Focaccia, pesto, and farinata made from chickpea flour, the stuffed ‘mussles’ (also called ‘cozze’), the mescciüa and vegetable pies are typical recipes from the kitchen of La Spezia.
As well as the ‘sgabei’, ‘testaroli’ and ‘panigacci’ (even if these originate from nearby Lunigiana). The most typical recipes are mescciüa: a legume and wheat soup, a rustic but very tasty dish; and stuffed ‘muscles’: a recipe based on mussels from the local mythical culture.
Other typical crops are the production of saffron (from the village of Campiglia) and the wine of Tramonti grapes.
The stuffed mussels (‘cozze’) are one of the tastiest and most loved local dishes in our area; a dish for which each grandmother reserves her special secret filling recipe.
Produced in our sea and caught there by expert mussel farmers, they can also be consumed a la ‘marinara’, that is just blanched and flavored with lemon... the true taste of the sea.
For a long time the ‘nurseries’ of mussels, carefully cultivated in our gulf, have also been enriched by the cultivation of oysters, famous on the market for their peculiar flavor.
This dish will not fail to amaze even the most demanding consumers.
Typical ‘farinata’ from La Spezia is a very tasty dish made out of chickpea flour, water and salt, which despite the poverty of the ingredients amazes the guests with its exquisite flavor, especially if eaten hot fresh from the oven served in typical large copper trays in the pizzerias of the city.
One definitely cannot miss the local focaccia spezzina: a classical taste, a delicacy.
It fundamentally differs in its ingredients and preparation from the Tuscany cecina, also one of the gourmet dishes.
The geographical origin is certain: the messciüa (or mes-citia, ‘mixed’) was born in the port of La Spezia, a crossroads for the legume trade.
For this reason, this is the ‘true’, classical stew of La Spezia to be enjoyed with bread croutons.
There is a legend that it was born in times of ‘drought’ when it was necessary to mix the various ingredients as they alone were not enough to prepare a dish.
Even today the messciüa is THE city dish in La Spezia, which can be found in every traditional restaurant, or on the market in bags with pre-made ingredients.
The name ‘testaroli’ comes from ‘testo’, a round crock on which they are stacked and cooked for the first time.
The pasta discs obtained from the larger diameter ‘testi’ are then cut into strips or rhombuses and blanched in salted water.
They are seasoned with cheeses, wild boar ragout, local porcini mushroom sauce, walnuts, however, the most famous version is testaroli with pesto.
Those cooked in the smaller ‘testi’ are called ‘panigacci’ and can served with soft cheeses, such as stracchino and gongorzola, or with mixed cold cuts (possibly also with the delicious lard of Colonnata) as a kind of ‘piadina’.