Portovenere is rich in fish farmings such as mussels, brasses and giltheads: excellent raw materials that allow the creation of dishes such as the Ligurian fish-fry, or the “pesce in scabeccio”, that is marinated fish.
When you talk about Ligurian cuisine, you must also mention the pesto. Its main ingredient is the basil of Pra’ from the high lands of Pra’, an area of Genoa. This sauce is obtained crushing basil, salt, pine nuts and garlic, seasoned with Sardinian pecorino (or parmigiano) and extra virgin olive oil.
Among the typical dishes of the area these “muscoli” are a must. Portovenere’s muscoli are similar to mussels; their farms are in the Gulf of La Spezia and along the coasts that border Portovenere. They can be fried, stuffed with a dough made with the soft part of bread, served with spaghetti or marinated with garlic, oil and parsley.
A poor dish of the traditional Ligurian tradition, this soup was originally cooked in the port of La Spezia and is obtained mixing chickpeas, beans, haricot beans, emmer, water and salt.
The “Bunettu de laete”, that is a kind of milk pudding, was born in the town of Pietra Ligure and it is a typical dessert that can be tasted with whipped cream, fruit of the season or sweet sauces of various kind. Its ingredients are: milk, cream, sugar, eggs, vanilla and jelly.
The fugàssa or focaccia of Genoa is a sort of 2-cm flat bread that gets brushed during the last rising with a mixture of extra-virgin olive oil, water and coarse salt.
Ligurian stuffed zucchini blossoms are a typical dish of the Ligurian food tradition. They can be served as a starter or as a second course.