Capponadda, delicious dish of the Ligurian sailors!


You feel hot in these days? You don’t know what to prepare for dinner? You’d prefer something fresh and light? So this Ligurian dish will solve your problems! 🙂 Capponadda is a typical dish made with bread and enriched with anchovies and other fresh ingredients. Delicious!


  • 2 Gallette genovesi (a kind of bread from Genoa but you can use stale bread instead)
  • 160 gr of tuna
  • 2 tomatoes
  • 6 salted anchovies
  • 15 olives (the best are Taggiasche DOP from Taggia in western Liguria … very special)
  • 2 boiled eggs
  • 1 little spoon of capers
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • 1 pinch of oregano
  • 1 pinch of chopped parsley
  • Oil EVO (Extra Vergine d’Olive)
  • Salt


The preparation is very easy. You have to clean and cut all the ingredients. After that you have to mix them together … and voilà 🙂 A fantastic dish is done !!!


The origins of the name are not sure. There are two theories. The first one sustains that the name comes from Latin „capuona” that means tavern (a place where the capponadda was eaten). The second one sustains that it comes from “capón de galea” that means „rooster of the galleys”. It was an ironic name because „capon” was the meat of rooster that was eaten only by very rich people in Genoa. On the galleys, nobody ate roosters … however they had capponadda that was delicious anyway 😉


Also, where and who invented capponadda is not sure. Many towns from eastern Liguria claim to be a native place of this dish 😉 However, its native town is probably Camogli, where at the end of June, in San Rocco (a suburb of Camogli) is organized a feast of capponadda. The place to be and the event to see surely!


It was considered a dish of poor people. It mixes the sea and the land ingredients. The recipe you can see above includes tuna. However, the original one consisted of a „musciamme” that was a dolphin fillet (that nowadays is forbidden). In the past, the sailors adored this dish because they didn’ have to cook anything. Thank’s to this they could prepare it on the board easily.


At the beginning of XVIII century, a group of Ligurian colonized an island of Carloforte near Sardinia. In that way, capponadda arrived in Sardinia where you can eat it also nowadays. Carloforte is famous for its tuna and its inhabitants have replaced the dolphin fillet with tuna. So nowadays this Ligurian recipe is prepared with Sardinian modification.

After focaccia and gamberi rossi di Santa Margherita Ligure and now also capponadda are the spécialité of Liguria you should absolutely try !!! Buon appetito 😉


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