Wednesday, 2 March 2011

GOURMET WORDS FROM THE ITALIAN RIVIERA: MINESTRONE ALLA GENOVESE

Minestrone alla genovese, the king of vegetable soups

“The milestone of Ligurian patriarchal cuisine…a secret scenting of basil and pound garlic, bathed in strong cheese…”. The words of drama critic Enrico Bassano are the best introduction to the magic of menestrun, a typical Spring or Autumn dish that – according to tradition – should be served with 4 selected kinds of pasta only: brichetti (matches), scucussùn (small, round grains), maccheroncini (short pasta tubes), ridged or smooth (mostaccioli) and tagliatelle. Minestrone was the number one fare provided by catrai (floating “trattoria” barges), once siding ships entering the port of Genoa: they supplied the bliss of fresh vegetables to sailors returning from sea voyages. Vegetable variety, time (preparation and cooking may take some hours) and cooling (30 minutes) are the main steps to successful results, not to forget a final dollop of the afore mentioned pesto (in this case, frugal Ligurian home cooks omit pine nuts). Wine matching: white, Vermentino (from any of the 4 DOCs Riviera di Ponente, Val Polcevera, Golfo del Tigullio, Colli di Luni) – but the Ponente goes for red, DOC Pornassio.



Luisa Puppo

Ligucibario

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