From the countryside to the sea
The cuisine in the Marches Region has a long culinary tradition.
An area that connects North and South, on one hand opens up to the sea and on the other side is protected by mountains, that’s why in the area there’s a variety of culinary influences.
The neighboring regions, in the north the Emilia Romagna, on the side Tuscany and Umbria and in the South Abruzzo and Lazio, give the Pesarese and the Montefeltro area kitchen its peculiar taste.
We have selected only some traditional dishes even if the Marches Region is known as the place with hundred of tastes.
The cuisine of Fossombrone is based on traditional dishes. Tagliatelle, naturally handmade, with meat, vegetables or mushroom sauces or simply with butter and truffle.
Capelletti and Passatelli in clear broth, roast pork, rabbit and stuffed pigeon.
As a pasta dish, we must never forget the VINCISGRASSI, a pioneer of the popular lasagne on the whole peninsula.
The name was given in honor of the Austrian General Windisch-Greatz, who fought against Napoleon.
The original recipe is difficult to define as there are various modifications over time. The noodle dough is very thinly rolled out and wide rectangles cut out which, after a bath in boiling water, are hung up to dry.
The sauce is cooked from chopped veal pork and chicken with mushrooms, carrots, celery and onions. When the sauce is cooked is piled up with the noodles and the bechamel, with a topping of Parmesan cheese. The whole operation is repeated 5 times.
Once the mold is ready, it has to be baked for at least one hour at medium temperature.
Another typical specialty is PASSATELLI. You can eat them as a soup or with a sauce as well as with truffles or fish.
Marche’s forest are the house of the truffles, in both variety white and black, with their very intense aroma and excellent quality. The white truffles are the most valuable and expansive, you can buy them even in local marketplaces, mostly in autumn.
Black truffles can be found in Acqualagna, Sant’Angelo in Vado and Pergola from October to December.
In Sant’Angelo in Vado there’s also a national trade fair for white truffles, at the end of which the “Tartufo d’Oro” award is given to the most successful collector.
Each zone has its own cheese, made from cow’s milk and sheep’s milk.
The CASCIOTTA DI URBINO is the only DOP protected cheese in the region and is made from 70-80% sheep’s milk and 20-30% cow’s milk. This cheese is eaten fresh.
The PECORINO MARCHIGIANO is influenced by the climate and different preparation techniques.
In the provinces of Pesaro, Ancona and Macerata, is eaten only after “a salt bath” to delay the maturation.
In the Monte Sibillini area, fresh milk is mixed and flavored with local herbs. In Talamello, the cheese is wrapped in walnuts and stored in tufa caves for ripening. In San Leo, Pecorino is stored in terracotta amphorae.
The CRESCIA SFOGLIATA DI URBINO can be filled with sausage, cheese and vegetables. The recipe has medieval roots and was reserved for the high-ranking gentlemen. According to legend, a woman invented the recipe as she was inspired by the sun.
Among the lovers of Crescia there was the poet Giovanni Pascoli, who told a friend of Urbino: “… 30 years since I see Urbino, I have forgotten nothing, not even the bakeries in which we ate “crescia” … ”
A specialty of Fossombrone is the CRESCIA CON CICCIOLI. It’s made adding greaves (ciccioli) to the mixture and after the dough rise is cooked on a wood grill, greased with lard.
Typical for the Easter period is the CRESCIA DI PASQUA, a salty cake shaped like a mushroom.
You can eat it as an appetizer with meats and cheese or dried in the broth. In the Marches Region each family has its own recipe which is handed down from generation to generation. In our area people usually adds cheese cut sliced in cubes in the mix, that gives to the CRESCIA a peculiar taste. The preparation is not simple and for this reason is only done once a year, just for Easter.
The FRITTATA DI VITALBE (scrambled eggs with wild vine) is a popular dish in spring, because the tips of the vine are particularly delicate in this period.
The CALCIONI are typical for the province of Ancona. Egg filled with sheep cheese and sugar, gives to this dish a sweet and slightly salty taste.
In Treia, on the third Sunday of May, there’s a feast in honor of Calcone.
MARITOZZI are not a native product of the Marches, most likely were imported from the Lazio countryside in the early years of the twentieth century by workers as laborers who worked there as shepherds and farmers. Maritozzi are shaped like buns, have an anise aroma, are filled with raisins and orange peel, covered with a glaze of egg white and sugar.
Every seafood lunch should start from the BRODETTO, Prince of Adriatic fish soups. Every city on the coast has its own “soup” with variants for both the ingredients and cooking tecniques. There are dry soups, with tomato sauce, with no sauce at all, some are made with rock fish, others with valuable fish but the constant is that it is always tasty!
Fano held a national competition for the best fish soup, the Festival del Brodetto has become a must for gourmets from all over Italy.