My Appalling Miscalculation: Chicken Liver Pasta

I’m always up for trying something different so when I came across Martha Stewart’s recipe for Rigatoni with Chicken Livers, I was intrigued.  Mister loves fried chicken gizzards so I thought that I would surprise him with Chicken Liver Pasta for dinner.  Gizzards, liver, same difference right?

The Nutless Wonder, back there, is eyeballing my Chicken Livers!

When Mister came over for dinner after work, he asked what was for dinner.  I proudly responded, “I came across a Martha Stewart recipe that looked pretty good and that I thought you may like:  Chicken Liver Pasta”. 

The look of total and complete horror on his face told me that I had made an appalling miscalculation.
It has wine in it.  Wine makes everything better.
“YA!  GIZZARDS!  FRIED!” He chimes back.
“Don’t worry, babe,” I ensure, taking his hands in mine, “I’m scared too.  We’ll be scared together, Ok?  Besides, maybe it will be really, really good.  Afterall, it is a Martha Stewart recipe!”
He responded only with a stealy stare.  I could just tell he was thinking, “I swear, if you mess up my dinner woman…”
It has lots & lots of butter too.  Butter makes everything better!


While I nervously cook this dinner, my spirits rise in that it actually smells really good.  The liver has cooked up nice, the onions caramelized perfectly, and everything is waiting to be tossed with the pasta.  The pasta gets done cooking and I toss everything together.  It all looks kind of…grey.  I plate dinner and bring it to the table.  Mister pours two big glasses of wine.  We toast, “To trying new things!”.  We look at each other nervously, I close my eyes, and we take our first bite.

It wasn’t so bad.  Mister actually went back for seconds.  I ate as much as I could but just couldn’t finish my first serving.  True to Martha Stewart, the recipe was solid.  There was a lot of flavor; the onion played well with the liver.  The butter and wine came through lovely  The sauce was creamy and coated the pasta well.  I guess I just don’t like liver.  The weird thing with liver is that it’s not that it tastes all that bad; it’s the texture.  The texture is crumbly.  It’s a different texture that I’m just  not used to and it’s hard to explain.  It doesn’t “melt” like filet mignon or fatty tuna belly; and it’s not really chewy, like octopus.  It’s just completely…different. 

The Nutless Wonder and Belladini Houdini got servings of Chicken Liver Pasta mixed in with their dinner for 3 nights in a row. 

I’m posting this recipe because I know there are people out there that like liver and if you do, you should really try this recipe.  Like I said above, it’s a solid recipe…I just learned that I don’t like liver!

Chicken Liver Pasta

From Martha Stewart

1 pound rigatoni
Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
1 pound chicken livers, any sinew removed, patted dry
3 T unsalted butter, divided
1 small onion, halved and thinly sliced lengthwise (about 1 cup)
1 T finely chopped sage leaves
2/3 cup dry red wine
1 1/2 oz parmesan, grated (about 1/2 cup)
1/3 cup coarsely chopped fresh parsley
extra virgin olive oil for drizzling

  1. Cook pasta in a large pot of generously salted water until very al dente.  Reserve 1 cup of pasta water before draining.
  2. Season livers witth salt and pepper.  Melt 2 T butter in a large sautee pan over medium-high heat.  Cook livers, flipping once, until plump and golden brown, about 4 minutes; transfer to cutting board.  Reduce heat to medium and melt remaining tablespoon of butter.  Add onion and 1/4 teaspoon salt; cook until golden, about 8 minutes. Chop livers and reurn to pan, along with any juices and sage.  Increase heat to medium-high.  Add wine, simmer until liquid is reduced by half.
  3. Add pasta and 1/2 cup reserved pasta water.  Simmer until sauce coats pasta; remove from heat.  Toss with parmesan and parsley.  If dry, toss with more pasta water, a bit at a time.  Divide among 6 bowls; drizzle with oil and sprinkle with parmesan.