The Cuisine of Marche
By: Liz Flynn
Food in Marche is diverse and is influenced by its coastal location, the fresh produce available on land, and neighboring regions, such as Emilia Romagna. Food is plentiful, so this is not a region that is influenced by the necessity to preserve foods or use lesser cuts of meat. Here is an overview of the cuisine of Marche.
There is something of a strange obsession in Marche for stuffing food with other foods. Everything from olives to fish are stuffed in this region. Chickens and suckling pig are also stuffed before roasting.
The most famous cheese of this region is pecorino, a mild cheese, and this is used in many other dishes that are traditional to this area. Another cheese that is made locally is formaggio di fossa. This made from a combination of sheep and cow milk before it is wrapped in a cloth and then buried in a pit to age.
Soups are a regular meal in this region and there are many different varieties. Often, people simply use the produce they have at home to make a soup using no particular recipe. However, there are some soups that are traditional in Marche. Minestra di lumachella is a soup made using cheese flavored pasta. Minestra di trippa is a soup made using tripe and herb flavored pork fat. Along the coast, locals eat Brodetto, a fish soup.
The pasta dishes in Marche are influenced by the surrounding regions. One popular dish is Vincisgrassi. This originated in Emilia Romagna and consists of lasagne sheets layered with offal, ham, mushrooms, béchamel sauce, truffles and Parmesan cheese. Another traditional dish in this area is ravioli ai filette di sogliola. In this dish, pockets of pasta are filled
Dishes using fish and seafood are widely eaten in Marche, especially along the coast. You will find these feature on most restaurant menus along the coast. Two typical Marche dishes are stucco all’anconetana and muscioli arrosto. The former consists of dried cod, carrots, and tomatoes cooked in a sauce of white wine, milk, garlic, olive oil, and rosemary. The latter is a dish made with mussels stuffed with ham parsley and breadcrumbs that are then baked in a tomato sauce.
Many types of meat are widely available in Marche, including game, poultry, pork, lamb, beef, and rabbit. A specialty dish of the region is quaglie in tegame. This is quail, salt pork, tomatoes and peas braise in white wine.