Crostini toscani con patè di fegatini


Fegatini, or Tuscan chicken liver pâté, is an antipasto that you will almost always see on menus and as part of the aperitivo buffet in Tuscany. It is served either on crostini (thinly sliced toasted bread) or on fried polenta slices – the latter is a particularly typical Florentine dish.

It is very easy to make and, unlike the French version, it doesn’t use a large amount of cream and is really quite healthy. Traditionally it is made by chopping all of the ingredients very finely by hand. I like the more rustic, more granular version of the pate, but many people prefer their pâté as a smooth paste, and after all these days we have food processors…so if you want the smooth version, add an extra tablespoon of butter after the pate has cooled and blend in the food processor.

Ingredients

200g chicken livers

½ a medium yellow onion

1 celery stalk

~6 stems of parsley

1 tablespoon of capers

1 teaspoon of anchovy paste or 2 anchovy fillets

¼ cup of Marsala wine, cognac, brandy or dry white wine (optional)

olive oil

salt and pepper

Method

Clean and trim the liver pieces and chop very finely. Chop the onion, celery, parsley and capers also very finely. Add the onion, celery and some olive oil to a heavy-based saucepan or deep frying pan and cook over medium heat. Once the onion is translucent, add the chopped chicken livers and cook on high heat stirring constantly for about 4 minutes.

When the liver pieces are browned on all sides, reduce the heat to low and add the parsley, anchovy paste and capers. Simmer for 15-20 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Remove from the heat and add salt and pepper to taste. You will usually have to add quite a lot of both. You might want to also add a bit of butter at this stage to soften the taste.

You can serve straight away, spread onto crostini while still warm. You can also make the pate well in advance and reheat it at the time of serving.

If you want the smooth version, let the pâté cool to room temperature then place it in a food processor with a tablespoon of butter and blend until you have the desired level of smoothness.

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