On a recent trip to Italy’s Marche region, I didn’t so much see the sites as I did taste the flavors.
Le Marche and Food
Discover and Explore Le Marche it's rich Italian cuisine found throughout the region, the great traditional and tasty food
Curated by Mariano Pallottini
This is a traditional Italian Christmastime cake, made with a yellow sponge cake (baked in a shallow Swiss-roll pan) rolled up with a chestnut filling and finished with chocolate buttercream icing so that it resembles a Yule log. [...]
FOR THE PASTRY SYRUP:
FOR THE CAKE:
FOR THE FILLING:
FOR THE FROSTING:
The staple of a Christmas dinner: homemade cappelletti
pasta for 8 servings:
filling for 8 servings:
Among the rich experiences and emerging insights that living full time in Italy for a year and a half has afforded is a deeper appreciation for Italian Cuisine. It goes without saying that what appears superficially as a cooking style thought to be inspired by economically disadvantaged, subsistence farming is anything but ‘impoverished.’
The contemporary American inclination to simplify complex matters does a disservice to the term ‘Italian Cuisine.’ An Italian would ask, “What part of Italy are you talking about?” Italy is a very rich mosaic of very localized sub-cultures, each with their own unique identity. Local cultural identity is expressed not only in language dialect but also in what comes to the table. Many Italians find amusing what passes for ‘Italian Cuisine’ in the U.S. [...]
On 17th of Jenuary Celebrate the 8th Edition of the INTERNATIONAL DAY OF THE ITALIAN CUISINES
The International Day of Italian Cuisines IDIC was born as a reaction against the systematic forgery of Italian cuisine and products. It aims at protecting the right of worldwide consumers to get authentic and quality Italian cuisine when they go to eateries labeled as “Italian”. Thousands of chefs, restaurateurs and lovers of Italian Food all over the world join the annual IDIC appeal, a tradition by now, launched by itchefs-GVCI (Virtual Group of Italian Chefs), a network of over 1900 culinary professionals working in 70 countries. True Italian cuisine is part of the world’s cultural heritage; its celebration is not against creativity in the kitchen or innovation. It’s only about establishing some basic principles: when the name of a traditional Italian dish is used, that dish should be prepared in the traditional manner.
Mussels with Nut Pesto (Serves 4 as an antipasto)
For the pesto:
For the mussels:
The scene is a 17th-century open-hearth kitchen inside an ancient palazzo, central to the tiny Italian village of Mercatello sul Metauro in the Apennines. Surrounding you, nine gentlemen bustle about with professional fervor, tending the glowing fire, perfecting lush salads, hand-stretching strips of freshly rolled tagliatelle pasta, concocting fragrant sauces, and grilling sizzling fatty steaks pierced with teasingly pungent garlic. [...]
Trattoria Monti is not in Monti proper; but the Romans who have been coming to the Camerucci family's long established restaurant know exactly where to find comforting Marche cooking in a quiet settiing.
Elegant approach to both Le Marche and Roman recipes, the restaurant is well-known for its meat and pasta dishes, especially the rabbit dish so beloved in Le Marche. [...]
One of my favorite way to spend the morning was to check for low tides, and go “hunting” for Cannolicchi or Razor clams.
Armed with a medium size knitting needle, I would carefully scan the wet sand for the characteristic “eye” and quickly insert the needle. The clam closed up on it, I extracted the tool from the sand and ….voila’.
Ingredients - serves 2
for the sauce:
The use of olive oil to prepare sweets such as biscuits, ring-shaped cakes and jam tarts has always been much diffused in the Marche region as well as in other Central Italy regions.
For this reason we thought to propose to our clients also a Christmas speciality. The traditional Christmas cake from Milan has been reinvented with the help of a local pastry master chef. Panett’Olio is made with Olio (olive oil) del Carmine instead of butter as the traditional recipe would suggest. This is a tasty and easily-digestible product. Olive oil gives it extraordinary softness and lightness. In order to obtain an outstanding product choice of premium ingredients is fundamental. Thus, we only use fresh egg yolks and leaven.
The production cycle takes three days: leavening, cooking and cooling processes are monitored through a continuous checking of temperatures, times and humidity.
The town of Castellucio is a short drive and is famous for lentils and the view of the Piano Grande (a giant alpine valley with beautiful wildflowers in the late spring). In and around Norcia you can find this famous dish, Pasta alla Norcia. I tried it with several types of sausage and decided to make my own. This was the best outcome of all the attempts. [...]
