Le Marche’s Culinary Classics

Italian food has had a massive impact on the British diet in the past few decades.

Did anyone manage to see any of More4 Goes Italian this weekend? I watched some and thought it was great. I particularly enjoyed watching the Top 10 Italian classic dishes presented by Michela Chiappa. It really did make me hungry (particularly the tiramisu!) and also made me want to get in the kitchen and start cooking all of my favorite Italian classics. Just in case you missed any of it, you can catch up and add recipes to your online scrapbook here.

Le Marche is lucky enough to be a region with a long (and award winning) coastline as well as fertile soils for amazing fresh fruit and veg and the prized Marchigiani cattle. As a result, in addition to the Italian Classics featured over the weekend on More4 that we Brits have come to love and enjoy as part of our regular diet, Le Marche has some of it’s own classic dishes:

1 – Olive All’Ascolana – These tasty treats from Ascoli Piceno are olives which have had the stones removed, and are stuffed with a mixture of pork and veal and then dipped into breadcrumbs and deep fried. Yum! They are eaten as an antipasti and are a staple at any sort of celebration. In Ascoli Piceno you can enjoy these from the Migliori street vendor stall, and eat them really hot out of a cone. A real speciality – just try not to eat a whole dish at once!


Photo from http://miglioriolive.it/


Photo from http://miglioriolive.it/


Photo from http://miglioriolive.it/

2 – Brodetto – This is a fish stew from the Ancona area. It has a tomato base and tradition specifies no less than 13 different types of fish! The Ancona tourist office have published a version of this classic regional recipe which can be found here
3 – Vincisgrassi – This is a delicious, rich and creamy white lasagne. Here is a recipe for this delicious alternative to the traditional lasagne. Let’s see if we can get Vincisgrassi into the British public’s top 10 Italian classic recipes next time round!

For more culinary treats from the Le Marche region, have a look at Marchigiani Chef Fabio Trabocchi’s cookbook, Cucina of Le Marche.

Where Is Le Marche?

Where is Le Marche?

Le Marche is a little known region situated in central Italy on the eastern Adriatic coast. It is east of Tuscany and Umbria, south of Emilia-Romagna, and north of Abruzzo.

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In addition to its lengthy coastline featuring the Conero National Park, Marche also benefits from the Sibillini mountains and associated National Park. Coast, mountains and everything in between in one region! Inland there are numerous hilltop towns and villages to be explored. Le Marche is often referred to as “the new Tuscany”. I guess people are referring to Le Marche having the attributes of Tuscany, with fewer tourists and cheaper prices. The Le Marche region is currently (it keeps changing!) split into five provinces, each with their own capital town – Pesaro-Urbino, Ancona, Fermo, and Ascoli Piceno.

Getting to Le Marche

Le Marche’s airport is called Ancona FalconaraRyan Air fly to Ancona direct from London Stansted, Brussels, Dusseldorf, Alghero, Stockholm and Trapani.

You can also fly into nearby airports including Rome, Bologna, Pescara, Rimini or Perugia with a wide range of airlines.

Ancona is also a port with links to Croatia and Greece, and also has a train station (including Castelferretti which is at the airport) which connects it to a variety a major Italian cities.

Car hire is recommended to ensure you can make the most of your time in Le Marche and explore all of the inland hilltop villages.