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This book presents to an American audience the cuisine of Liguria—the Italian Riviera—full of dishes that are inventive, inherently seasonal, waste-conscious, plant-forward, and geared toward the home cook.
Italian cuisine never goes out of style. Yet while many are familiar with various regional cuisines of Italy, one of its most gastronomically rich regions has been largely overlooked: Liguria, home of focaccia, pesto, and the Cinque Terre.
Award-winning author and food writer Laurel Evans has been immersed in the cuisine of Liguria for 15 years, ever since her Italian boyfriend (now husband, and the photographer for this book) brought her to his family’s hillside villa in Moneglia on the Mediterranean coast. There, Evans immersed herself in kitchens, restaurants, and markets, building relationships with the chefs, shopkeepers, producers, and nonne who drive the local cuisine. This book showcases all that she discovered: a cuisine that is beautiful but humble, plant-based and waste-conscious at its core, with a particular spirit and history that she unravels for readers new to the region.
From the ultimate pesto, to the definitive focaccia recipe coaxed out of local bakers, to recipes for lesser-known Ligurian specialties like Cappon Magro, Liguria: The Cookbook offers readers a personal journey into the heart of the cuisine of this timeless yet ever-evolving region.
About the Author
Laurel Evans is an award-winning cookbook author, television personality, and food editor, raised in Texas and based in Milan and Liguria.
“This cookbook is a love letter to the cuisine of the Italian Riviera.” – SAVEUR, plus SAVEUR COOKBOOK CLUB SELECTION (SEPTEMBER 2021)
“The province of Liguria on the northwest Italian coast has a diverse cuisine that varies greatly from the coast to the inland regions. Along the sea, the necklace of Italian Riviera resorts and the cosmopolitan city of Genoa serve elegant fare like stuffed veal rolls, decorative corzetti pasta, zucchini flowers and specialties also typical of the neighboring Côte d’Azur, like chickpea fritters and little stuffed vegetables. It’s also the land of cucina povera, with foraged herbs, salt cod and gnocchi made from chestnut flour and it is all connected by the region’s ubiquitous, verdant pesto; slabs of focaccia (always thinner than you might expect) and an appetite for things that are stuffed or fried or both. Sturdy marjoram and rosemary are used as often as Genoese basil (a small round-leaf variety very unlike what’s sold in American markets). This mixture of styles is beautifully presented in “Liguria,” an informative new cookbook by Laurel Evans, a Texan who married a Ligurian and sought the culinary secrets of his extended family and friends. Worth discovering are a walnut and garlic sauce for pasta, lettuce packets stuffed with meat and herbs, fried sage leaves to nibble while sipping the regional vermentino and delicious stewed rabbit with olives.” – THE NEW YORK TIMES
"The Italian region of Liguria is famous for its riviera (hello, Cinque Terrea!), for its focaccia, and as the birthplace of pesto. And you might expect all that to be reflected in the pages of Laurel Evan's new cookbook, Liguria (Rizzoli; September 28)—and you will—but you will also find more of the unexpected. In fact, a better title for the book might have been So You Think You Know Liguria. The Milan-based, Texas-born food writer and TV host (who married an Italian from the region and has been based in Italy for over two decades) shares the history, cultural context, and recipes of lesser-known regional specialties, blended with her own personal narrative shaped by three formidable Nonne in the kitchen." —FOOD & WINE
“It’s no coincidence that recent popular cookbooks like Yotam Ottolenghi and Ixta Belfrage’s Flavor or Joshua McFadden and Martha Holmberg’s Six Seasons draw inspiration from Italian cooking. Liguria is an entirely different kind of cookbook from these volumes of contemporary, cosmopolitan fare. Full of wisdom handed down through generations by the region’s nonne (including Evans’s mother-in-law) and gorgeous photographs by Scoti, a native Ligurian, of the region’s sweeping vistas and famous hill-perched towns, this is a dive into a historic cuisine deeply rooted in its geography.” —TEXAS MONTHLY
"While many foodies and home chefs are educated about various regional Italian cuisines, one in particular has been vastly overlooked: Ligurian. The Italian Riviera is famous for Cinque Terre, stunning architecture, and ancient villages, but it deserves a spot on the map for its contributions to Italian cuisine. Focaccia and pesto were both born in this beautiful region and award-winning author, food writer, and expat Laurel Evans is our brilliant guide to the rich flavors of Liguria through brilliant recipes and personal anecdotes." —VERANDA
"Benvenuto in Liguria! Laurel Evans is releasing her fifth cookbook, Liguria, The Cookbook: Recipes from the Italian Riviera, on Sept. 21 about the Northwestern region of Italy. This cookbook is packed with delicious recipes which will definitely have the approval of your Italian nonnas. Her cookbook consists of 76 amazing recipes. This region tends to be overlooked in American cooking, but holds a big spot in Evans’ heart. According to Evans, her husband’s family lived in this region for many generations back, and she got inspired to make this cookbook for their family recipes. Now, she’s sharing this style of cooking to Americans back home. This book is filled with drool-worthy recipes — the region’s fresh pesto, spongy focaccia, and salty anchovies are definitely worth incorporating into your meal plan." —SPOON UNIVERSITY
"Focaccia, pesto, and some of the best views in Italy: that’s Liguria, here captured by Laurel Evans in her first English-language cookbook. With photography shot by her husband Emilio Scoti, this book is a deep-dive into one of the most fascinating regional cuisines in a country that’s, well, famous for fascinating regional cuisines." —STAINED PAGE NEWSLETTER
"The gorgeous photography is provided by Laurel’s husband, Emilio Scoti. Across the pages are wonderful family photos and memories to pair with the recipes. Many of the dishes are also accompanied by a full-page photo. Measurements are listed in US Customary. Titles are written in the original language with English underneath. Each recipe has a headnote with background information, personal stories, helpful tips, and serving ideas." —TARA'S MULTICULTURAL TABLE
“Liguria is a love letter to a lesser-known part of Italy, highlighting regional dishes like corzetti, a medallion-shaped stamped pasta." —THE TORONTO STAR