GASTRONOMICA TOUR OF ITALY: MARCHE

Marche is one of Italy’s best-kept secrets. The famous guide Lonely Planet places this region between the top 20 regions to visit in the entire world.

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This region has all the same charms as its famous neighbour with lesser-known spots. Sandwiched between the Adriatic sea, Tuscany and Umbria regions, this beautiful piece of Italy is backed by the Apennine mountains and has dreamy beaches, ancient hillside villages and beautiful scenery. It’s the perfect place to visit if you want to avoid crowds both on beaches and towns. Lots of things to do: from food festivals to Renaissance palaces, visiting Marche is the perfect way to experience Italy at its best!

Let’s discover together three staple dishes of this unique Italian region:


OLIVE ALL’ASCOLANA

INGREDIENTS FOR 25/30 OLIVES

FOR THE STUFFING

-30 olives

-50 g of minced beef

-50 g of minced pork

-50 g of minced chicken

-Breadcrumbs

-Nutmeg

-1/2 onion

-Salt

-Pepper

-Grated Parmesan cheese

-Lemon peel

-1 carrot

-1 stick of celery

-1/2 glass of white wine

-1 egg

FOR THE COATING

-1 egg

-Breadcrumbs

00 flour

-Frying oil

HOW TO PREPARE IT

First of all, chop the vegetables and brown them with a little extra virgin olive oil, add the three types of meat and cook slowly over low heat, blending with the white wine. Add, salt and pepper to taste.

Rinse the olives under running water, in this way they will lose the excess salt.

Pitted all the olives with the appropriate tool, so as to leave them whole. With a kitchen knife with a smooth blade, cut the olive in a spiral without breaking it starting from the stalk, you must obtain a spiral.

When the meat mixture is cooked and warm, blend it in a mixer and add, nutmeg, lemon zest, Parmesan and eggs. Then form balls of the size of a hazelnut.

Arrange the filling inside every single olive and close the olives.

Coat the olives first in the flour, then in the beaten egg and finally in the breadcrumbs. Fry the olives in a saucepan until they are crisp and place them gradually on a plate with kitchen paper, to drain the excess oil. Serve the stuffed olives still hot.

VINCISGRASSI

INGREDIENTS FOR 6 PEOPLE

-500 g lasagna sheets

-350 g mixed chicken offal

-1 onion

-1 carrot

-1 stalk celery

-300 g tomato puree

-100 g grated Parmigiano Reggiano

Salt to taste

-Black pepper to taste

Extra virgin olive oil

-200g pork mince

-200 g mince beef

-100 g bacon

-200 ml beef stock

HOW TO PREPARE IT

To prepare vincisgrassi, start by cutting the nad the chicken giblets into into small pieces.

Finely chop the celery, carrot and onion and put them in a saucepan to brown for 5 minutes, with extra virgin olive oil together with the pancetta. Let it all season for a few minutes then add the beef and pork and cook for about ten minutes, until the meat reaches a brown color. Add the puree and season with salt and pepper.

Add the chicken giblets to the sauce and mix with a wooden spoon; cover with a lid and cook for about an hour and a half, stirring occasionally and adding broth if the sauce gets dry. The sauce must be well cooked and thickened.

Once the ragù is ready, you can assemble the vincisgrassi in a pan with high sides: place a few tablespoons of sauce on the bottom then line the pan with a first layer of lasagna sheets, and cover with a generous spoonful of meat sauce and a spoonful of grated Parmesan cheese.

Continue like this until at least ten layers are formed (this is a characteristic of vincisgrassi) and finish with a layer of meat sauce and a generous handful of Parmesan cheese. Bake in a hot oven at 180 ° for 30 minutes and take them out as soon as a nice golden crust has formed on the surface.

CIAMBELLONE ALLA MARCHIGIANA

INGREDIENTS

-1 egg

-1 Yolks

-50 ml Milk

-300 g flour 00

-75 g Sugar

-70 ml olive oil

-1 pinch of salt

-1 sachets baking powder

-Grated rind of one lemon

-1 jar of spreadable chocolate

Ingredients for brushing

-1 egg

-Milk

  • Granulated sugar

-Chocolate drops

HOW TO PREPARE IT

Begin the preparation by grating the lemon zest. Immediately after, put the flour, sugar and baking powder in a bowl.

Gently mix with one hand, this procedure will prevent lumps from forming. Add the liquids, starting with the eggs, then the milk and oil.
Knead until the mixture is compact and manageable with your hands on a surface.

If the mixture remains too liquid, add a little flour at a time, but not too much or the ciambellone will be rock hard when cooked. Prepare a baking sheet with parchment paper and divide the dough in two rolls.

Take one of the two parts and roll it giving it a rectangular shape. At the center of this dough, pour the spreadable chocolate, leaving a few centimeters from the edges.

Then take the second ball of dough and roll it out to the same shape. Use this rectangle to cover the other one with the chocolate, and seal it at the edges so that it does not overflow on the sides during cooking.

Brush the surface with beaten egg yolk mixed with milk. Pour over granulated sugar. You can enrich it by pouring over hazelnuts or chocolate chips.

Cook at 180 degrees for 25-30 minutes. Your ciambellone will finally be ready.

BUON APPETITO!

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