I learned how to cook this dish about ten years ago from a lady of about 75, a strong woman of few words but with a very tender heart.
I met Rita as soon as I arrived in Italy from Spain and, eager to learn about Tuscan cuisine, I began to volunteer at the small club in my town of Cavriglia, near Arezzo. At that time we all volunteered to support the town’s soccer team.
One evening Rita told me:
– I see you are very determined to learn and I will teach you everything. You must listen to me and do “papal papal” as I tell you. I’ll give you something tomorrow.
I didn’t sleep that night. The great responsibility and honour of being Rita’s ward crushed me. She then said she had something very important to give me.
The next day she arrived at the club with a small package covered with a tissue printed with yellow nasturtium flowers … I love nasturtium!
Almost like in a ritual she gave me the package and told me: “I learned a lot from the ‘chef with a moustache’, now it’s your turn“.
I couldn’t wait to finish the service to meet ‘the chef with a moustache’. She was right, it was a moment of revelation for me. She made me forget the modern cuisine with which I had come a little way in Spain. I stripped myself of frills and set off on this journey of discovery of Tuscan cuisine.
Why did I choose this recipe?
It wasn’t an easy choice. My passion is making pasta, a passion that I was lucky enough to transform into my work. But equally I like to highlight peasant ingredients and give them new life. I strongly believe that simple things are tied stronger to the heart. In all aspects of life. Thanks Artusi!
The recipe I have reported is exactly the one from the Artusi cookbook, recipe number 374.
Pan Di Fegato recipe and ingredients
- Veal liver 0.5 kg
- 4 chicken livers
- A handful of Tuscan bread crumbs,
- Butter 70 gr
- Two tablespoons grated Parmesan
- A small glass of Marsala
- Eggs, one whole and two yolks
- Three-leaf laurel
- Salt and pepper.
Clean the liver properly and brown it in butter with a bay leaf for a few minutes. Deglaze with the Marsala for 4-5 minutes, then set it aside.
In the sauce left in the pan, brown the breadcrumbs and leave to cool.
If you do not have a large enough mortar, use a common blender in which you put the liver, breadcrumbs, parmesan, eggs, salt and pepper. Chop everything well and place in a rectangular mould in a bain-marie for half an hour over medium heat.
When it is “cool“, you can serve it to your liking.
As a side dish I chose to use Certaldo spring onions that a dear friend gives me every summer, because they are sweet and tender. I used a good balsamic vinegar to give some character to the onion, salt and two bay leaves. All pulled in a good olive oil until it becomes almost a jam.
To complete, I made some crispy flatbread with:
- flour 250 gr
- warm water 120 ml
- brewer’s yeast 3 gr
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- a teaspoon of honey or malt
You make a normal dough like for bread and roll it out with a rolling pin into a thin sheet. Then cut to taste and bake at 180 degrees for about fifteen minutes.
Enjoy your meal and remember that “The best teacher is practice under capable guidance.”