Author Notes: Don't make a face! This is the best recipe. OK you don't like chicken livers, please try it any way. If I can I use duck livers from the local farms but chicken livers from a butcher or meat market where you trust the turnover are just fine.
As soon as the first spears of aspargus pop through the dirt, I'm off collecting enough for first steamed asparagus dipped in butter or mayonnaise and then, this. Fortunately, the sage plant has revived enough to withstand this early assault. Trust me, so good.
Serves 4 or 2 with leftover lunches
- 1 pound spaghetti, prefereable whole wheat (Misurca brand is terrific)
- 1 pound chicken or duck livers, cleaned and sliced into chunks if large
- 1 pound asparagus, trimmed
- 16 sage leaves
- 1/2 cup good quality (but not best) extra virgin olive oil
- 4 tablespoons butter
- White pepper to taste
- Salt to taste
- splashes dry white wine or vermouth
- 1 cup pasta water, reserved
- 1 leek, cleaned, halved lengthwise and cut into half moons
- Shaved parmagiana chees for garnish
- Boil water in a large stockpot for first the asparagus and then the pasta, salt the water generously.
- Clean chicken/duck livers under cold water removing any blood spots, sinew or extra fat. Cut any large lobes in half.
- Once pasta water boils, add asparagus to boiling water and cook for 2 minutes. Remove the asparagus from the water with tongs and place on a cutting board. Return the water to a boil
- Heat butter and olive oil in a 12" skillet, preferably cast iron untile it is foaming. Place chicken livers in skillet and let sit over medium high heat allowing the livers to thoroughly sear on one side. Don't rish it! Add leeks and stir to allow the chicken livers to lightly brown on the other side. Add sage leaves and season with salt and white pepper.
- Place pasta in boiling water and cook according to directions.
- Slice asparagus into two inch lengths and add to chicken livers and leeks. Add splash of white wine or vermouth.
- Drain the pasta, reserving 1 cup of pasta water. Add pasta to skillet and stir to combined well. If pasta is dry, add water a few tablespoons at a time and simmer to incorporate.
- Plate the pasta in low wide bowls, drizzle with good quality olive oil and top with parmesan chees shavings.