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tajarin with chicken livers



Tajarin with Chicken Livers and Porcini Mushrooms



About Tajarin (egg yolk pasta)

Tajarin is a pasta specialty of Piedmont, Italy that is made with 00 flour and all egg yolk giving it a golden color. In Italy recipes will be found with twenty yolks and more per kilo of flour -- some recipes state as much as 40 egg yolks per kilo. The high amount of egg yolk gives the pasta a luxurious taste and texture. Using only egg yolks also creates a brilliant golden colored pasta a result of the carotenoids in the chicken feed.

hand_cut_tajarin When you make Tarjarin with a pasta maker you can cut it with an attachment which will give you 2 mm wide pasta. If you cut it by hand (shown left) expect to get irregular shaped widths.
egg_yolk_pasta Egg yolk pasta cut using the 2 mm setting.

Tajarin is the Piedmonts dialectís name for tagliarini, a thin, flat noodle. Tajarin is a flat noodle that is usually less than 1/8" wide. It is served either with a Bolognese sauce or a sage butter sauce. If white truffles or white truffle butter is available those are of course preferred. While Tajarin can be made fresh it is also available in the US in dried form from Italy. If you live in NYC, Eataly has several varieties of Tajarin dried pasta.

Service for 4

For the Tajarin Pasta

8-9 egg yolks (preferably organic chicken eggs)
2 cups 00 flour
1 tsp olive oil
corn meal for dusting

Making the Egg Yolk Pasta

Put the flour in a large bowl or on a flat surface. Make a mound and form a hole in the center of the flour. Add the ingredients to the center of the whole. Blend the egg yolk into the flour by moving in a circular path until the flour has incorporated all the egg and a dry pasty texture is achieved. Scrape all the mixture onto a dry board. Using a dough scraper slowly start to knead the pastry. Add more flour as needed. Continue to knead for another 3 minutes, remembering to dust your board with flour when necessary. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and set aside for 20 minutes at room temperature.

Cut your ball in four equal portions and begin to roll the dough out through a pasta maker till the next to the smallest setting is achieved. Feed each sheet through a thin ( 2 mm) cutting attachment made for your pasta machine. You can also as done in Piedmont, dust the flour after rolling out with flour, roll it into a cigar cylinder and cut with a sharp knife thin ribbons about 2 mm in width. Fluff the pasta out and let dry on paper towels.

Cut the dough with a large 4" cookie round.

Cook the pasta for 1 minutes in boiling water. Remove from the water

Note: If duck eggs are available use 2-3 duck egg yolks per cup of flour.

For the Chicken Liver Sauce

1 small onion finely diced
1 oz. dried porcini mushrooms
1 T Marsala wine
2 T Red wine (Nebbiolo grape)
1/4 cup of water
1 T unsalted butter
1 T olive oil
3 T flat parsley
4 chicken livers cut into half inch pieces (use 1-2 chicken livers per person)
1 tsp. tomato paste
1/2 cup chicken stock
white truffle butter (optional)

Soak the mushrooms in 1 T Marsala and 1/4 cup of water for 20 minutes. Drain and filter the liquid through a fine sieve. Reserve the liquid. Slice the porcini mushrooms and set aside on paper towels.

Soak the chicken livers in milk for 1 hour in the refrigerator to help reduce any bitter taste.


Note: use 1-2 chicken livers per person. If you make this as a main dish as shown to left you can increase the number of chicken livers used


Heat the butter and oil in a sauté pan then add onions and cook till translucent. Stir in tomato paste and cook till aroma is released and paste is slightly caramelized. Add the mushrooms then the diced chicken livers and sauté till nicely browned. Add the red wine and chicken stock, and mushroom liquid. Continue to cook, till a desired thickness in the sauce is achieved. Note: taste livers after a few minutes.

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