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The Traditional Ligurian Sauces With Giancarlo Marabotti

June 27, 2011 by Anna / Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , / 0 Comments

Some time ago I was invited to have dinner at home of some friends of mine in Genoa and in that occasion I had the opportunity to meet Giancarlo Marabotti. Giancarlo is a great chef and has participated to the “World Pesto Championship” arriving among the 10 finalists.

Today, he participates to the Pesto Championship competition as one of the organizers. Furthermore, he is involved in the famous Slow Food Association. Despite his great professionalism and knowledge, he remained a simple person with a special interest for food, traditions and taste.

Meeting Giancarlo, who is an expert in the ancient ligurian sauces made with mortar and pestle, has been a pleasant surprise for me. That evening, he involved everyone at table telling about his passion for the ligurian traditions and giving us advice on recipes.

Star of our discussions was the genoese pesto sauce and between a course and another Giancarlo told us about old ligurian recipes and other curiosities.

You know, Genoese Pesto is the most known sauce in the world after the italian tomato sauce and the region of Liguria is known abroad for this delicious delicasy.

Pesto sauce has origins from an ancient recipe named “agliata” (a sort of garlic sauce) used by the genoese sailors in 1200 a.d. during their long sailing months. The “agliata”, used to flavor and disinfect the dried meat, was made of garlic and bread soaked in vinegar. With the passing of the centuries, Giancarlo told us that the vinegar was substituted with basil, cheese, olive oil, nuts and then, pine nuts.

A curiosity: one of the first cheese used to prepare the green sauce was a dutch cheese, then it was used the parmigiano and the pecorino cheese.

Then, we spoke about pasta and it came out that the best kind of pasta that fits better with pesto sauce is the “mandilli de saea” (Genovese dialect – literally “silk handkerchiefs” – for lasagna). Thanks to the consistence of this pasta you can taste all pesto aromas and feel its scent and flavor. “Mandilli de saea with pesto sauce” recipe.

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