Liver and Onions Venetian-style

Fegato alla Veneziana

Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • Serves


Appears in

Italian Regional Cookery

Italian Regional Cookery

By Valentina Harris

Published 1990

  • About

This is my own version of this dish, as cooked for me and my family more times than I care to remember by the best Venetian cook I have ever met Beppino learned to cook in the restaurants of Milan, but never lost his traditions and original recipes. I can still see the long white platter with its mountains of soft, red onions, surmounted by tender slices of liver, being carried into the dining room with immense pride and joy. When I cook this at home I get the onions ready well in advance as this part of the recipe takes the longest. They can then be re-heated and the liver put in with them to cook briefly at the last moment, which makes it a perfect dinner-party dish.


  • lb (500 g) calf’s or lamb’s liver, cut into very thin slices
  • lb (750 g) onions (preferably red)
  • fl oz (65 ml) vegetable oil
  • 1 oz (25 g) butter
  • 1 handful parsley, finely chopped
  • 1 glass dry white wine
  • salt and pepper


Trim the liver with care, pulling off the transparent, rind-like skin from around each slice. Peel and slice the onions evenly and very thinly (a food processor does this very well and easily) and rinse them briefly under cold running water. Fry the onions in the oil and butter with the parsley over a very low heat for 1 hour, covered, until shiny and soft. Stir frequently to prevent sticking or burning. Then raise the heat and lay the liver in the onions. Brown it quickly on both sides and pour the wine over as it browns; the liver will be cooked in 5 minutes. Season it with salt and pepper, remove from the pan and keep warm. Tip the cooked onions on to a warmed platter, arrange the liver on top and serve at once.