I was in T.K. Maxx last weekend, buying home goods for my new flat, and I felt compelled to buy a mortar and pestle. Not that I’ll be making my own pesto from scratch in it rather than say, in a food processor, but I like to know that I could.
Pesto is one of the great triumphs of Liguria and we ate it in abundance while in Cinque Terre. Another regional specialty is “trofie” a short pasta twisted in a spiral so the pesto will cling to it. The best trofie di pesto I had was in Manarola, followed by a Nutella tiramisu (yes, you read that right). The pesto was delicious, the tiramisu probably better looking than it tasted but that’s why there’s the old standby of gelato if your restaurant dessert goes wrong…
The seafood in this region is also special and we had a feast on our last night, dining in Monterosso at Via Venti. We had a delicious meal including sardines and crab gnocchi along with some beautiful wine. After dinner, we had a glass of wine at a chilled out bar in the center, then found the much more happening bar on the main drag that just reopened a week before our arrival following the October 2011 flood.
We stayed at the bar a bit too long, making new friends, and just missed our train – literally, we ran to the platform and could only touch it as it pulled away. Since it was the last train back to Riomaggiore and we had no where else to go, we walked back to the bar in the rain and drowned our sorrows in White Russians. Still, hard to get into too much trouble in a town with a population of only about 2,000.
© Jennifer Konopasek and GoodTravelerKarma, 2012.