"This is a super-fast weeknight dinner that uses a small quantity of chicken livers, which are big on flavour. You can pick up chicken livers at most good butchers." Matthew Evans, For the Love of Meat






Skill level

Average: 3.6 (169 votes)


  • 250 g spaghetti
  • 250 g chicken livers, rinsed
  • 50 g butter
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 9 sage leaves, 3 finely chopped and 6 left whole
  • 2 purple shallots, finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely sliced
  • 60 ml (¼ cup) dry Marsala
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 25 g (¼ cup) grated parmesan 

Cook's notes

Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.


Bring a large saucepan of salted water to the boil and cook the spaghetti until al dente. Drain the pasta, reserving 125 ml (½ cup) cooking water, then set aside and keep warm.

Meanwhile, trim the livers, removing any discoloured bits and membranes. Pat dry on paper towel, then cut into 2–3 pieces.

Melt half the butter with the olive oil in a large frying pan over medium heat. Add the chopped sage and the shallots and cook for 2 minutes, then add the garlic and cook until soft. Add the remaining butter and when foaming, add the livers and whole sage leaves and cook for 1-2 minutes or until the undersides of the livers are golden brown, then give the pan a little shake and cook for another 30 seconds or until the livers feel bouncy. You want them slightly pink inside, but not rare. Add the Marsala to deglaze the pan, then shake the pan again. Remove from pan and season with salt and pepper.

Return the pan to medium-low heat, add half the reserved pasta cooking water and half the parmesan and combine to make a creamy sauce- you many need to add a little more water to loosen. Return the livers, their sauce and the pasta to the pan and toss well.  Divide among four bowls and serve with the remaining parmesan.


Photography by Alan Benson. Styling by Vanessa Austin. Food preparation by Alex Herbert.


For The Love of Meat with Matthew Evans starts Thursday 20 October at 7.30pm on SBS and then on SBS On Demand Visit the program page for show information, related articles and more recipes.