Inspired by a traditional pasta dish from the Piedmont region, this chicken liver pasta has a rich and bold sauce that is absolutely mouthwatering. It’s also super easy to make and great for impressing guests.
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If you’re a fan of chicken liver, this chicken liver pasta dish is for you. If not, look away now 🙂
I’m one of those people who thinks chicken liver is one of the most understated foods ever. Besides being budget-friendly, it’s also rich in protein and iron and really tasty if cooked properly.
This creamy chicken liver pasta is inspired by tajarin con fegatini, a traditional Italian pasta dish from the Piedmont region in Northern Italy.
Instead of using tajarin (also known as tagliolini), which is a type of pasta a bit thinner than tagliatelle, I made it with pappardelle, as they’re the perfect companion for this rich sauce.
I also used a mix of fresh herbs and rehydrated porcini mushrooms to create a true symphony of flavors.
There are multiple variations of tajarin con fegatini out there, and some of them don’t use these ingredients for extra flavor, so you can skip them if you like.
Why you’ll love this chicken liver pasta
- Rich and satisfying flavors — The combination of tender chicken livers, earthy porcini mushrooms, and fragrant herbs creates an absolutely mouthwatering sauce.
- Simple yet sophisticated — This recipe may seem fancy, but it's actually incredibly easy to prepare, making it perfect for both weeknight dinners and special occasions.
- A new spin on pasta night — If you're looking for a unique and delicious way to switch up your pasta game, this chicken liver pasta is an excellent choice that's sure to impress.
Ingredients and substitutions
Pappardelle — I chose pappardelle for its wide, ribbon-like shape, which perfectly captures the rich sauce. However, you can also use tagliatelle, fettuccine, or any other long pasta you have on hand.
Unsalted butter — The butter adds a delightful richness to the dish. If you prefer, you can use olive oil or a mix of both butter and oil.
Chicken liver — Ensure that the chicken livers are cleaned, trimmed, and cut into bite-sized pieces.
If you're not a fan of chicken liver, you can try substituting it with another type of liver, such as calf or pork, but keep in mind that the flavor and texture may vary.
Fresh herbs — I used a mix of fresh thyme and rosemary to infuse extra flavor into the sauce.
If you can't find dried porcini, you can use other dried mushrooms, such as shiitake or morels. Alternatively, use fresh mushrooms, but note that the flavor may be less intense.
Dry white wine — A dry white wine adds depth and acidity to the sauce. If you don't have wine on hand or prefer not to cook with alcohol, you can substitute it with an equal amount of chicken or vegetable broth.
How to make chicken liver pasta sauce
Cook the pappardelle according to package instructions until al dente. Drain, reserving ½ cup of pasta water, and set aside.
While the pasta cooks, melt the butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the shallots and cook for 3-4 minutes until softened.
Add the chicken liver pieces to the skillet and cook, stirring occasionally, for about 5-7 minutes or until the livers are browned and cooked through.
Stir in the garlic, thyme, and rosemary, and cook for an additional 1-2 minutes or until fragrant.
Add the rehydrated porcini mushrooms and cook for another minute.
Stir in the white wine, scraping up any browned bits from the bottom of the skillet, then stir in the tomato paste. Cook for 2-3 minutes or until the wine has almost evaporated.
Stir in half a cup of the reserved pasta water, then stir in the cooked pasta and grated parmesan.
Add some pasta water if needed to create a silky sauce that clings to the pasta.
Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste.
Leftovers and storage
- Leftovers will keep well in the fridge for up to 3-4 days in an airtight container.
- It’s best to reheat leftovers in the microwave.
- I don’t recommend freezing this pasta dish. However, you can freeze the sauce separately for up to 3 months.
Recipe notes and tips
- Chicken liver pasta is best enjoyed with a sprinkle of freshly grated Parmesan cheese.
- To ensure that the chicken livers are cooked through but remain tender, avoid overcooking them. They should be slightly pink on the inside, which will take around 4-5 minutes to cook on medium heat.
- Feel free to experiment with different herbs in this recipe. Sage or marjoram can be excellent alternatives to thyme and rosemary, adding an extra layer of flavor and complexity to the sauce.
- A wine pairing for chicken liver pasta should complement the richness of the dish while balancing its earthy and savory flavors. A medium-bodied red wine, such as a Barbera d'Alba or Barbera d'Asti from the Piedmont region of Italy, would be an excellent choice. Alternatively, you could also opt for a Pinot Noir or a Sangiovese.
If you liked this chicken liver pasta, you might also like some of my other easy pasta recipes:
- Lemon Butter Garlic Pasta Sauce
- Creamy Rasta Pasta Recipe
- Pasta e Piselli (Pasta and Peas)
- White Wine Pasta Sauce
- Creamy Red Pesto Pasta
- 8 oz (225 g) pappardelle (or another long pasta)
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 medium shallot, finely chopped
- 1 lb (450 g) chicken liver, cut into bite-sized pieces
- 2 large garlic cloves, finely chopped or crushed
- ½ tablespoon fresh thyme, finely chopped
- ½ tablespoon fresh rosemary, finely chopped
- 1 ounce (30 g) dried porcini mushrooms, rehydrated (reserve the water)
- ⅓ cup (75 ml) dry white wine
- 1 tablespoon double-concentrated tomato paste
- ⅓ cup (40 g) grated Parmesan
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
- Cook the pappardelle according to package instructions until al dente. Drain, reserving ½ cup of pasta water, and set aside.
- While the pasta cooks, melt the butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the shallots and cook for 3-4 minutes until softened.
- Add the chicken liver pieces to the skillet and cook, stirring occasionally, for about 5-7 minutes or until the livers are browned and cooked through.
- Stir in the garlic, thyme, and rosemary, and cook for an additional 1-2 minutes or until fragrant.
- Add the rehydrated porcini mushrooms and cook for another minute.
- Stir in the white wine, scraping up any browned bits from the bottom of the skillet, then stir in the tomato paste. Cook for 2-3 minutes or until the wine has almost evaporated.
- Stir in half a cup of the reserved pasta water, then stir in the cooked pasta and grated parmesan.
- Add some pasta water if needed to create a silky sauce that clings to the pasta.
- Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste.
- Serve immediately, garnished with additional grated Parmesan and a sprinkle of fresh parsley if you like.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 475Total Fat: 17gSaturated Fat: 7gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 7gCholesterol: 703mgSodium: 322mgCarbohydrates: 38gFiber: 1gSugar: 2gProtein: 37g
Nutritional information is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator.