Fans of Thomas Harris’s ‘Silence of the Lambs’ may recognize this recipe as a nod to a quote from Hannibal Lecter, when he warns Clarice Starling against pushing him too far with her questions:
‘A census taker tried to quantify me once. I ate his liver with some fava beans and a big Amarone. Go back to school, little Starling.’
Although the Amarone was changed to chianti in the film (allegedly the screenplay writers thought that most movie goers wouldn’t know what an Amarone was), I thought I’d stick with Lecter’s original food and wine pairing (which as it turns out is actually something of a hidden joke). However, I did opt to swap out the census taker’s liver with something decidedly less macabre, but equally fitting of Lecter’s gourmet tastes: foie gras. Although it’s a somewhat controversial ingredient (seek out humane foie if you’re an animal lover), in this case, it’s a better option than sticking with the original recipe. It’s also rich and versatile, and works well with the fava beans, which I turned into a pesto as a nod to Lecter’s time in Florence. To cut the fattiness of the foie, I made an Amarone reduction- if you can, pick up a second bottle, or halve the recipe for the sauce so you can drink a little of the wine with your foie and favas.
This recipe makes four to six appetizer-sized servings. If you’re in need of a main course, why not go for a full themed menu, and follow this dish up with a nice roasted rack of lamb?