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Tuscan Chicken Liver and Sausage Sauce
This classic sauce is very chunky and very rich with liver taste -- which means it marries marvelously well with pasta

1/4 cup olive oil
1 large onion, finely chopped
2 medium carrots, finely chopped
1/2 cup minced fresh flat-leaf parsley plus additional for garnish
1 celery stalk, including leaves, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
3/4 pound mild Italian sausage, removed from casings
1/2 cup dry red wine
3 tablespoons tomato paste
28-ounce can crushed tomatoes
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
4 absolutely fresh chicken livers, trimmed and cut into small pieces (about 12 ounces trimmed)
salt and pepper to taste
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
freshly grated pecorino Romano as an accompaniment

1. Heat the oil until hot but not smoking in a large heavy saucepan over moderate heat. Stir in the onion, carrots, parsley, celery, and garlic and cook, stirring frequently, for about 10 minutes, or until the vegetables are soft but not browned.
2. Add the sausage and cook, stirring and breaking up all the lumps with a wooden spoon, for 4 minutes, or until the meat changes color but does not brown. Stir in the wine and the tomato paste, and cook at a bare simmer, stirring, for 10 minutes. Add the tomatoes, and cook at a bare simmer, partially covered, stirring occasionally, for 40 minutes.
3. Season the chicken livers with salt and pepper. Heat the butter in a medium skillet over moderate heat. When the foam subsides, add the chicken livers and cook, stirring, until they are nicely browned on the outside but still pink on the inside, about 3 minutes. Add the chicken livers and the butter to the sauce, and simmer for 5 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve immediately. Pass pecorino Romano, if desired.

This classic sauce is very chunky and very rich with liver taste -- which means it marries marvelously well with pasta. It's also a treat when spooned over a bowl of creamy polenta. The original sauce was made with ground pork, but we find that sweet sausage makes it even heartier and gives it more depth of flavor. Rigatoni and ziti are great pasta shapes for this sauce. Makes enough sauce for 3 pounds dried pasta