Tagliatelle with chicken liver ragù

I have to admit I was a bit scared of cooking a chicken liver sauce.

Although I like the taste of chicken livers when it enhances something else, I find it can be easily overpowering if used as a main ingredient. I was very pleasantly surprised that this sauce turned out to be excessively well-balanced. It was simply delicious.

I looked up a few recipes for chicken liver ragù in my many cookbooks just to get ideas, and came up with this recipe that we enjoyed very much. We will surely make this again soon.

Tagliatelle with chicken liver ragù


250 g chicken livers, trimmed, washed and patted dry
3 tablespoons olive oil
3 tablespoons butter
1 onion, finely chopped
1 carrot, finely chopped
1 celery rib, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
2/3 cup Dry Marsala
1/2 cup dry white wine
3/4 cup beef broth
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 tablespoon fresh sage or fresh rosemary (or both), finely chopped
salt and pepper to taste
450 g tagliatelle


1. Put the trimmed chicken livers in a bowl with the olive oil, add salt and pepper to taste and toss well. Set aside.
2. Put a large skillet over medium-high heat and when it starts smoking, throw the chicken livers in, making sure they don’t overlap. Cook for two minutes, or until they are caramelized on one side then turn them over and cook for another minute. Transfer to a bowl and reduce your heat to medium-low.
3. Add the butter to the skillet along with the onion, carrot, celery and garlic and cook until soft but not colored, about 5 to 7 minutes.
4. While the vegetables are cooking, chop the chicken livers very finely.
5. Add the Marsala and the white wine in with the vegetables. Dilute the tomato paste in the beef broth and add to the skillet. Add the chicken livers back in the sauce and simmer, uncovered, until the sauce has reduced and has a thick consistency, about 45 minutes.
6. At the last minute, add the fresh herbs, check seasonings and take it off the heat.
7. Cook the tagliatelle according to the instructions on the package. Save a bit of pasta cooking water. Stir the pasta into the sauce over medium heat, adding a bit of pasta cooking water to thin it down if needed. Toss with a good quantity of parmesan, plus more at the table.

2 replies »

  1. This looks delicous! I have been trying to incorporate more liver into my diet since it’s so nutritious, but I too find them overwhelming on their own. However this sounds completely tasty and I can’t wait to try it.


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