Tempting with recipes from our Ligurian kitchen
Cozze Ripiene alla Ligure ~ Mussels au Gratin
Mussels are plentiful in Liguria and not too expensive, and this is a favorite way to serve them.
- 2 kg mussels, scrubbed and debearded
- 100 g homemade breadcrumbs
- 2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
- Handful of mixed fresh herbs such as parsley, thyme and marjoram, finely chopped
- Extra virgin olive oil
- Salt & pepper to taste
Place the mussels in a large frying pan over a medium heat, shake the pan a little and remove the mussels as soon as they open up. (Discard any that do not open.) In a bowl, mix together the breadcrumbs, chopped garlic and herbs. Season with a little salt and pepper and add just enough olive oil to bring the breadcrumb mixture together.
Place the mussels on a baking tray and place a small spoon of breadcrumb mixture on top of each one. Drizzle with a little more olive oil then place the mussels under a hot grill for about 10 minutes or until a golden brown crust forms. Serve immediately.
Albarola Lunae Bosoni 2017
Cantine Lunae’s Albarola is a fresh white wine characterized by light notes of maritime aromatic herbs and intriguing aromas. It has good persistence in the mouth and finishes on an elegant note. Ideal for pairing with fish and seafood.
Pansotti Con Salsa di Noci – Ravioli with Walnut Sauce
Ingredients for the Pasta
- 300 g 00 flour
- 75 ml water
- 2 small eggs (plus a little beaten egg to seal the pasta)
Ingredients for the Filling
- 800 g spinach/chard/chicory/borage depending on what you have to hand
- 100 g ricotta
- 1 egg, beaten
- 25 g melted butter
- 50 g grated Parmesan cheese
- 1 tablespoon fresh marjoram, finely chopped
- Freshly grated nutmeg
- Salt to taste
Ingredients for the Sauce
- 250 g shelled walnuts
- 1 tablespoon fresh marjoram
- ½ clove garlic
- 30 g grated Parmesan cheese
- Extra Virgin olive oil
- 2 slices Italian bread, crusts removed, bathed in milk
- 50 g ricotta
- Salt to taste
First make the pasta dough by placing the flour on a worksurface and creating a well at the center. Add the eggs and the water in the center, then a couple of pinches of salt. Whisk the liquid ingredients together using a fork, slowly incorporating the flour as you go along, and adding a little extra water if the dough seems too dry. Work the dough for about 5 minutes until it becomes smooth and pliable. Wrap the dough in Clingfilm and leave to rest for at least half an hour.
Meanwhile, prepare the filling by quickly cooking your chosen greens in boiling water then gently squeezing them dry of excess liquid. Chop the greens finely and place in a bowl. Mix in the ricotta, egg, melted butter, Parmesan cheese and herbs. Grate in some fresh nutmeg and add salt to taste.
To make the sauce, pound the marjoram and garlic together in a large mortar. Add the walnuts a few at a time and the Parmesan cheese and continue to pound. Add a drizzling of olive oil and a little warm water, then squeeze the bread to remove excess milk and add to the mortar. Continue pounding until all the ingredients are well mixed. Place in a bowl then stir in the ricotta, adding just a little water more if the sauce appears too thick. Season to taste with salt.
To make the pansotti, divide the pasta into two even sized balls and, using a rolling pin, roll out into two very thin sheets of the same size. Brush one layer of pasta with a little beaten egg and place spoonfuls of the filling at aligned intervals at least 2/3 cm apart. Place the second sheet of pasta on top of the first and gently press down with your fingers between the spoofuls of filling to remove any air pockets. Using a small glass, cut out the individual ravioli and seal the edges by pressing between your fingers. Bring a large pan of salted water to the boil and cook the pansotti for 3 to 4 minutes.
As soon as the pansotti are cooked, remove from the water with a slotted spoon, place in a warm serving dish and add the walnut sauce, tossing to coat well. If you like, you can add a last scattering of grated Parmesan before serving.
Medium-bodied white wine, soft and fragrant, with notes of lemon verbena, grapefruit and mint, nice freshness and minerality with a lovely finish. A great accompaniment to vegetable pastas, fish dishes and cheese.
Coniglio alla Ligure ~ Rabbit Ligurian Style
- 1 rabbit, cut into small pieces
- ½ onion, minced
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1 sprig each of rosemary, thyme, marjoram, sage, finely chopped
- 50 g black olives
- 30 g pine nuts
- Chili pepper
- 1 glass dry white wine
- Extra-virgin olive oil
- Salt and pepper
Heat a good drizzling of olive oil in a large terracotta pot and throw in the chopped onion, garlic and herbs. Stir them around for a couple of minutes then add the olives, the pine nuts, the pieces of rabbit and a few snippings of fresh chili pepper. Cook until the rabbit has begun to get a little color, turning often so it browns evenly. Season with salt and pepper. Pour in the wine, let it evaporate a little then add half a glass of water, cover, and cook over a low heat until rabbit is tender, about 40 to 50 minutes. Check seasoning and serve.
An elegant well-balanced red wine, representing a landmark for this winery. (It was the first Ligurian wine to receive the DOC recognition back in 1972.) A few months in oak barrels gives it an intense aroma with hints of wild berries, cherry, dog-rose and spices. In the mouth is it is silky, velvety with saline hints.
Latte Fritto ~ ‘Fried Milk’
May and June are the months of roses so take advantage of the brimming rose petals to create this refreshing aperitivo.
- 4 eggs, plus two egg yolks
- 150 g sugar
- Grated zest of 1 lemon
- 1 liter whole fat milk
- 150 g flour
- 100 g breadcrumbs
- Vegetable oil for frying
- Icing sugar for decoration
Beat together the four whole eggs, the sugar and the lemon zest until the mixture becomes pale and fluffy. Slowly incorporate the milk and flour. Cook this mixture over a very low heat for about 30 minutes, stirring continuously as you would polenta. Pour the mixture into an oiled shallow tray, cover with tin foil and leave to cool overnight. Cut resulting firm cream into diamond shapes. In a bowl, beat the two egg yolks and, in a deep frying pan, heat the oil. Dip the diamonds into the egg yolks and then into the breadcrumbs and fry in the hot oil until golden brown on all sides. Remove from frying pan and drain on kitchen paper to absorb excess oil. Dust with icing sugar and serve immediately.
A great dessert wine, this Sciacchetrà is bright amber in color and offers notes of apricot, candied orange, dried figs and even a little hazelnut. It has a sweet, but never sickly, taste – perfect to accompany sweet bites, but also some cheeses.