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Faggots forgotten, Fegatelli remembered

When I recently posted the Faggotts recipe to one of the Newsgroups I received an interesting response telling me about Fegatelli. This is it.

What memories!

I used to eat faggots at my Nan's house too. My father was Welsh and I spent the first four years of my life in Caernafonshire. I never knew they were made of pig's livers! Nan and Tad died when I was very young, so I couldn't ask them, my mother didn't know (she is a Londoner of Spanish and German descent). Then we moved to Italy and I forgot about faggots!

Pigs liver is a popular Italian winter dish. It's called Fegatelli (from the word fegato meaning liver).

We cut the liver into 3 to 4 inch strips, salt and pepper it, then on each strip we put a bay leaf and a sliver of garlic,some sprinkle aniseed on it too, but I don't. The strips are separately wrapped up in a piece of "rete" (netting), this is the membrane which holds the pigs intestines (known as cawl in the UK). Now don't say "ugh", it's not yucky! It is washed and dried before you buy it and is nice and white and dry to the touch, it also is very tasty!

We brown the strips on both sides in good olive oil and then add a glass of white wine and simmer for about 20 minutes. We serve it with grilled slices of polenta (corn mash). Pigs liver is a lot stronger than cows liver, so it is not something you would eat every day. But on a cold, wet day it is the right thing to eat in front of a blazing fire accompanied by a robust glass of red wine (Barolo is ideal or Lambrusco if you like sparkling red wine).

Thanks for the memories!

from the Roman countryside