All 20 of Italy’s regions have specific culinary traditions but most have at least one or two signature dishes that are on almost every menu in the region. One of the most ubiquitous and the most delicious of Ligurian treats is their homemade squiggly pasta called trofie which are generally served with pesto. Pesto can be made in a number of ways. The basic pesto ingredients are basil, garlic, pinoli nuts, cheese and oil. In Liguria, many cooks add green beans and potatoes to the dish. You can either purchase pesto or make it at home.
The pasta is a bit more laborious but here is a great recipe from a blog by Helen Rennie. Buying trofie in New York can present somewhat of a challenge but fresh pasta producers such as Raffetto’s in the West Village or Borgattis on Arthur Avenue would be a good place to begin your search.
If all of this seems too much, you can hop over to Scuderia on 6th Avenue and order this lovely dish. A great wine to drink while eating pesto is the local Vermentino, a white wine which is made in Liguria, in parts of Tuscany and in Sardinia. The best Vermentino from Liguria come from an area called Colli di Luni. This summer dish is light and is always a crowd pleaser at dinner parties as well.
Often overlooked by tourists who opt to vacation in Tuscany, Liguria has much to offer. Renowned for its small picturesque villages perched on hills overlooking the Mediterranean, it is also a wonderful place to hike as well as scuba dive or sail. Many northern Italians tend to spend their weekends here and part of the summer. Liguria can also be a great place to vacation with young children as the sea is relatively shallow and calm close to the shoreline. On your next visit, keep Liguria in mind for a holiday jaunt. You won’t be disappointed.