Mesciua – the Recipe, from Steve Maslow

Mesciua is a primo, a soup really, designed, we suspect, to show off the heady aroma, ilken texture and multi-stage flavor of your best olive oils.  A native Spezian once told us the recipe reflects the cucina povera of sailors’ wives, who used to go to the harbor quay and pick up whatever fell from the large sacks that were unloaded from the sailing ships. We don’t know. We are sure, however, you will find this healthy and delicious Mediterranean dish an inspiration.



  1. Soak the chickpeas and the cannellini beans in one bowl overnight.
  2. Drain the water from the chickpeas and the beans, and place them in a pot, cover with fresh water, bring to the boil and simmer for approximately one hour. Taste for doneness. Beans should be slightly undercooked
  3. Put the orzo in a pot with two cups of water, bring to the boil in a separate pot, adding salt and 2 T olive oil.
  4. Reduce to a simmer.  Now drain the cooked beans and chickpeas and add them to the orzo.  Simmer until the orzo is cooked, approximately 15 minutes.
  5. Serve in bowls  topped with a couple of tablespoons of Ligurian olive oil and salt.

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