Loretta Sebastiani

Loretta Sebastiani
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Venetian-style calf's liver with onions
( Fegato alla veneziana )

Traditional Venetian recipe

Calf's liver with onions is a typical dish of Venetian cuisine. If you go to Venice or other towns in Veneto, you should taste this dish that is generally served with polenta. The ingredients are: calf's liver, onions, butter, white wine, vegetable stock and olive oil. Here's the recipe!

difficulty: easy

time: 50 minutes

calories: 349 (kCal)

Ingredients / Serves 4

  • 600g (1.3 pounds) calf's liver, cut into thin slices
  • 400g (14 ounces) onions, finely sliced
  • 25g (1 ounce) unsalted butter
  • 20ml (1tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon) white wine
  • 50ml (1 2/3 fluid ounce - 3 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon) vegetable stock
  • 2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt
easy recipe
preparation: 10 minutes
cooking: 40 minutes
total: 50 minutes
How many calories in a serving?
Calories: 349 (kcal) 18 % - 1462 (kJ)
Protein: 30.9 (g) 62 % GDA
Total fat: 19.4 (g) 28 % GDA
Total carbohydrate: 13.7 (g) 6 % GDA
Sugars: 13.7 (g) 16 % GDA

Download free PDF version (217 download).

Recipe for calf's liver with onions, Italian-style

Preparation and cooking

  • - Cook onions.
    Put olive oil and onions in a non-stick frying pan.
    Sautè onions, on very low heat, stirring frequently, some minutes.
    At this point add all wine and let it evaporate.
    Then pour in vegetable stock, season to taste with salt and continue cooking on very low heat, half-covered, stirring now and then, 20-25 minutes.
  • - Cook calf's liver.
    Remove all onions with a skimming ladle and put apart.
    Place liver slices in the pan.
    Remember do not overlap them.
    If you have too many slices for your pan, cook them few at a time.
    Liver must be cooked only for 5 minutes on both sides, on high heat.
    Season to taste with salt.

Just before serving

  • - Put onions together with all liver slices in the pan and warm up, a couple of minutes.
    Transfer liver and onions on your serving platter and melt all butter in liver gravy.
    Stir and top all liver slices.
    Our photo was taken before pouring the gravy on liver slices in order to highlight how the onions should be.
    Serve at once.



  • - For the best result of your calf's liver dish with onions, you must choose fresh liver and its slices must be very thin (3 to 4 mm)
  • - Here are some variations to the original recipe of Venetian-style calf's liver with onions.
    The first one. If you like parsley, you can add a couple of tablespoons chopped parsley to your gravy as soon as you turn off the stove. Stir accurately and pour on liver slices.
    The second one. If you like lemon juice, you can cook onions adding the juice of a lemon instead of wine and decreasing the amount of stock. I generally use this variation and my family likes this variation very much.

Menu planning

  • - Serve liver and onions on the top of very soft polenta.
    But you can also serve liver and onions accompanied by mashed potatoes.

Healthy eating

  • - If you serve this calf liver dish accompanied by polenta, you have a fantastic one-plate meal.
    Close your meal with seasonal fresh fruit.


What's the right wine for " Venetian-style calf’s liver with onions "?

Valpolicella (Venetian red wine) is the best choice to match to calf liver topped with onions.