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Today I’ve got a quick, cheap yet utterly luxurious pasta dish for you to make for dinner tonight: meet this delicious Chicken Liver Pappardelle with a rich masala sauce, and plenty of fresh rosemary and dried chilli flakes to give it colour and kick (because as much as I love brown food, we do eat with our eyes after all!)
Chicken livers have been a favourite of mine as a student for a quick, delicious, and super healthy dinner (they’re simply packed with iron) with the added bonus that they’re super cheap to buy. And paired with fancy pasta (though you can use any you wish of course) they’re a much more affordable way of getting a luxurious dinner on the table than if you paired a more expensive meat such as a chicken thigh with a cheaper pasta shape.
I’ve adapted this Chicken Liver Pappardelle recipe from Melissa Clark’s excellent 2017 cookbook Dinner: Changing the Game(affiliate link) to make it work for British quantities (one pack of chicken livers is perfect between two here) but also so that it can be easily halved should the situation call for it – I also love this as a luxurious solo supper (the other half of the pack of liver will freeze really well – save them to make my Liver & Onions with Pomegranate Molasses) and I think to cut down on the washing up.
Can I use regular onion instead of the banana shallots?
I love the complex sweetness they add, but half a small brown onion will work really well as a substitute here.
Can I substitute anything for the masala?
The original recipe calls for cooking sherry, and if you’re really stuck shaoxing rice wine would also work (sherry is a common substitute for it!) Do give this recipe a go with masala though – I think it adds a wonderful complexity, and once you’ve got the bottle you can also make my Chicken with Masala and Figs!
This 20-minute recipe for Chicken Liver Pappardelle pasta is both affordable and luxurious combining rich chicken livers, aromatic rosemary and punchy dried chilli in a rich masala, shallot and butter sauce.
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2 banana shallots
2 tsp chopped fresh rosemary
generous pinch dried chilli flakes
1 large or 2 small garlic cloves
400g chicken livers
freshly ground black pepper
2 tbsp masala
2 tsp balsamic vinegar
20g unsalted butter
Cook the pasta as per the packets instructions in a pan of boiling, salted water.
Meanwhile, heat 1 tbsp of the oil in a large frying pan set over a medium high heat. Peel and thinly slice the shallots before adding them to the pan with a generous pinch of salt, the chopped rosemary, and the chilli flakes. Cook for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally until the shallots have started to caramalised.
Meanwhile, peel and finely chop the garlic, and chop the chicken livers into bite sized pieces.
Add the garlic, and cook for about a minute until aromatic.
Add the remaining 1 tbsp of oil to the pan and turn the heat up to high. Add the livers, and season well with black pepper and a little more salt. Cook until the livers have browned and have only just lost their pink rawness.
Add the masala and vinegar and scrape any brown bits from the bottom of the pan. Once the liquid has reduced by half, remove the pan from the heat.
Stir in the butter and the cooked pasta, stirring until the pasta is well coated in the sauce and the butter has completely melted. Check the seasoning and serve immediately.
Cooking sherry or even shaoxing wine can be substituted for the masala.
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One Pan Pescatarian: 100 Delicious Dinners – Veggie, Vegan, Fish
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