• 2020.01.28
  • Artichokes and other Slow Food products from the Liguria region
Artichokes and other Slow Food products from the Liguria region

Protecting food biodiversity in a country where gastronomic culture has always been a cardinal principle of education and identity is an extremely important principle here in Italy: for this reason the Slow Food Foundation was born in Italy, an operating body that deals with the protection of local products.
The association involves thousands of small producers from one part of the globe to another, guaranteeing them purely technical help and offering them training and communication meetings. The projects promoted by the Slow Food Foundation are essentially aimed at a model of sustainable agriculture, based on the recognition and protection of local biodiversity together with the diffusion of traditional food culture.
In Liguria there are many slow food presidia, traditional products that tell stories of farmers, breeders and fishermen. Stories that will have to be handed down to posterity to be protected.
Some of these presidia which I know are: the bittersweet orange flower water, the garlic from Vessalico, the purple asparagus and the artichoke from Albenga, the sheep milk from Brigasca, the chinotto citrus from Savona and the Schiacchetra wine from the cinque terre area.

Toma cheese

I have already written about the famous Chinotto drinks and jams and about Schiacchetra wine from the cinque terre area so I’ll introduce the other products.
The bittersweet orange flower water is produced iin many different parts of the Ligurian region and it is generally used to make delicate essences for sweets and bakery products.
The garlic from Vessalico is a garlic with a delicate aroma and intense flavor, used in many Ligurian recipes which are very garlicky.
The purple asparagus from Albenga is flavorful and it is an unique variety in the world. Its color is natural and it’s usually boiled and dipped in Taggiasca olives extra virgin olive oil which is really tasty.
The artichoke from Albenga was originally imported from France. It is tender, without thorns and it grows almost like a wild vegetable. It is excellent consumed raw with Taggiasca olive oil as well.
The sheep milk from Brigasca is used to produce a toma cheese.

Here is a traditional recipe to use our fantastic artichokes!

Ligurian artichoke pie

Ligurian artichoke pie

fillo dough
8 medium size artichokes
200 grams of sheep's soft cheese
1 egg
50 grams of grated Parmesan
2 cloves of garlic
3 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
the juice of a small lemon
marjoram (fresh or dried)
salt and pepper

Preparation of the recipe

I use ready dough to make it easier although the traditional recipe would require to make it yourself.
I clean the artichokes by removing all the hard parts then I go back to the bottom, divide them in half.
I cut them into wedges and gradually drop them in water with lemon juice. I heat the oil in a large pan and gently brown the crushed cloves of garlic. When they are browned, I put them aside, and cook the artichokes for a few minutes. I add salt, a spoonful of water and cook them with the lid until they are tender and dry (about 10 minutes). At the end of cooking, I sprinkle them with chopped parsley and let them cool.
I put the cheese in a bowl and crush it a little with a fork, then mix it with the whole egg, Parmesan and a nice pinch of marjoram before adding also the artichokes and pepper (tasting to adjust the salt).
I grease a pan with a drizzle of oil and add the fillo dough.
I pour the filling and level the surface, then I spread the other piece of pasta and place it on the filling. With the scissors, I cut away the excess of pasta at about one cm from the edge and facing the two layers of dough into a cord. Brush the surface with the oil and finally the hole with a toothpick.
I put the pie in the oven at 200 Celsius and cook it for 45 minutes until it takes a golden color. I serve it lukewarm or cold.


  • Patrizia Margherita
  • Jobtranslator, interpreter, teacher

Although she was born in Italy, she is half Italian and half American and she has become a "multicultural person" who can speak five languages. She has lived and worked in the US, Brazil, Australia, France and the UK so she considers herself a citizen of the world. When she is not teaching or translating, she likes cooking Italian food, hiking and traveling around the world...She has traveled to 80 countries and counting!

View a list of Patrizia Margherita's

What's New


What's New