Liguria;dwells engulfed by the enchanted Mari & Monti (Sea and Mountain) in the Italian Riviera. Although Liguria is the smallest of the twenty Italian province...s; however, it is a precious necklace with Genoa being the pendent and Portofino being the diver’s pearl. Portofino used to be a small desolate village but today it is the terminus of statesmen and the wealthy; the mecca of tourist from all corners of the world. In summer, Portofino declares to the world: “Today is a day of splendor”; it is then that the shores are groomed with longtender-skinned statures and luminous faces and you are hapless calculating sums of luxurious vehicles and “seven stars” yachts.
At “Hotel Splendido” you are gazed upon by walls colonized by the most famous Hollywood stars of the fifties: Liza Minelli, Humphry Bogart, Charlton Heston, David Niven and many others. Sit there and you will get the best view of the sea or say “view of the Divine”. Werepeatedly traversed the road leading to hotel either returning in the morning from Rapallo or leaving to Santa Margherita Ligure enjoying the most beautiful strolls on the seashore.
Although Portofino sets its plentiful traps of fish, clamps and shellfish to hunt oblivious tourists who cannot differentiate between the rubbish and rubies of meals, however Portofino famous dishes are in restaurants hidden in intertwined alleys only to be found by those who are proficient in probing the offerings of Italian chefs’ brilliance. You should be more than satisfied by Mario; a lion who has been whiffing his magic at Patti Restaurant for a long period of time.
A dish of red mallet with Taggiasca and auberginewill proclaim unto mankind to come from every deep ravine in pilgrimage to proud Liguria, proud of its Taggiasca oil spread wherever your eyes can stretch over its terrain; an oil that “would almost glow forth (of itself) thoughuntouched by fire”. The enchanted oil compelled some of the merchants to forge flaks to contain the aromatic oil and although a single bottle would be vended for ninety Euros still there will be someone willing to devote such dowry.
You can escort the seamen of Liguria on a fishing trip to harvest anchovy, mullets and sardines or you can greet them at dawn in the harbor to win a plate of red mullet with tomatoes, anchovies and porcini mushrooms following the “TriglieAlla Genovese” recipe:
Season the mullet with salt and condiments, toss it into flower and fry it till done and save aside. Fry slices of onions and minced garlic till tanned and sprinkle a handful of dried porcini mushrooms after soaking it in water for half an hour. Add the sliced anchovy, chopped tomato and a few droplets of water. Once simmered add a sprinkle of minced mintthen submerge the mullets in the sauce. Mashed potato on the side is highly recommended; preferably made from Russet Potato not the waxy Red Bliss.Do not forget to add a touch of nutmeg powder.
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