The Ligurian Gastronomy
The cuisine in Framura
The Ligurian Cuisine is the one which better represents the culinary tradition of the Middle Ages; for Centuries Liguria has been considered the home of the olive tree, from whose fruits the famous and unmistakable olive oil is produced and present almost everywhere in Ligurian dishes and in all the cuisine of Mediterranean area.
The most typical dishes are based on fish, that has maintained its characteristics of genuineness and simplicity: fried anchovies, potatoes moulds, fish soups and various kinds of fishes with olives and pine-kernels.
In particular, the gastronomy of the Ligurian eastern Riviera is different from the one of the western Riviera, as meat is present in a very modest way because the territory is not suitable for breeding. The cuisine of the hinterland is characterized by the use of basic products: mushrooms, both with meat or fish, the oil from the beloved olive tree, the products from orchards and gardens and especially the spontaneous or cultivated sweet herbs framing all the typical dishes of the region. Among all the herbs Basil, that here has a different scent, is the most important one and the main ingredient of Pesto, the sauce famous all over the world. Among the other sweet herbs we remember the “prebuggiun”, a mix of spontaneous herbs including chard, dog’s-tooth, borage, chervil, wild cabbage, burnet and others.
These herbs are blanched and well strained and then they are used in the filling of Ligurian Ravioli together with meat and ricotta cheese. The origin of the name is uncertain: probably it dates back to the passage through Genoa of Goffredo Di Buglione, whose soldiers searched for food “pro Buglione”.
Ligurian Cuisine offers also a wide variety of different sorts of “focaccia”, for example the famous “farinata” with chickpeas flour, prepared every morning and that has to be eaten warm also as appetizer with a glass of a good Vermentino wine.
Liguria in fact is since a lot of years an appreciated wine producing region, we remember the Vermentino, the Pigato, the Rossese, the Ormeasco and others known all over the world.
Some typical receipts
Cima Ligurian Style (“Cimma”)
Ingredients: 1 kg. (2,20 lbs.) veal belly, 100 gr. lean veal, 50 gr. brains, 40 gr. butter, 6 eggs, 2 spoonfuls of pine-kernels, grated parmesan cheese, some slices of dried mushrooms, marjoram, 1 clove of garlic, 40 gr. peas, 2 onions, 1 carrot, olive oil, soft part of the bread, half glass of milk, half glass of white wine, salt.
Mince the lean and the brains. Brown the chopped onions and carrot and then add the minced meats, the peas, the mushrooms, the pine-kernels, the chopped garlic, the marjoram, the previous beaten eggs, the soft part of the bread soaked in the milk and the parmesan cheese. Stir and salt. Add the white wine and let it cook until the wine is completely evaporated. Fill the veal belly (cut and sewn like a pocket) with the mixture and sew to close the open side of the pocket.
Put the CIMA (the filled meat bag) in a big saucepan filled by warm water with a whole onion, celery and a carrot. Simmer for about 2 hours. At the end allow the Cima to cool in a dish with a weight on top of it. To serve cut in slices with salad or steamed vegetables.
Vegetable soup Genoese Style (“Menestron”)
Ingredients: 100 gr. Fresh cranberry beans (Fagioli Borlotti), 150 gr. green beans, 3 potatoes. 2 aubergines, 200 gr. pumpkin or courgettes, 300 gr. cabbage (according to season), 200 gr. seasonal vegetables, 25 gr. dried mushrooms, 2 spoonfuls of olive oil, 200 gr. pasta or rice, 2 spoonfuls pesto, salt.
Clean the vegetables, put a saucepan with salted water on to cook. When the water boils put all the vegetables cut in pieces. Soak the dried mushrooms, squeeze and mince them and add them to the soup. Simmer for about one hour. Add pasta or rice and end the cooking. Remove from fire and add the pesto. Mix and serve. The Minestrone soup can be accompanied by croutons.
Ligurian Focaccia (“Fugassa”)
Ingredients: 2 boiled and mashed potatoes (middle size), 20 gr. brewer’s yeast, a glass of ligurian olive oil, 400 gr. flour, salt.
Put the flour on the table, add the brewer’s yeast melted in few warm milk, 2 spoonfuls of salt, the mashed potatoes and one third of the oil.
Work the mixture very well and leave it to stand for 45 minutes. Then roll out it in a quite big and oiled baking-pan and let it rise for other 45 minutes. Preheat the oven at 200°C, make with the fingers some small holes on the surface of the focaccia, oil and salt and bake until the surface is golden.
Ingredients: 1 kg flours, brewer’s yeast, 100 gr. walnut-kernels, 1 dl. Oil, 1 dl. Marsala wine, 50 gr. pine-kernels, 50 gr. shelled hazelnuts, 80 gr. raisins, grated lemon rind.
Soak the raisins in warm water for 15 minutes, then strain it. Blanch for one minute the walnut-kernels, strain and chop. Pour in a big bowl flour, salt, sugar, the lemon rind, the fennel pips, the hazelnuts, the pine and walnut-kernels and a half of the raisins. Add the brewer’s yeast diluted in warm water, 8 spoonfuls of oil and Marsala wine. Work the mixture with energy, cover with a towel and leave it to stand in a warm place for 2 hours. Oil a baking-pan and roll out the mixture.
Decorate with the remaining raisins, swab with the remaining oil, leave the mixture to stand for one hour, then bake for 30 minutes at a temperature of 200°C. Allow the Pandolce to cool before serving.