Stuffed Lettuce Leaves in Broth (Lattughe Ripiene in Brodo)

Stuffed Lettuce Leaves in Broth (Lattughe Ripiene in Brodo)

Lattughe ripiene--stuffed lettuces--little packets enclosing a flavorful veal forcemeat, simmered in broth--has been traditional Genoese Easter fare since the 16th century. (An ancient Genoese proverb says ''Pe Pasqua nu ghe cuxin-a ca nu fasse a laituga pin-a''--For Easter, there's no kitchen that doesn't make stuffed lettuce.) See the recipe for Stuffed Lettuce Leaves in Broth »Christopher Hirsheimer

At Ca'Peao, a restaurant in Leivi, in the hills above Chiavari, about 30 miles east of Genoa, Franco and Melly Solari serve this, their version of a traditional Genoese Easter dish, all year long. Lattughe ripiene—stuffed lettuces—little packets enclosing a flavorful veal forcemeat, simmered in broth—has been traditional Genoese Easter fare since the 16th century. (An ancient Genoese proverb says ''Pe Pasqua nu ghe cuxin-a ca nu fasse a laituga pin-a''—For Easter, there's no kitchen that doesn't make stuffed lettuce.) Though stuffed cabbage may be more familiar, the mildness and, again, faint sweetness of the lettuce function as a perfect link between the richness of the filling and the simplicity of the broth.

See more on Lattuge Ripiene in Brodo and other Genoese specialties in Colman Andrews' article Italian Food You've Never Dreamed Of »