Rachel Roddy’s Recipe for Fettuccine with Chicken Liver and Mushroom Stew | Food
Ssometimes on a Saturday morning we drive Gatti and Antonelli. This is one of many in Rome all’uovo pasta (fresh egg pasta) stores, and this is definitely one of the best. It’s a lovely space, with a long marble counter, a window to the back room, bright yellow signs showing hours and prices, and two shelves that display eggs and a large collection of little chickens. ornament. When my son was little, it was one of the rare occasions when his cries did not bother me, because he expressed what I felt: “Chickens! Look at the chickens! Can I hold one? This scene reminded me of scenes from my own childhood: looking at the rows of ornaments in my grandmother’s house and thinking they were treasures, then being allowed to hold a little elephant, which I squeezed for luck.
Decades after my pressure and years after my son’s screams, we now choose which chicken we will hold – the one with the golden neck or the white that looks like an egg? – while we wait in line. Behind the cheese-veined marble counter, two women in white coats and blue hairnets serve efficiently, lifting long and short pastas from shallow boxes into stiff paper trays – tortellini, agnolotti, ravioli, fettuccine, tonnarelli, pappardelle. Gatti’s smell is full of hope and sap, like fresh sawdust and a clean baby. Many came for the agnolotti ripened with meat (agnolotti stuffed with meat) – the specialty of the house. Yet I came to Fettuccine.
At first glance, long, thin fettuccine looks like the identical twin of tagliatelle. Take a closer look, however, and you’ll see they’re less demanding than their northern cousin’s 8mm: either thicker or thinner, and not rolled as thinly, so with more substance – much like a Roman. Fettuccine means “little ribbons”, and they are the direct ancestors of wisp-thin capelli d’angelo. In the hands of strong-armed home cooks, the wicks became ribbons, hand-rolled and served on Sundays, often with meat stew and often with fun.
In Rome, Rigaglia is the generic term for chicken offal. Traditionally, fettuccine with rigaglie was a budget dish that used that good but cheaper part of the chicken (with just a bit of ground beef and pancetta). This version uses just the livers (although you can use offal) and includes marsala and mushrooms, which provide deep flavor; also sage for musty contrast and butter for flavor and shine. Fresh fettuccine or tagliatelle are ideal here, as are dry ones.
Fettuccine with chicken liver and mushroom ragout
Preparation 20 mins
Cook 20 mins
250g chicken livers
40g of butter
2 tonstbsp olive oil
2 shallotspeeled and finely diced
1 clove of garlicpeeled and finely diced
100g ground beef
30g cepssoaked in 150ml lukewarm water
3 whole sage leaves
Salt and black pepper
1 heaped teaspoon of tomato pastedissolved in 150 ml marsala, vermouth or porcini mushroom soaking water
500 g fresh fettuccine, tagliatelle or pappardelle or 400 g dried
Parmesan or pecorinograted
Bring a pot of water to a boil for the pasta. Clean the livers of any sinew or discoloration, then wash and pat dry. Cut each liver into six.
In a heavy skillet over medium-low heat, heat the butter and olive oil, then sauté the shallots until tender and translucent. Add the garlic, pancetta, ground beef, drained and chopped porcini mushrooms (reserve the soaking liquor if you prefer to use it in place of marsala or vermouth later) and sage, and cook, stirring, for a few minutes.
Raise the heat, add the livers and fry them, stirring, until they have lost all their redness. Add the tomato-marsala mixture and cook over high heat long enough for the livers to take on flavors, but not too long for them to become rubbery.
Meanwhile, salt the boiling water, add the pasta and cook until al dente. Drain, keeping some of the cooking water, then pour the pasta into the pan with chicken liver, and mix, adding a little cooking water if necessary, so that everything holds together. Serve with plenty of grated parmesan or pecorino.