Giuseppe Garibaldi

Nice, 1807 – Caprera, 1882

Giuseppe GaribaldiAccording to the history books, Giuseppe Garibaldi escaped to Argentina to avoid a death threat placed on him for being a revolutionary and follower of Mazzini.  Garibaldi complimented his wild, adventurous lifestyle with his undoubtedly fascinating personality. People glorified him after each battle. They saw him as their main advocate and a full-hearted believer in Italian unification.

But behind this glorious façade and exaggerated media attention (obviously the media of the time), there was a man who was not able to live out his personal desires until the end of his life. By nature, he loved the sea and wanted to be able to see the water out of every window of his house in Caprera. He also wanted to live a calm, measured life. Other people had made him famous but Garibaldi himself wanted to lead a far more simple life. However, he knew when an occasion presented itself and took advantage of such occasions for the benefit of others.

The recipe

Garibaldi’s hymn

For a long time the colour chosen by Garibaldi for his soldiers’ uniforms was thought to imply values such as courage and sacrifice…then it became known that the choice had been fortuitous: That particular red canvas was a cheap lot bought by Garibaldi in Montevideo and originally destined for the working clothes of Buenos Aires butchers. Nevertheless, that colour inspired poor people to make important a humble leftovers dish of Livorno traditional cuisine.

Ingredients (serves 6)

  • 1 lb boiled meat
  • 1 lb potatoes cut into small pieces
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • rosemary to taste
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 4 peeled tomatoes
  • salt and pepper to taste


20 minutes preparation + 25 minutes cooking

In a large pan, brown the garlic in oil with a rosemary sprig, then add the potatoes and cook until almost done. Season with salt and add the tomatoes and a few spoonfuls of stock; finally add the boiled meat finely sliced, allow the flavours to blend and season with pepper to taste. Serve piping hot.

Gastronomic Library
M. RINALDI, La storia è servita: vizi e virtù nel piatto dei grandi della storia, Milano, Golosia & C., 1996.

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