Recipe Cima Alla Genovese – a classic from Liguria

Recipe Cima Alla Genovese
Cima alla Genovese – © Daniele Marini

Recipe Cima Alla Genovese: was born as a poor man’s dish, nowadays it is enriched with sophisticated flavors and bright colors.

Since in Liguria there are no cattle farms, the topology of the land doesn’t lend itself to pasture.

Therefore traditionally red meat was precious and none of it was ever wasted.


2 lbs. butt tenderloin
3 cups white wine
1 celery stalk
1 carrot
1 small onion
2 cloves
7 oz. tuna in oil
6 anchovy fillets
2 egg yolks, hard-boiled
2 lemons, 1 squeezed, 1 thinly sliced
2 cup oil
2 tbs. capers
1 tbs. white vinegar

Recipe Cima Alla Genovese: How to make it

First, soak the mushrooms in warm water for a few minutes and chop them.
Then soak the bread in cold water.
In the meantime squeeze to remove excess water.
Make an incision in the veal breast, thus creating a pocket closed on three sides.

To make the stuffing, brown all the meat, except the veal breast, in butter, then grind it coarsely. Mix the meat with the pistachio and pine nuts, Parmigiano, and eggs. Add the mushrooms, peas, marjoram, chopped garlic, and bread to the meat mixture. Add salt, pepper, a little grated nutmeg, and mix well.

To stuff the breast, fill the veal breast with the stuffing. It should not be more than 2/3 full. Sew the opening closed with a needle and colorless thread, and prick the meat with a large needle so that it does not burst while cooking. If possible, wrap the meat tightly in a piece of cheesecloth and sew it closed.

Place the celery, carrot, and diced onion in a large pot with the broth.
Turn on the heat, but do not boil. Add the meat to the pan and cook over low heat for about 3 hours.
Further, add salt halfway through cooking.
After that remove the stuffed veal breast and place it on a chopping board.
Then place a plate with a heavy weight on top of the meat and let the cima alla Genovese cool completely.
Let rest for at least 2 hours. Serve sliced with a salad or other cold-cut meats. Cima alla Genovese keeps for a few days in the refrigerator.

Serves 4-6

Recipe Cima Alla Genovese – comments

Comment from Daniele, a passionate amateur cook, with strong Ligurian ties:

Unlikely recipe.

Vegetables, typically peas, are missing. It was a spring food, the tuna oil was never seen! This is not Ligurian, perhaps Sicilian or Sardinian, even if in Liguria, there are olive trees.

For example, if I don’t have peas I put green beans and some cabbage leaves. It is fundamental to put sweetbreads in the filling, I do not like them and I replace them with mortadella, cooked ham.

A handful of pine nuts or pistachios are essential for perfumes. And we must add marjoram and thyme in the filling. I put marjoram also in the cooking broth.

Regional recipe from Liguria.

Recipe courtesy of ICE – Italian Institute for Foreign Commerce – New York
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