Oil is the the history of the family

One hundred and ten years of an olive oil business in Liguria, as told from different perspectives

“The good fortune enjoyed by Italian olive oil production around the world owes everything to the family element, whose entrepreneurship has characterised the olive oil sector. Without the commitment, courage and important commercial insight of several historical families, the Italy we know and appreciate today as an important producer of olives, and olive oil, would not exist.”

(by Luigi Caricato, Preface)


On the occasion of 110th anniversary of the company, Santagata has published the book AN OLIVE OIL FAMILY. 110 years of an olive oil business in Liguria as told from different perspectives, written by Cristina and Federico Santagata and edited by the journalist and writer Luigi Caricato.
“The history of a family, an Italian story. An olive oil family: the Santagatas, from Liguria to the world.” This is the reference in the cover of the book published by Olio Officina, a publishing house specialized in olive oil, a point of reference for the Italian olive oil industry and beyond.


The company started its activity in 1907, in the wonderful location of the hamlet of Camogli. That was the time when Giovanni Battista Santagata decided to turn his passion for high-quality olive oil into a successful company, which never forgot to focus its attention on the quality of its products and on the surrounding territory. Now, the company is based in Genoa and is managed with the same passion, dedication and professionalism by Cristina and Federico, fifth generation of Santagata family.
For over 100 years Santagata has been selecting high-quality olive oils and extra virgin oils, which are sold in Italy and worldwide in accordance with the most restrictive European rules and respecting rigid quality and safety standards. Throughout the year Santagata reviews all the production areas and it verifies the trees health conditions, because it is aware of the fact that the quality of finished products relies on the proper functioning of the whole ecosystem.
At present, the activity of Santagata is divided into the selection and trading of bulk products, which are specifically created for important national and international brands and for the food industry and, into the selection and trading of bottled products under the Santagata and Frantoio di Portofino brands, which are intended for the final consumer.


As Cristina and Federico are not writers, they decided – in order to celebrate this important anniversary – to compile the book in collaboration with others, allowing the choral collective to arise.
Together with Luigi Caricato, many experts collaborated in the writing of the book: Tommaso Sitzia, professor of the University of Padua, Department of Territory and Agro-Forestry Systems wrote a scientific intervention on the importance of the cultivation of olive groves for environmental health; nutritionists Luca Spigno and Giulietta Spadafora on the role of olive oil in nutrition and its nutritional and healthful qualities; chefs Toni Mörwald, Seita Nakahara, Simon Gault, Ivano Ricchebono, Claudio Fortuna and Andrea De Galleani with their culinary proposals.
The common thread of the book is the voice of Cristina and Federico, the story of their family and their company, the centrality of a territory – the region of Liguria – and the constant attention and research to quality and innovation.

“One does not inherit a business simply because you were born into the family who founded and managed it for years. A business with strong family ties, like ours, also represents a way of being, an approach to life and a lifestyle. It is for this reason that we wanted to understand our past in the light of the present.”

(by Cristina and Federico Santagata, Introduction)


Cristina Santagata (1978) majored in Philosophy at the University of Genoa and holds a DEA form Paris-Sorbonne. After studying in France, she returned to Genoa and devoted herself to the family enterprise. Today she is the chairwoman and handles the international markets.
Federico Santagata (1983), sportsman by vocation, is a ski instructor and passionate of water sports. He started his professional career in a well-known olive oil company, of which Santagata is shareholder, and later joined the family business where he is in charge of the selection of raw materials. He divides his time between tasting olive oil samples in the company and visiting olive farmers.
Luigi Caricato, journalist and writer, olive oil expert. He collaborates with the main national and international newspapers, has published numerous books on the theme of olive oil. He is director of the weekly “Olio Officina Magazine” and of the bilingual Italian / English quarterly OOF, runs the homonymous publishing house and organizes every year in Milan “Olio Officina Festival – Condiments for the palate & for the mind”. The next edition is scheduled from 1 to 3 February 2018 at the Palazzo delle Stelline in Milan.

