Tuscan recipe – Crostini neri

Crostini ai fegatini

Scritto da PoggioalBosco

April 18, 2024

Once, when people didn’t use plates and cutlery, sauces, meat pieces, and gravies were served directly on a slice of bread. This is the origin of crostini. Cool, isn’t it?

When it comes to starters in Tuscany, it’s impossible not to think of crostini neri, also known as crostini with livers. Like many other recipes, its origin can be traced back to rural culture, where the motto “waste not, want not” was a time-honored principle: Tuscan grandmas baked the bread only once a week, but when it became too stale they either roasted it over the fire or soaked it in broth and seasoned it with this paté, prepared with the less noble parts of chicken and veal. This practice showcased Tuscan grandmothers’ wisdom in using every part of the animal with respect and gratitude and gave an irresistible flavor to the crostini.

In Poggio al Bosco, crostini neri can never be missing from the table when we have guests, and the recipe used is still the classic one of the past that includes chicken livers, spleen, and ground beef enriched with capers and anchovies. Everything is seasoned with evo oil, and grandma Maria always recommends not to use liver gall, otherwise, it makes them bitter, while mamma Donatella suggests using Tuscan bread, which, being unsalted, perfectly withstands the flavor of the paté. The texture of the real “fegatino” (chicken liver paté) must be grainy, not smooth: here in our family, we have always used a crescent-shaped knife to cut the meat into little, almost chopped pieces.

Crostini neri’s recipe

This recipe is synonymous with Tuscany, and its origin is lost in the mists of time: it seems to have Etruscan origins. It was eaten by both farmers and lords, by the rich and the poor. Every city, as well as every family, jealously guards its recipe: some prefer to add a bit of ground beef to the less noble parts of the chicken, while others use spleen as the main ingredient, which immediately surprises with its darker color and more intense flavor. Some replace Vin Santo with white wine, some add fresh sage, and others like us, add a bit of tomato. Among the ingredients, you can also find rabbit liver, which, compared to chicken liver, has a bolder taste. Despite the variations and personal interpretations, mamma Donatella faithfully follows the original family recipe with love and devotion, a true culinary treasure we are delighted to share with you:

  • Onion, celery, and carrot
  • One tomato in summer, a bit of tomato sauce in winter
  • 200 g of chicken livers
  • 1/2 glass of dry Vin Santo
  • 200 g of beef spleen
  • 200 g of ground beef
  • 4 pickled or salted anchovy fillets
  • A handful of capers
  • Beef broth
  • EVO oil
  • Salt and pepper
  • Tuscan bread, if possible

Finely chop the vegetables and brown them in 2 spoons of evo oil; as soon as they begin coloring, add the well-cleaned livers, chop them coarsely, and cook over medium heat. After 10 minutes, douse with the Vin Santo and let it reduce over low heat, stirring constantly. Then add the spleen, ground beef, capers, and cleaned anchovy fillets. Season lightly with salt and pepper and let it cook for about 30 minutes, adding some hot broth from time to time. Take the mixture and chop it finely with the crescent-shaped knife on the cutting board, then put it back into the pan with the broth to finish cooking (about 10 minutes on low heat). Once the broth has reduced, let it cool.


Wet the bread slices aside in the cooking juice and spread the creamy topping still warm on the other toasted side. Add a “c” of evo oil and a caper on each crostino to crown the recipe.

You can store the paté in the fridge in a tightly sealed jar for a few days; if you heat it on the stove, be careful that it doesn’t get too dry by adding a little broth, or serve it directly at the table in a hot pot and place a tray of toasted bread lightly soaked in the hot broth next to it: each diner will choose the amount they prefer to spread on their crostini.


Pour a glass of Chianti DOCG to your guests: the sharp taste of crostini neri will be perfectly balanced by the character of our wine...

ultima modifica: 2024-04-18T14:54:52+01:00 When it comes to starters in Tuscany, it's impossible not to think of crostini neri, also known as "crostini ai fegatini" (chicken liver crostini). da Elena Boschini

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