Cima alla Genovese Description:
Cima alla Genovese is a delectable Italian dish with roots in the coastal region of Liguria, particularly the city of Genoa. The name “Cima” translates to “top” or “summit,” and it perfectly describes this dish. It’s a culinary masterpiece that brings together the finest cuts of meat, vegetables, and savory stuffing, all artfully arranged and simmered to perfection. The result is a flavorful and visually stunning dish that represents the essence of traditional Ligurian cuisine.
Origins and History:
The origins of Cima alla Genovese are deeply entrenched in the rich history and culinary heritage of Genoa and the surrounding region. This dish, like many Italian recipes, has its roots in the resourcefulness of Italian home cooks who sought to make the most of available ingredients.
Cima alla Genovese dates back several centuries when it was often prepared for festive occasions and family gatherings. It was considered a showpiece, gracing the tables of the Genovese elite and showcasing the culinary prowess of the Ligurian cooks.
The dish is traditionally prepared with a whole deboned veal or chicken, making it a true labor of love. The stuffing, known as “ripieno,” typically consists of ground meat, breadcrumbs, eggs, cheese, and a variety of seasonings, including the iconic Ligurian herbs such as marjoram and pine nuts. Assembling the Cima alla Genovese is a skillful process, requiring patience and a keen eye for aesthetics. The meat and stuffing are expertly layered and tied, creating a beautiful “summit” of flavors.
Once assembled, the dish is slow-cooked, allowing the flavors to meld and the meat to become incredibly tender. It’s a time-honored practice that results in a dish where each bite is a harmonious blend of textures and tastes.
Cima alla Genovese has remained a cherished tradition in Ligurian households, passed down from one generation to the next. While it may not be an everyday meal, it continues to be a centerpiece of special occasions and holidays in the region, reminding us that Italian cuisine is as much about artistry and history as it is about taste.
Today, Cima alla Genovese is a symbol of Liguria’s culinary excellence and the enduring legacy of its vibrant food culture. It’s a testament to the region’s love for fine ingredients, meticulous preparation, and the joy of gathering around the table to savor the finest dishes with loved ones.
Cima alla Genovese
Cima alla genovese is a typical Genoese recipe made with a "pocket" of veal, cut from its belly and stuffed with a mixture of many ingredients such as brains, sweetbreads, minced veal pulp, eggs, spices, peas, marjoram, mushrooms and finally parmesan cheese.
The stuffed "pocket" is then cooked in a vegetable broth and served cold in slices. However, the filling of the top and the cooking method vary according to the regional area.
Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C).
In a bowl, combine the breadcrumbs, Parmesan cheese, eggs, minced garlic, chopped parsley, chopped marjoram, salt, and pepper to create the filling.
Flatten the veal breast and spread the filling evenly over the surface.
Roll the veal breast tightly into a cylinder and tie it securely with kitchen twine.
In a large ovenproof pot, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Brown the veal roll on all sides.
Pour the broth into the pot, cover with a lid, and transfer to the preheated oven.
Cook for about 2 hours or until the veal is tender and cooked through. Baste occasionally with the cooking liquid.
Once cooked, remove the veal roll from the pot and let it rest for a few minutes. Slice into rounds and serve with some of the cooking liquid as a sauce.
Some interesting facts:
- Origin: Liguria
- Cima alla Genovese is a stuffed veal breast roll, cooked slowly in a flavorful broth. The filling typically includes breadcrumbs, grated cheese, eggs, garlic, parsley, and marjoram.