Easy Italian food


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Frugal cuisine

In the past life was harsh in Liguria, a long narrow mountainous strip of land that goes from the French border as far as northern Tuscany. Its population of fishermen and peasant farmers eked out an existence, adopting a frugal attitude toward life that even today is often branded as stinginess. The local cuisine reflects this need to use what this sun-kissed but demanding land can produce: excellent olive oil, succulent walnuts and pine nuts, flavorsome wild herbs such as borage, rosemary and basil, plenty of fish, and meat from the mountains such as rabbit, wild boar, and goat. Liguria's most famous invention, pesto, is an example in kind. Made according to tradition, by crushing tender young basil leaves (the plant was recently awarded DOP status to protect how and where it is grown), pine nuts, garlic, and grated cheese in a mortar and then adding fragrant olive oil, it turns the humble dish of pasta into a flavorsome pleasure. Pesto is most often served with gnocchi, "trofie" (twists of fresh pasta), or "trenette," wider version of the flat linguine. A classic dish, "trenette col pesto alla genovese," also includes potatoes and green beans. As an alternative to a pesto-flavored first course, you can try "pansotti," egg pasta stuffed with ricotta and borage and often served with a walnut sauce, or "ravioli alla genovese" with a rich meat filling. For the main courses you can enjoy traditional dishes such as "burrida," a fish stew made with tomatoes, "baccalĂ  in zimino" dried cod served over a bed of spinach or spring greens, or fresh anchovies either fried, stuffed or baked with wild fennel. If you prefer meat, try the flavorsome local lamb, roasted or stewed with artichokes, or rabbit, especially delicious when roasted with Liguria's aromatic olives.


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First courses

Second courses







Liguria Lombardia