Lino welcomes us into his liberty-style home in Ceriana, which looks out over fields of greenhouses and sweeping olive groves. Ceriana is a richly historical medieval village nestled in the hills of Sanremo, surrounded by ancient walls. It has become particularly popular with foreign tourists over the last few years, partly due to the strada del Poggio, a well-known cycling ascent in the area.
Our Cesarino has worked as a fireman for over 20 years, and in his spare time is a passionate photographer and cook. Both activities allow him to make the most out of his creativity, and he often travels to the city of Bergamo to take cooking classes and hone his technical skills. His cooking style is a celebration of the scents of simple Ligurian cuisine, always staying faithful to his roots.
The secret of the Cesarina
In my version of the traditional Sacripantina cake, I sometimes use coffee instead of liquor, which is a surprisingly perfect combination with the chocolate cream.
We begin this Taste Experience with a starter of stuffed courgette flowers and onions, oven-roast and served piping hot. The rich filling of potatoes, green beans, cheese, egg, marjoram and breadcrumbs is absolutely sumptuous.
Next, we have a first course of delicious homemade tagliatelle, ribbons of pasta served in pesto ‘genovese’, made with basil, pine nuts, garlic, Parmigiano and Pecorino cheese. For the second course, Lino serves succulent rabbit, prepared in the Ligurian style; the tender meat is slow-cooked in red wine, and then flavoured with pine nuts, walnuts and olives. Lino serves this on a bed of polenta, a popular dish in northern Italy that unites perfectly with the rich sauce.
Finally, we have a Sacripantina cake, a classic Ligurian dessert made with sponge cake soaked in rum and Marsala, in a distintive dome shape. There is a layer of buttercream, and one of chocolate cream, canestrello biscuits and icing sugar. It is named after king Circasso Sacripante.