With a long coast on the Adriatic sea, Marche cuisine includes fish and seafood dishes in it’s regional specialities. Brodetta is the most famous of the fish stews. Other favourites include Ancona‘s Stoccafisso, dried codfish and fish such as sole, bream, clams and mussels. Pasta features very strongly and home-made pasta is still an art undertaken by many housewives of the region. Vincisgrassi is a form of lasagne with layers of thin pasta with a rich sauce of chicken livers and mushrooms, topped off with grated cheese and a white sauce. Pigs are bred for for sausages and hams which, unlike the thinly sliced Parma hams, are cut into hearty chunks. A local favourite sausage is the smoked ciauscolo, a soft spreadable salami, which is made from half pork and half pork fat and seasoned well with salt, pepper, orange zest and fennel seeds. Other favourite meats from Marche inclue wild boar, veal, rabbit, game birds, chicken and goose. Regional cheeses include “pecorino di San Leo” a sheep’s milk cheese, “ricotta” from Urbino and “bazzott” from Fano, Casciotta d’Urbino is produced from a mixture of cow’s and sheep’s milk which is formed into small rounds which are salted and cured in a moist enviroment to produce a creamy, smokey flavour, and Cacio la Forma di Limone a sheep’s cheese which includes lemons which is formed into small balls about the same size as the lemons which give the cheese it’s distinct flavour. Pecorino and Ricotta are often used in sweet dishes.
Olives grow well in Marche as do grapes, mushrooms, grains and a wide selection of vegetables. Pastas tend to be rich with eggs with the main pasta dishes being lasagne and papparadelle, Marche‘s best known and best loved dish is Vincisgrassi a pasta and meat sauce dish and is a type of Lasagne, it is made with pork, tomato and mushrooms with a white sauce and often topped off with shavings of truffle which the rarer white truffle is found in abundance in the area although they are still very expensive. A little less expensive but equally delicious are the wild mushrooms and porcini of the region.
Desserts of Marche include Pizza Dolce or sweet pizzas and Frustenga which is a cake baked with walnuts, figs and raisins.
Wines from Marche were, in the past, little known outside the region but now are attracting much more attention, Le Marche produces a large variety of wines including 13 varieties of wine carrying the D.O.C. (Denominazione di Origine Controllata) label. Some of the best wines of the region include Verdicchio dei Castelli di Jesi, Sangiovese dei Colli Pesaresi, Bianchello del Metauro, Lacrima di Morro d’Alba, Esino Bianco, Rosso Conero and Verdicchio di Matelica.