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Cima alla genovese: the original recipe of Ligurian cuisine

Genoese top

Cima alla Genovese is the perfect second course for parties or important lunches, with family or friends. Let’s discover the typical recipe to amaze all diners.

Cima alla Genovese is a typical Ligurian recipe. It is a traditional dish consisting of a stuffed veal pocket which is then sewn with needle and thread, so as to be able to withstand the long cooking without letting the vegetable, meat and cheese filling out. The greatest difficulty that is encountered in preparing the Genoese top in its original recipe is precisely that of filling the pocket correctly , without exaggerating to finish sealing it well before moving on to cooking.

The Ligurian peak was born as a recovery dish, so much so that the filling was mainly made up of leftovers and scraps from slaughtering. The Genoese stuffed top of today, on the other hand, has a simpler taste and more suited to modern tastes, while remaining rich and tasty to keep faith with the original recipe.

Genoese top
Genoese top

Preparation of the Genoese top

  1. To prepare the Ligurian top, you must first work on the whole breast of the calf , making a cut in the center, trying to keep a distance of at least a couple of cm from the edges to obtain the pocket that will be stuffed. Alternatively, you can also ask your trusted butcher to carry out this work.
  2. Cut the rump and sirloin of veal into cubes, which will be added to 4 eggs and peas , previously cooked.
  3. Mix everything well and add the grated Parmesan.
  4. In the meantime, you can proceed by preparing the broth by placing a saucepan with at least 2 liters of water on the stove in which to add onion, carrot and celery. The Genoese top will then be cooked in the broth.
  5. Once the filling and cooking broth have been prepared, it is time to sew the pocket with food twine, for about half the length of the cut, in order to leave an opening in which to insert the filling.
  6. Once all the filling has been inserted, the sewing operation is finalized, checking that no parts of the filling come out and securing the two ends well by making knots.
  7. As soon as the broth begins to boil, the pocket must be inserted to proceed with cooking.
  8. The Ligurian top will have to cook at least 3 hours over low heat.
  9. Once cooked, the pouch should be drained and wrapped in cling film before being placed on a tray with a weight on it.
  10. The Genoese top must rest in this way in the refrigerator for at least one night . The next day, the Ligurian top will be ready to be sliced ​​and served.

If this Ligurian dish has convinced you then you could start the meal with a good pasta with Genoese pesto !


The Genoese top can be frozen or it is preferable to consume it within a couple of days .

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