• 5 must try Italian dishes made in Le Marche

5 must try Italian dishes made in Le Marche

There is nothing more depressing than visiting a place and missing out the typical dish of that place. At least for me but don’t you agree too?.

Here are 5 must try Italian dishes made in le Marche. In this list I divided each delicacy by the province of its origin, so you won’t make mistakes on what to order in case you come here!.

Must try dish made in le Marche: Passatelli (Pesaro-Urbino)

We start our must try list, with an Italian dish that is still not so known outside of Italy, the Passatelli.

The Passatelli are from the Province of Pesaro-Urbino and the southern Romagna. Farmers using a few simple ingredients created this specialty. This kind of pasta probably derives from the “tardura”, a soup made with eggs, cheese and breadcrumbs.

The Passatelli use the same ingredients plus adding nutmeg, lemon peel and other aromas thus creating a completely different texture. The dough made is firmer and for this you need a specific tool to make this pasta. This tool was called: the iron, and was indeed a piece of iron with some holes. Passing this tool over the dough and firmly pressing it creates the Passatelli (which roughly translates as: pasta that passes through). The iron tool is very difficult to find today. This is why a potato masher with wider holes is preferred.

You can eat this special kind of Pasta in chicken, capon, and in some cases beef broth. However you can also try them “dry” with truffles, or with seafood!. If you visit Pesaro, Fano or Urbino this is a must try dish!

Must try dish made in le Marche: Stoccafisso all’Anconitana (Ancona)

If we move south from Pesaro-Urbino, we arrive in the province of Ancona. Once there don’t forget to taste this second must try dish of Le Marche: Stoccafisso all’Anconitana (Ancona style Stockfish).

It’s invention probably dates back to medieval times, when the merchants of Ancona maritime republic traveled often to Norway. Once there, the merchants bought the stockfish using it as main source of food on their trip back home.

Nowadays this is the typical dish symbol of Ancona’s culinary art. Made especially during Xmas, the Stoccafisso all’Anconitana is the prince of second courses. In this context you can enjoy it with baked potatoes; but there are a lot of different variants. Some adds more tomato flavored sauce, while others add more anchovies, etc etc… .

We can say that almost every nonna (grandmother) has their own personal recipe. With around 4h of preparation this is surely not fast food material. Finally, this is a strong flavored dish that, although very delicious, it requires some time to digest. Trust me!.

Must try dish made in le Marche: Vincisgrassi (Macerata)

Erroneously called Lasagne, the Vincisgrassi are an old dish of Marche cuisine by the Maceratese Chef Antonio Nebbia in 1779. However, if you ask locals they might also tell you a legend. This legend says that woman created the Vincisgrassi in honor of the Austrian general Alfred von Windisch-Graetz. Once eaten the dish, the general fought and won the siege of Ancona in 1799 against the Napoleonic troops!. Now talk about a secret weapon!

At the beginning, Vincisgrassi used very expensive ingredients like truffles. Then the dish slowly became part of the culinary culture of the people and changed. 

The substantial difference that makes Vincisgrassi stand apart from lasagna lies in the ingredients. Vincisgrassi includes chicken entrails and mixed farmyard meats: goose, duck, chicken, rabbit and pork. Instead, ground beef is banned. To make the Vincisgrassi you need at least seven layers of puff pastry which are placed one on top of the other and sprinkled with the sauce and béchamel made with milk, butter and a little flour. If desired, you can add grated cheese should , especially on the last layer.

Must try dish made in le Marche: Maccheroncini di Campofilone (Fermo)

After the province of Macerata we move into the province of Fermo for our penultimate must try dish in Le Marche. Located in Campofilone this egg pasta is so thin that it is considered a work of culinary mastery. The Maccheroncini di Campofilone (Campofilone’s macaroni) are also known as “Angel’s hairs” due to their unique thinness (between 0.3 to 0.7 mm). The thinner the macaroni is, the more the cook is celebrated, because being able to work with extremely fragile pasta.

This pasta is so thin that one or two minutes are enough to cook it!.

The first historical evidence of Maccheroncini di Campofilone dates back to Renaissance time. Some historical documents refer to “angel hair” as a pasta “so thin that it melts in your mouth”. Among the favorite dishes of the Marche’s nobility, also Giacomo Leopardi  mentions them.

More recently, the first Italian Gastronomic Guide published in 1931, talks about them too!.

If you want to experience them and see the medieval village, you should visit Campofilone at the beginning of August, when the Macaroni Festival is held.

Exquisite in broth, but also dry. if you can try them with ragout of duck meat, ground beef or pork, chicken giblets and ox marrow. 

Must try dish made in le Marche: Olive Ascolane (Ascoli Piceno)

Ending our gourmet tour is the city of Ascoli Piceno. If you visit this beautiful city in the southern Marche you must, must, must eat this delicacy!. The Olive Ascolane (Ascoli-style olives) is a delicious treat typical of this city. They are composed of green olives in brine, stuffed inside with a tender meat-based compound.

Dating back the 19th century when the cooks who served in the families of the local nobility, agreeing with each other, invented the filling olives to consume the considerable quantities and varieties of meat that they had available.

Great admirers of the olive all’ascolana were Giacomo Puccini and Gioacchino Rossini who even had them shipped to Paris. Giuseppe Garibaldi tasted them too, both in brine and stuffed, on 25 January 1849, during his short stay in Ascoli. The general was so impressed that even tried to bring home and cultivate this local variety of olive. Unsuccessfully.

Are there Only 5 must try Italian dishes made in Le Marche?

Of course not!. This, is just a small list, in reality there are way more delicacies one can find and discover while visiting my beautiful place. Almost every little village has its own local food. If you want I’ll be happy to show you around and bring you to taste the very local flavors of le Marche!.

Enjoy more local food in my tours!

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