For the sausage:
For the dish (serves 2 main courses, 4 as a first course):
Made In Italy With Silvia Colloca follows Silvia as she takes a journey back to Italy to introduce her family and present her love of healthy, hearty Italian fare.
Silvia’s breath ends up being taken away by stunning seaside dining on the Adriatic sea, where she finds out how to make zuppa di cozze. She then travels inland to her family home in Torricella where she uses a locally produced white wine to create a superbly simple dish called pollo in potacchio.
This is indeed the season to be jolly! My mum and dad have arrived from Italy to spend Christmas with us and I truly feel like I have turned back into a little girl. [...]
The Agriturismo La Rocca, ranked N° 7 of 4.308 restaurants in Le Marche on Tripadvisor and N° 1 of 6 restaurants in Roccafluvione in the in the province of Ascoli Piceno.
On TripAdvisor there are 46 reviews about the Restaurant, all with excellent points. The place is appreciate for the simple and typical cuisine and for the large portions. Ideal if you like roast meat and mushrooms
The Ristorante Da Piero, San Severino Marche, ranked N° 4 of 4.308 restaurants in Le Marche on Tripadvisor (now 8) and N° 1 of 26 restaurants in San Severino Marche in the province of Macerata.
On TripAdvisor there are 169 reviews about the Ristorante Da Piero, with 130 with excellent points and you can see the place has got the Certificate of Excellence 2014.
This recipe represents exactly what I want to eat with a large heavy holiday meal. And it also represents how I like to cook at home. Consider the recipe as more of a guideline. Just about any other vegetable could be substituted into this recipe. When I cook this dish I am constantly tasting the vegetables for doneness and once they’re ready, I remove them and add them to the butter. For the holidays I find myself drawn to this dish as well as a bright clean, acidic, crisp green salad for palate relief.
Ingredients - serves 4-6
Frustingo is one of the oldest recipes which come from the Etruscans who were in central Italy before Christ, but introduced the Christmas celebrations. This delicacy from Le Marche is called in many different ways depending on the town: ristingo or frustingo in Ascoli Piceno, frostengo in Macerata, pistingo or bostrengo elsewhere. Besides the richness of its ingredients, it’s considered part of the cucina povera (poor food), which means invented by farmers with what they had available. Here the recipe.
If you doubt whether that our amazing pandoro can be improved – try this. Slice the pandoro horizontally into layers, smear each one in this wicked blend of macarpone, cream and sugar and stand back. You will not only have a beautiful looking cake, but one that will be eaten even before the tea is finished brewing.
Named after their city of origin, Ascoli Piceno (Marche region) where they were first prepared, the variety of olives that is used got the PDO status in 2005.It’s a simple recipe and a very versatile food, as it can be considered as street food, finger food or as a tasty appetizer. They say it may date back to the early 19th century. At that time, some chefs invented this recipe that combines the pulpy green olives grown in Ascoli Piceno and the meat that the noblemen they worked for received in huge quantities by their peasants. Nowadays, you can find them frozen in the supermarket, but people from Marche keep up the tradition to make them from scratch on Sundays.
On our last trip to Italy, we stayed at a stunning agriturismo in Marche, Tenuta San Marcello. Each morning, a lovely woman named Sylvia would make a different fresh jam crostata. [...]
Acqua pazza, “crazy water” in Italian, refers to a Neapolitan tradition for cooking fish in seawater flavored with olive oil and tomatoes. In the crazy water is cooked into an aromatic tomato-ey elixir of goodness. If you’re not ready to roll with monkfish, you can use one of the other options Jody points out below. Just be glad you’re not cooking it for your own wedding reception. [...]
The only ingredient that you will find difficult to get hold of is the Ascoli olives themselves. You might be lucky if you have a good Italian food deli nearby and more and more large supermarkets stock large green olives which will be ok, failing that Ascoli Olives can be bought online.
Ascolane fritta are served with aperitivi, as antipasti or eaten as street food. In the best Italian food traditions, these little devils take patience and care, the results though are worth the effort.
Valentina Harris is an experienced and enthusiastic teacher, a tremendous raconteur, and passionate about sharing her food philosophy, techniques, stories, and experiences both with food and its intricate history, plus solid and unique kitchen techniques.
Also a regular face at food festivals in the UK, Valentina stills finds time to host bespoke cookery courses and undertake private catering commissions, plus various radio, TV, newspaper, and personal appearances, Valentina is as busy now as she has ever been.
As proud President of the London chapter of Les Dames D’Escoffier.
Introducing for the 2014–2015 season our new beautiful location in Rossini country in Italy – La Monteduccia in Le Marche.[...]
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