The heart of the territory

Dealing with oil, for the past 110 years now, we cannot, in our work, deny our connection with the territory. Its true place of origin and foundation which, for obvious reasons, later becomes its chosen place, is highly important. Although the market takes us everywhere in the world, from continent to the continent, especially now in a global society – we the Santagata family, and at the same time as a company – feel strongly connected to where it all began. It’s a question of affection. We strongly believe in the fundamental values of family, territory and cultural identity, as well as in sharing these same values. Hence our commitment to the cultural front, not for reasons of aesthetics, which are also important in themselves, but from a strictly ethical point of view. Moreover, sharing our reference values is also a way to better ourselves and those who around us. This is why we have undertaken so many initiatives and will continue to do so because we believe they are essential.

This text is taken from chapter 2 of the book “An Olive Oil Family” written by Cristina and Federico Santagata, published by Olio Officina Edizioni.



Ingredients for the pasta:

  • 250g Manitoba flour
  • 125 g semolina flour
  • 125 g flour 00
  • 50 g egg yolk
  • 5 eggs

Ingredients for the filling:

Ingredients for the salted anchovy cream:


Mix together the mascarpone, lime zest and salt. Add the Santagata extra virgin olive oil to the mascarpone in a slow, steady stream. Put the mixture into a piping bag and let it rest in the fridge for approx. 30 minutes. Clean the anchovies. Gently fry the chopped garlic in the Santagata extra virgin olive oil and a little butter. Add the anchovies and let them cook for a few minutes. Add the cream and bring to the boil. Put the cream mixture into a blender and then filter. Mix all the ingredients together until you have a smooth dough. Roll out the pasta until it is very thin and add the mascarpone. Place another layer of dough on top and cut out small circles using a pastry cutter. Cook the ‘Bottolio’ in salted water for a few minutes. Drain them using a slotted spoon and lay them on a tray together with some extra virgin olive oil. Add the anchovy sauce, lay the ‘Bottolio’ on top and dress with Sakura leaves.

Michelin starred chef at The Cook, Cavo Restaurant in Genoa

Ivano Ricchebono received the Michelin star in 2010 and is in all the major food guides. He has been the regular guest on the Rai 1 television show ‘La Prova del Cuoco’, with Antonella Clerici, since 2010.
In 2018, he relocated his Michelinstarred restaurant ‘The Cook’ to the Cavo restaurant in Genoa old city center.

These recipes are taken from chapter 6 of the book “An Olive Oil Family” written by Cristina e Federico Santagata on the occasion of the 110 years of their company and pubblished by Olio Officina Edizioni.

Salt cod comfit and cream of smoked potatoes


  • 150 g of desalted salt cod fillet (the central part)
  • 100 g of boiled potatoes (Quarantine if possible)
  • 120 ml Santagata extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 100 g rosemary, sage and myrtle


For the cream of smoked potatoes, place the three herbs in a pan and ignite them with a blowtorch. Place the pan with the smoking herbs on the bottom of the oven (the oven should be switched off). Put the potatoes in another container, preferably one with holes, and place it in the top of the oven. Close the oven and let it smoke for 20 minutes. Remove and mix with 20 ml Santagata extra virgin olive oil and 20 ml water. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Heat the cream in a bain-marie and keep warm. For the salt cod, place the salt cod in a sous-vide pouch together with 100 ml extra virgin olive oil, a sprig of rosemary and a pinch of pepper. Cook using the sous-vide method at 48 degrees for 25 minutes.

Put the cream of smoked potatoes on the plate and lay the salt cod on top after having removed it from the pouch.

Andrea de Galleani, owner and chef of the Genoa restaurant, Dega, in the heart of the residential area of Carignano, revisits traditional Ligurian dishes by proposing them in a contemporary style, combining flavours and playing with their contrasts.

These recipes are taken from chapter 6 of the book “An Olive Oil Family” written by Cristina e Federico Santagata on the occasion of the 110 years of their company and pubblished by Olio Officina Edizioni.