Italy is the country of Pasta.
Every region has its types, in every size and shape, dry or fresh, stuffed like Ravioli, or thin like Spaghetti.
Is like a mark and each Italian has his or her favorite type of Pasta. Each shape is the results of years of traditions.
That is why on the market is only possible to find few types of Pasta, because most of them require such specific tools that only artisans or grandmothers have and are able to use.
In Liguria, there are many kinds of Pasta as well. Some of them are very special, with shapes that you would have never expected to see and eventually, to taste!
Here are 4 that you can’t miss to taste during your trip to Liguria or even learn to prepare cooking with locals.
Croxetti have for sure one of the most particular type of shape in the pasta ligure tradition.
They are made with a small piece of dough flattened with the rolling pin. In the traditional recipe, the dough was shaped by hands, starting from a piece as big as a thumb. Then it has been invented a faster way, through the usage of a wooden stamp.
Often the stamps were also used to print the emblem of an important family, or the shape of a cross (many think that this is where the name comes from).
This type of pasta is one of the most ancient; in fact, the origins of the Croxetti are dated back to the 13th century.
The final result is very similar to a coin, and is perfect with any kind of dressing, however the traditional sauce is a type of white pesto, made with pine nuts and marjoram.
Mandilli De Sea
Mandilli De Sea in the Genoese dialect literally means “silk handkerchief”. This type of pasta are super thin, squared veils of dough, boiled in water.
It has been invented during the renaissance period, when the chefs abilities were measured basing on how thin they were able to make the dough.
The best way to eat Mandilli is with the typical “pesto alla Genovese”, made with the original basil from Pra, pine nuts, garlic, parmesan and pecorino cheese.
Pansoti or Gè in preixun (that literally means “Chard prison” in Genovese) are a type of filled pasta.
Their name comes from their bellied shape. It is made with water, flour and white wine filled with the preboggion (a typical mix of wild herbs of the ligurian valleys), ricotta e Parmigiano.
In addition, this type of pasta has an old history. It has an important value for Genoa because of the relation with the celebration of San Giuseppe during the Lent period.
White and light food was the mill code of this festivity; in fact, the perfect dressing for the Pansoti is a white sauce made with walnuts and pine nuts invented in the 19th century.
Trofie are the queen of Genovese pasta and the perfect paring with the famous basil sauce, pesto.
To obtain the characteristic twisted shape, the dough has to be rolled between the hands, but is not that easy as it seems.
The Genovese grandamas where taught since they were kids. However, the particular shape of the Trofie is perfect to hold the sauce.
Photo by pelican
This type of pasta is perfect paired with pesto, better if enriched with potato and green beans, or with fava beans from Recco.
Anyway, the most particular and delicious dressing for Trofie is with a sauce made of melted cow cheese from Valbrevenna, one of the many valleys beyond Genova.
This are just few examples of the many type of pasta existing in the ligurian Riviera. Is up to you to come and try to find the most particular!
And now… Do you want to taste some of them?