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Coastal Cuisine of Liguria

Coastal Cuisine of Liguria
Tucked into the rugged cliffs overlooking the blue waters of the Mediterranean, Liguria is one of Italys most distinctive culinary regions. With a terrain restricted to navigation by boat and tightly wound mountain roads, local cooks developed a cuisine emphasizing freshness and simplicity.

Seafood from the local fishing fleet is often the special of the day at coastside trattorias, and when pasta is served alongside, it is tossed with the regions justly famous pesto sauce, made from Genovese basil, garlic and cheese. Goats and sheep inhabit the steep coastal hillsides, so you will find Pecorino in place of Parmesan cheese and an absence of butter and cream in recipes. Olive oil, fennel, sweet marjoram and other fresh herbs are commonly used in cooking.

Ligurian wines are tailor made for the cuisine. The dry whites such as Cinqueterre pair nicely with seafood dishes, and the soft reds such as Dolcetto stand up to heartier foods.

Here we offer a sampling of Liguria's coastal cuisine, from herbed focaccia and fritto misto to pesto with trofiette.