Crostini di Fegato

What are crostini di fegato?

Tuscan crostini di fegato, or Crostini with liver pate, is one of the most famous classic Tuscan recipes. It is usually served as an appetizer along with Tuscan cold cuts and cheeses. Crostini are simply “toasted bread slices” and crostini di fegato is generally toasted bread slices with a chicken liver pate spread. 

Crostini is especially showcased on Tuscan Christmas menus as a main course, but it also finds its way on regular lunch and dinner menus.  Crostini with liver or Tuscan crostini pair superbly with red wine based aperitifs. 

The origins of the Tuscan liver crostini

The recipe for Tuscan crostini is very old. Historians report that this dish was present many centuries ago in the banquets of the Romans. During the famous Lucullian dinners, fish and meat were served on plates or trays from which the guests helped themselves to various dishes as they pleased.  Much like dipping chips, slices of bread were used to grasp oil, sauces or small pieces of minced meat. This practice gave rise to a sort of crouton.

Skimming through the history of the evolution of Tuscan crostini, we learn that during the Middle Ages this dish became a course in its own right and was served as such.

In Tuscany, the crostini was in fact a way for poor peasant people to maximize the consumption of bread without wasting anything. Bread was toasted and then wet with broth or even wine and then covered with minced meat collected from the most undesirable parts of the animals. 

Thus we have the Tuscan crostini, which despite being a poor dish, was so delicious that it became a favorite of the nobility, and eventually became a staple in the Tuscan culinary tradition. 

Are bruschetta and crostini the same?

Technically, no. Bruschetta is made with a type of Italian bread, usually Tuscan bread, that is grilled and then rubbed with garlic and olive oil. Crostini, on the other hand, are made with a thinner type of bread that is toasted or baked, topped with extra virgin olive oil and then topped with various ingredients.

However, in modern usage, the terms are often used interchangeably. So you may see restaurants advertising “bruschetta crostini” or simply “crostini”. And in general, most people would understand what you mean if you say “I’m going to have bruschetta for dinner tonight”.

How do you eat crostini?

Crostini are typically eaten as an appetizer or as a small snack. The most common crostini toppings are usually some combination of meats, cheeses, and vegetables. To make crostini, thin slices of Italian bread are first brush with olive oil or butter, then baked until crispy. Once cooled, the slices of bread can then be topped with any number of ingredients.

Some other Crostini toppings include:
– Prosciutto & Mozzarella: classic Italian flavors that are always a hit
– Goat Cheese & Roasted Red Pepper: creamy and slightly spicy – a perfect contrast
– Ricotta & Honey: sweet and rich – a heavenly pair


tuscan crostini recipe


tuscan crostini recipe


Crostini di Fegato

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Toast some bread, spread this delicious chicken liver pate and serve Tuscan crostini!
Course Antipasto
Cuisine Italian
Keyword crostini, fegatelli
Prep Time 40 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Servings 4 people
Author Nonna Box


  • 1 red onion chopped
  • 20 gr extra virgin olive oil
  • 500 gr chicken livers
  • 50 gr pickled capers chopped
  • 3-4 sage leaves
  • 1 sprig Rosemary
  • 1 small glass vin santo
  • 300 ml chicken broth
  • 2-3 anchovies
  • 60 gr butter
  • Pepper as needed
  • Salt as needed


  • Preferably, in an earthenware pan, heat oil and butter together. Add the chopped onion. Cook on medium heat until the onion turns golden.
  • Clean and wash the livers well, and toss them in the pan with the sage. Add the livers to the pan, and cook with the pan covered to release the cooking water from the livers. Then add the wine after a couple of minutes. Cook over low heat for 15-20 minutes slowly adding the chicken broth.
  • It is essential that the sauce does not dry out and that you retain the broth. When the livers are almost cooked add the capers and anchovies. Make sure you have cleaned the bones from the anchovies.
  • To mince the livers, use a large kitchen knife. Some use kitchen mixers or food processors to mince the livers; if you choose this option, the livers will turn into a spreadable paste ideal for use on Tuscan bread.
  • During the preparation of the minced livers with the mixer or food processor, remember to add salt and pepper, continuously adding diced livers until a liver pate is formed.
  • Following the Tuscan tradition, the resulting paste must be spread, while still hot, on Tuscan bread that has been soaked in broth.

Source: Crostini di Fegato