Tomaso, a double-bass player, and his daughter Agata, a young student, welcome us into their lavish home which looks out over the port of Genova, and a fabulous panorama of the Ligurian sea.
In 2004, Tomaso discovered that as well as a passion for music, he also had a gift for cooking. He started attending courses until he finally gained a professional chef qualification. With the help of the talented Agata, he began organising dinners and events, always striving to develop his creativity in the kitchen whether it’s in restaurants, agriturismos, or even aboard luxurious yauchts in Montecarlo.
We begin our journey through the flavours of Ligurian cuisine with a ‘farinata genovese’, an oven-baked savoury tart made with a chickpea flour dough that is rolled out very thinly for a delicate bite.
Next, a rich minestrone soup in the Genovese style, with ditalini pasta. A flavoursome vegetable broth is combined with a hint of pesto and a handful of dried mushrooms. For the second course, Tomaso and Agata serve rabbit ‘a carlonna’, which is a variant of the local delicacy ‘coniglio alla ligure’, prepared in a terracotta dish. The tender meat is braised with onion, garlic and chili pepper, then a splash of Vermouth and a handful of olives is added. The Cesarini add their own personal touch to the original recipe with the addition of pine nuts, which balances perfectly with the bitter olives. On the side, we have crispy roast potatoes.
For dessert, we have a humble and delicious treat, ‘latte fritto alla ligure’, which literally translates as ‘fried milk’. A dough of milk, egg yolk, flour and sugar is cut into diamond shapes and fried before being enjoyed piping hot. Buon appetito!