Most Italian families have their own version of sugo, a kind of gravy. At Pasquale Jones in Manhattan, Ryan Hardy and Tim Caspare use chicken livers to enrich theirs. The livers can be cut up according to your own preference: finely chopped so they mimic a ground beef Bolognese or very coarsely chopped to intensify their flavor.
Slideshow: Fast Italian Recipes
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 pounds chicken livers, trimmed
4 celery ribs, very finely chopped
1 medium onion, very finely chopped
1 large carrot, very finely chopped
5 ounces prosciutto, very finely chopped
1 tablespoon chopped sage
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper
One 28-ounce can San Marzano whole tomatoes, crushed with your hands
1 bay leaf
1 cup dry red wine
8 cups chicken stock or low-sodium broth
1 teaspoon red wine vinegar
2 pounds tajarin pasta
Grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, for garnish
How to Make It
In a large saucepan, heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil. Season the livers with salt and black pepper. Add half of the livers to the skillet at a time and cook over moderately high heat, stirring occasionally, until deep golden, 3 to 4 minutes; transfer to a plate with a slotted spoon. Let the livers cool, then finely chop.
Add 2 tablespoons of the olive oil to the saucepan along with the celery, onion, carrot, prosciutto, sage and crushed red pepper and cook over moderate heat, scraping up the browned bits from the bottom of the pan, until the vegetables are deep golden, about 10 minutes. Stir in the tomatoes and bay leaf and cook until the liquid is evaporated and the tomatoes start to caramelize, about 20 minutes. Add the wine and cook until almost evaporated, about 3 minutes. Add the stock and simmer until reduced by half, about 20 minutes. Stir in the livers and vinegar and season with salt and black pepper. Discard the bay leaf.
Cook the pasta in a pot of salted boiling water until alÂ dente. Drain, reserving 1 cup of the pasta water. Return the pasta and water to the pot. Add the sugo and the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil and toss over moderate heat until a sauce forms, about 2 minutes. Transfer the pasta to a bowl, top with cheese and serve.
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