Food, Wine & Travel in Seaside Liguria
|Genoa, Liguria Italy|
|Port of Genova, Liguria|
|Cinque Terre: Monterosso|
|Genoa, Liguria Italy|
Ligurian cuisine is a little different than what may be expected. While the region has a seaside location and there is an abundance of fresh seafood, Ligurians do not eat as much frutti di mare as one might expect. Instead, Liguria is known for its vineyards, olive oil, pesto and ravioli.
Ligurian cuisine is characterized by fresh vegetables and aromatic herbs, like basil. In fact, Genoa is notorious for its basil. Pesto, made with basil, is served in different pastas, namely ravioli, spaghetti, trenette (flat, thin pasta similar to linguini), gnocchi and fidelini. Pasta is a huge staple. In addition to the aforementioned, another favorite Ligurian pasta is corzeti, or fresh pasta made of leavened dough that is red from tomato and green by spinach, which gives the color and appearance of the Italian flag.
Stoccafisso (fish stew) and baccalà (salted cod) are typical fish dishes. Rabbit and veal are frequently eaten. Minestrone soup is rumored to have been born in Liguria. Ligurian desserts incluce pane dolce, (bread made with pinenuts, raisins and fruit) and latte dolce fritto. Olive oil and basil are protected in Liguria (DOP).
Liguria has 8 DOC appellationss: Cinque Terre and Cinque Terre Sciacchetrà, Colli di Luni, Colline di Levanto, Golfo del Tigullio-Portofino or Portofino, Pornassio or Ormeasco di Pornassio, Riviera Ligure di Ponente, Rossese di Dolceacqua or Dolceacqua, Val Polcevera. It also has IGT appellations: Colline del Genovesato, Colline Savonesi, Golfo dei Poeti La Spezia or Golfo dei Poeti, Terrazze dell’Imperiese. According to the research and DNA, Pigato, Vermentino and Favorita are all from the same grape varietal and are native to Liguria.
We paired the following with our Ligurian wine:
Recipe: Pesto Focaccia (Pesto alla Genovese)
Homemade Focaccia Ingredients:
3 and 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour, plus extra if needed
1 teaspoon instant yeast
1 teaspoon sugar
1 tablespoon plus 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus extra for greasing the bowl and pizza pan
1 tablespoon of fresh chopped rosemary
1 tablespoon of fresh chopped thyme
1 tablespoon of fresh chopped parsley
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 cup pecorino
1/2 cup parmigniano
1/4 cup freshly grated Pecorino Romano
Pesto sauce (recipe below or store brought)
Bake the focaccia in the preheated oven for 20 minutes, or until golden on the top and bottom and lightly crisp. Serve hot, warm, or at room temperature, dusted with a the pecorino, according to taste.
Homemade Pesto Ingredients:
2 cups basil
2 cloves garlic
1/2 cup parmesian cheese
3-4 tbsp. olive oil
1/2 cup of pine nuts (optional)
Procedure: Blend it all in a food processor, until it creates a paste. Drizzle on focaccia, or jar and refrigerate.
Recipe: Grilled Shellfish Medley (Shrimp, Scallops, Clams)
4 lb of fresh mussels (or clams)
2 cups of dry white wine
4 cloves of garlic ( chopped)
4 shallots finely chopped
Freshly ground sea salt to taste (1/2 tsp)
Freshly ground white pepper
2-4 whole dried chili peppers OR 1/2 tsp dried chili flakes (adjust to taste)
6 tablespoons butter OR 3 tsp virgin olive oil
Serve with pesto focaccia. Serve immediately.
The Wining Hour’s Ligurian Selection:
The Ligurian region is another favorite for so many reasons. Read more about this seaside region and…
Vino Travels – Wine & Sunshine on the Italian Riviera
The Wining Hour – Ligurian Pigato with Pesto Focaccia and Shellfish
Culinary Adventures with Camilla – Carciofi Crudi
About The Wining Hour