Travel and Culture in Liguria
About typically Ligurian cooking, it must be discredited at least two commonplaces: that it’s a poor cooking and almost exclusively made of sea recipes.
Typically Ligurian cooking is really made of rich and savoury dishes, where there is the fish, but completely enriched with other ingredients and so, sometimes, becoming almost unrecognizable by the palate.
That is because Ligurian tradition loves mostly its own home and its own sunny vegetable gardens, where the most delicious aromatic herbs and vegetables grow, distinguishing all Ligurian cooking.
Basil is one of these typical herbs, essential for the delicious "pesto", that can be obtained pounding in a mortar: fresh basil, kitchen salt, garlic, pine nuts, Parmesan cheese and sheep’s milk cheese (pecorino) in the correct proportion.
You can enjoy with pesto Trenette and Trofie, typical Ligurian cooking pasta and "Pansotti with walnut sauce" (big ravioli with a vegetable and herb filling, delicious with thick and tasty walnut sauce).
Also minestrone and lasagne are flavoured with pesto, while seconds range from "coniglio con le olive" ("rabbit meat with olives") to "sardine ripiene" ("stuffled sardines") (filled with garlic, parsley, lettuce, Parmesan cheese and breadcrumbs), until delicious typically Ligurian focaccias of all kinds, including delicious "Farinata di ceci" (a very thin crépe made of chick-pea flour, water and olive oil).