Marc Vetri's Rigatoni with Chicken Livers, Cipollini Onions, and Sage Recipe

Marc Vetri's Rigatoni with Chicken Livers, Cipollini Onions, and Sage Recipe

The following recipe is from the February 22 edition of our weekly recipe newsletter. To receive this newsletter in your inbox, sign up here!

If you're one of those fine folks who just can't get enough liver, we have just the recipe for your. In this recipe for Rigatoni with Chicken Livers, Cipollini Onions, and Sage from Marc Vetri's Rustic Italian Food a lush ragu is made with minced chicken livers, sweet melted onions, and leaves of sage. Loosened with butter and a splash of starchy pasta cooking water, the ragu coats the rigatoni in a way that's rich and wholly satisfying.

Reprinted with permission from Rustic Italian Food by Marc Vetri, copyright © 2011. Published by Ten Speed Press, a division of Random House, Inc. Available wherever books are sold. All Rights Reserved.

  • Yield:makes 4 servings
  • Active time: 30 minutes
  • Total time:30 minutes


  • 1 pound refrigerated extruded 
Rigatoni, or 14 ounces boxed dried rigatoni
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, 
plus more for sauce
  • 8 small cipollini onions, peeled 
and thinly sliced into rings
  • 12 fresh sage leaves
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 8 ounces chicken livers, minced
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese, 
plus more for garnish 


  1. 1.

    Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Drop in the pasta, quickly return to a boil, and cook until the pasta is tender yet firm, 2 to 7 minutes, depending on how long it has been refrigerated (or 8 to 9 minutes for the boxed stuff). Drain the pasta, reserving the pasta water.

  2. 2.

    Meanwhile, melt the 2 tablespoons butter in a large sauté pan over medium-high heat. Add the onions and sage and cook until lightly browned, 3 to 4 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste and add the chicken livers, cooking for 1 minute. Add a splash of pasta water, scraping the pan bottom.

  3. 3.

    Add the drained rigatoni to the pan. Toss with the 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese and additional butter and/or pasta water as needed to make a creamy sauce.

  4. 4.

    Divide among warm pasta bowls and garnish with Parmesan cheese.