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Every Monday and Wednesday, we'll announce a new Wildcard winner: a recipe that may not have been entered in (or won) a contest, but a recipe that we've tested and loved.
Today: Yes, you can make chicken liver ragu yourself -- and one to convert any liver-haters, too.
WHO: Lastnightsdinner is a self-described "desk-jockey" by day -- and an accomplished home cook and blogger by night. (She's a longtime Food52er, too!)
WHAT: The secret to not-dry, delicious liver ragu? Some pork, of course.
HOW: Soak your porcini mushrooms. Sauté vegetables and pancetta, cook your chicken livers, add your porcini, wine, vermouth, tomatoes, and herbs, and let it simmer down. Toss with pasta. Dig in.
WHY WE LOVE IT: We're tempted to leave chicken liver ragu to the pros, but lastnightsdinner proves that the dish is awesome -- and better -- when made at home. With the livers, pancetta, porcini, wine, and vermouth, this is one sexy bowl of pasta; it feels like a special-occasion dish, but (shh!) it's also a simple, one-pot meal.
Makes about 5 cups of sauce
1/2 cup dried porcini mushrooms + 1 cup boiling hot water
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
3 ounces pancetta, finely chopped
1 cup roughly chopped onion
1/2 cup roughly chopped carrot
8 ounces chicken livers, trimmed and finely chopped
1 tablespoon double-concentrated tomato paste
1 ounce Italian (red/sweet) vermouth
1 ounce dry red wine
6 whole peeled San Marzano tomatoes (fresh or canned, about 1 cup)
4 large fresh sage leaves, chiffonade (about 1 tablespoon)
1/2 cup cup freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano, plus additional for serving
Photo by Ryan Dausch