The Cinque Terre is a worldwide famous tourist destination located in the Liguria Region, Italy. The area comprises five small villages: Monterosso, Vernazza, Corniglia, Manarola and Riomaggiore. What tourists love most of this zone is the picturesque view of the villages overlooking the blue sea and its colorful houses. But food and wine play an important role too! Here is a list of some Ligurian specialties that you should definitely try.
1. Acciughe alla ligure
“Acciughe alla ligure” literally means Ligurian-style anchovies. This dish can be prepared in different ways, but the classic version is the one with marinated anchovies. This is a very simple and poor dish made with only a few ingredients: oil, vinegar, lemon, garlic, salt, pepper, basils, and, of course, fresh anchovies. The only difficult part of the recipe? Cleaning the anchovies by hand, making sure to take out the tiny fishbones! In other variants, the anchovies can also be fried or stuffed. But in any case, they are perfect to be eaten as an appetizer or during an Italian aperitivo.
2. Trenette and trofie al pesto
Trenette and trofie are two typical types of pasta from the Liguria Region. Trenette are a long type of pasta, similar to the famous linguine, while trofie are shorter and characterized by a twisted shape. But what makes thid dish absolutely tasty is the pesto sauce! The original recipe is made with fresh basil, pine nuts, Parmesan cheese, Pecorino cheese, garlic, salt and olive oil. Yummy!
3. Torta Monterossina
The “Torta Monterossina” is a typical cake from Monterosso, one of the five villages of the Cinque Terre area. This dessert includes a layer of shortbread and a second layer of sponge cake. But what makes this cake unique is the filling: pastry cream, apricot jam and chocolate sauce all together. Make sure to try it when it’s still warm!
4. Focaccia ligure
The “focaccia” is a salty kind of flatbread characterized by a golden color. It is normally not higher than 2 cm, and its surface is sprinkled with grains of salt and a generous amount of extra-virgin olive oil. It can be eaten as it is or stuffed with prosciutto, cheese, pesto and much more.
The “farinata” is a salty thin pancake made of chickpea flour, salt, water and extra-virgin olive oil. It was invented in Genoa, but it’s now prepared in the entire Liguria Region and also in Tuscany, where it is called “Cecina” instead.
6. Torta di riso di Monterosso
It is a savory rice cake made with eggs, flour, extra-virgin olive oil, salt, Parmesan cheese, tomato sauce, mushrooms, and, obviously, rice. The cake is prepared every year in occasion of the feast of the St Mary of Soviore, which takes place in Monterosso on August 14.
7. Sciacchetrà wine
The Sciacchetrà is a sweet wine produced in the hills of the Cinque Terre area. In 1973, the wine obtained the DOC (Controlled Denomination of Origin) certification: a sign that confirms its high quality and its bond with the territory. The Sciacchetrà is normally paired with desserts, such as the “canestrelli”: little ligurian bisquits prepared with butter, flour, potato starch, lemon zest, vanilla, yolk, and powdered sugar.
8. Limoncino ligure
Limoncino is a lemon liquor made only with lemon zest, alcohol, and sugar. The lemon zests have to be infused in the alcohol for about 20-30 days in a dry and cool place.