgot to ask Rick to take pictures as he finished the meal off that night. Fortunately, meatball making is not terribly photographic, so you’re really not missing anything!


duckballs with linguini

Linguini with duckballs is the new family favorite pasta!

Recipe: Linguini with Duckballs

Summary: Spaghetti and meatballs gets an fancy makeover


  • 2 duck sausages
  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 1 fennel bulb, diced finely
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tsp Nick’s all purpose seasoning
  • 1 Tbs oil
  • 1 jar local pasta sauce
  • 1 lb spinach linguini


  1. Preheat oven to 350.
  2. Remove the duck sausage from the casing.
  3. In a large bowl, mix the duck meat, beef, diced fennel, egg, and all purpose seasoning. Use your hands to really mix them together well.
  4. Form the meat mixture into 2-inch balls. Note: these will be very soft as there are no bread crumbs to hold them together.
  5. Heat the oil in a skillet and brown the meatballs on all sides.
  6. Place the browned meatballs in a baking dish and cover with the past sauce.
  7. Bake until done, which should be about 15 minutes.
  8. While the meatballs are cooking, boil a pot of water for the pasta.
  9. When the meatballs are done, remove from the oven and put the pasta on to cook.
  10. Drain the pasta.
  11. Put three or four meatballs over the pasta. Serve with grated cheese, if desired.


You can use any type of linguini or spaghetti. I just like spinach. You can also use turkey instead of beef.

Preparation time: 30 minute(s)

Cooking time: 15 minute(s)

Number of servings (yield): 4

Copyright © Susan Rose.

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