TAGLIATELLE CON FEGATINI (with chicken livers, “Pitti Palace pasta”, for four)

 Pasta, tagliatelle con fegatini 1  Pasta, tagliatelle con fegatini 2

1 ounce dried porcini mushrooms

2 cups warm water

1 tablespoon olive oil

2 tablespoons unsalted butter

2 tablespoons finely chopped shallot or yellow onion

1 clove finely chopped garlic

3 tablespoons diced pancetta or proscuitto

4 to 5 whole sage leaves

1 pound ground sirloin

½ pound chicken livers, trimmed, rinsed, patted dry and cut into quarters

1 tablespoon concentrated tomato paste dissolved in ½ cup dry white wine

salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

1 pound tagliatelle, preferably fresh

¼ cup freshly grated Parmigiano reggiano

  • Place the porcini in a small bowl with the water and soak for 30 minutes. Drain, reserving the liquid.  Strain the liquid through several sheets of paper toweling.  Rinse the mushrooms under cold running water, squeeze as much moisture out of them as possible, then chop them and set them aside.
  1. Heat the oil and butter over medium heat in a 12 inch skillet, add the shallot or onion, and cook until translucent, 4 to 5 minutes.  Add the garlic and cook 1 minute.  Add the pancetta or proscuitto and sage and cook, stirring, 1 minute.  Add the ground beef, crumbling it with a fork, and cook just until it loses  its raw color.  Add the chopped mushrooms and their soaking liquid, bring to a simmer and cook until almost all of the liquid has evaporated.  Add the chicken livers, turn the heat to medium high and cook just until the livers lose their raw, red color.  Add the tomato paste and wine mixture and simmer 5 to 8 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Taste the sauce and correct for salt and pepper.
  1. While the sauce is cooking, bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add the pasta and cook at a rolling boil just until tender (only 2 to 3 minutes for fresh tagliatelle and 12 to 13 minutes from when the water returns to a boil for dried fettucine.)  Drain and toss with the sauce.  Serve immediately, with Parmigiano Reggiano on the side.

adapted from Marcella Hazan, Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking, and Michele Scicolone, Savoring Italy

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