Nestled along the picturesque coastline of northern Italy, Liguria is a culinary gem waiting to be discovered. Known for its stunning landscapes, charming villages, and delectable cuisine, this region offers a culinary journey. This post will take you on a short culinary journey through Liguria, Italy, with three of their worldwide famously renowned recipes: Pesto Genovese, Focaccia and the Farinata. It’s all a bit different than what we thought, but equally delicious!
Trofiette al pesto
Let’s start with the Primo piatto or first plate, the pasta dish usually in Italy. Trofiette al pesto is pasta made on a wood board and rolled into small 3 cm spirals. They are a typical style of pasta originating. They are mainly served in the Liguria region, usually with the beloved pesto alla Genovese (basil, pine nuts, garlic, olive oil and parmesan paste). Don’t be fooled here; the “authentic” pesto a la Genovese isn’t precisely this basil sauce we have in mind. First of all, the actual dish contains small pieces of potatoes and green beans. Also, the authentic pesto, or let’s say the base of the sauce as we all know, is usually done in a big marble mortar by hand to prevent the basil leaves from heating up from the heat of the blender’s blade and prevent oxidation of the leaves. Although not many cooks do it this way those days, it’s a “time-consuming” technique. However, if you want to have an excellent workout to tone up your arms and get some deliciously vivid green pesto, then you should try this original technique in a mortar. If you want to learn how to make them check this video from the famous ‘Pasta Grannies’ on YouTube.
Focaccia di Recco col Formaggio
As a secondi piatti, or main meal, on our Liguria region food discoveries; the famous focaccia di Recco al formaggio. The few coastal villages on the east coast of Genoa, Recco, Camogli and Sori, have their version of focaccia. The thick olive oil focaccia we all know and love differs significantly in this area of Italy. It contains two paper-thin crusts filled with this highly soft (borderline liquid) and sour fresh cheese, Geographically protected from the region called Prescinsêua. This variation of focaccia is lighter with its paper-thin crust made of simple flour and olive oil (no yeast), resulting in a pleasant contrast of crunchy and creamy; without saying it’s as irresistible as the “thicker” focaccia.
The Focaccia di Recco col Formaggio is usually served on a plate, contrary to the thicker “street food” versions, which you can eat on the go. Mainly because it is filled with delicious runny cheese, this unique cheese is produced in small amounts in the Ligurian area, so you might have difficulty finding it outside Italy. However, a Fontina, fresh mozzarella or stracchino cheese could replace the original. This crispy thin focaccia comes cut into small 10cm squares and a touch of olive oil and salt to top it. Another Italian delight to try if you ever visit Liguria, Italy.
Farinata is a mouthwatering chickpea flour and olive oil cake that embodies the region’s rustic charm and rich flavours. This delectable creation is a testament to the simplicity of Italian cuisine, where humble ingredients come together to form a true culinary masterpiece. The magic begins with a batter of chickpea flour, water, and extra-virgin olive oil, mixed to a smooth consistency and seasoned with salt and pepper. The result is a thin, golden-brown cake, which, when baked to perfection, boasts a delightful contrast of crispy edges and a soft, custard-like interior.
Liguria region is filled with pleasant culinary surprises, an absolute pleasure for the taste buds. Other great Ligurian recipes are ‘Pesto Bianco‘ made with walnut, ricotta and olive oil or the ‘Coniglio alla carlona,’ a rabbit stew with wine, pine nuts, olives and capers and much more. Also, many say the origin of Minestrone and ravioli is from Liguria, so this Italian region might be tiny, but it’s got a significant amount of culinary hits. It is an excellent place for those seeking the flavorful yet simple Italian gastronomy.