Lettuce soup: zuppa di lattuga

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Loreto and Recanati

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Famous marchigiani

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Le Marche Quiz: Art

Welcome to the first Italian Food and Flavours

 

 Le Marche Sunday Quiz

 

So how much do you know about Le Marche? We thought it would be fun to have an occasional Sunday “Le Marche” quiz to test yourself on your knowledge of different aspects of this beautiful and historic italian region, and maybe find out something new.

In future Sunday posts we hope to have questions about famous people, history, architecture, natural features and a few other things Le marche related but this first one is all about the art of Le Marche. 

If you have a good quiz question you would like to add please let us know and we will be sure to include it in a future Sunday quiz.

And if you enjoy the quiz do please share it with your friends.

Have fun!

See how well you know your Le Marche art.

Click on the button below to begin – Good luck!

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turbot, asparagus and courgette

Italian Food and Flavours

Turbot, asparagus and courgette

Turbot, asparagus and courgette is a lovely combination of light and delicate flavours and with the addition of traditional Le marche deep fried zucchini, there is the added interest of the crisp texture of the courgettes.

Nowhere in Le Marche is far from the Adriatic and arguably the best fish is brought ashore in the southern port of San Benedetto del Tronto. We are based just 30 minutes from San Ben and while that is a bit of a drive for fresh fish we have discovered a fantastic fish supermarket that specialises in freezing fish straight from the boats as well as preparing a wide range of fresh fish dishes in their own kitchen. The interesting aspect to the freezing is that the whole fish are glazed, this apparently means that the fish suffers little or no dehydration. As it thaws the glaze comes off in sheets of ice and it is difficult to tell the difference from a thawed glazed fish from a fresh one. Whatever the effect, these fish are as delicious as any I have tasted. 

wholeweb

For this recipe one medium sized Turbot serves two. The Turbot is filited – a proper filleting knife that bends through 90 degrees is pretty much essential for this job – and simply pan fried in a mix of butter and oil (not olive)

filletsweb

The asparagus is cooked in a little boiling water – just enough to cover and served with butter.

The courgettes though need a bit more attention. First cut the ends off and then cut in half. with each half slice 4 sides off to make a chunky square profile. Then cut these sections into chips about 5mm thick. put the chips in a colander and salt well.

cutcourgetteweb

Leave for a hour or longer for the salt to draw out moisture. now rinse salt off  the courgette chips and dry them on kitchen roll – they need to be good and dry. Now drop them in a bowl of plain flour and toss them in a sieve over the bowl until they are all separate and coated in flour. Then drop carefully into hot oil – 200C – remove with a wire spoon once they colour, about 1/2 mins. drain on kitchen roll and serve immediately.

courgetteweb

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torta di mele: apple cake recipe

Italian Food and Flavours

torta di mele: apple cake recipe

I remember a school trip around the Peak District in Derbyshire when I was about eight or nine. On the itinerary was a last stop for “high tea”. I had no idea what this entailed and to be honest still don’t quite know the difference between high and afternoon tea. Despite having spent quite some time in Italy where of course coffee is the drink of choice the idea of tea and cake on a sunny afternoon is an English tradition I still hanker after.
Now dont get me wrong, I am sure there are some delicious Le Marche cakes out there but the ones I have tried are a tad dry for my taste so we have had to adapt and this apple cake recipe from Maryberry, it uses the traditional italian ingredients for the “pasty” mix but the addition of apple adds moisture and creates a cake that is perfect for afternoon tea, or breakfast, or after dinner or…

apple cake
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Prep Time
20 min
Prep Time
20 min
Ingredients
  1. 225g self-raising flour
  2. 1 level tsp baking powder
  3. 225g caster sugar
  4. 2 eggs
  5. ½ tsp almond extract
  6. 150g butter, melted
  7. 250g cooking apples, peeled and cored
  8. 25g flaked almonds
Instructions
  1. Beat the the the flour, baking powder, sugar, eggs, almond extract and melted butter together for a minute or so. spread half the mix on the bottom of a cake tin - 20cm spring sided best - lined with buttered grease-proof paper. layout the cut apples and cover with the rest of the mix and sprinkle the flaked almonds on top. cook for about an hour and a half.
Adapted from maryberry
Adapted from maryberry
Cooking Holidays Italy http://www.italianfoodandflavours.com/
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sweet cucumber and red onion pickle

cucumberonionweb

Italian Food and Flavours

Sweet cucumber and red onion pickle

This sweet cucumber and red onion pickle recipe is quick and easy to make and you can eat it the same day, just leave it for the flavours to mingle for a few hours, but it also lasts several weeks in a sealed jar in the fridge. The red from the onion will bleed into the vinegar after a few days which makes it look even more impressive though it doesn’t change the flavour much. Great for this time of year when you have cucumbers coming out of your ears – literally!

jarweb

Ok well not literally then. This one of those times when it is worth getting the slicing gadget out of the cupboard to add to your food processor if you are not so good thinly and evenly slicing with a very sharp knife. Have a couple of smallish sterilised preserve jars ready.

Sweet cucumber and red onion pickle

 

sweet cucumber and red onion pickle
Yields 2
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Prep Time
20 min
Prep Time
20 min
Ingredients
  1. 1 kg cucumber
  2. 3 red onions
  3. fresh dill or fennel, to taste
  4. 250g white sugar
  5. 1 tsp salt
  6. 200ml vinegar, cider or white wine
Instructions
  1. peel the cucumber and slice thinly, cut the onions in half and slice thinly, make sure onion rings all fall apart. Toss them together with the chopped dill or fennel. mix the rest of the ingredients in a jug and pour over. pack the pickle in the jars and turn them over a couple of times to make sure it is all mixed up. turn the jars again over the next few hours.
Notes
  1. This is a delicious pickle to serve with pecorino cheese, salami and good crusty bread for a perfect spring or summer lunch.
Cooking Holidays Italy http://www.italianfoodandflavours.com/
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Fava beans recipe

fava bean recipe

 

Italian Food and Flavours

Fava beans recipe

This fava beans recipe is a perfect antipasti dish for a warm spring evening, the mix of flavours is something special. Serve on its own or on some good toasted bread with a glass of chilled prosecco. 

ingredients

The first fava (broad beans) are now ready in the gardens here and they are ideal for this recipe as it needs light crisp and sweet beans. it can be made with older beans but they will need longer cooking and will have to be removed from the hard shell that forms as they get older. So to save the faff use the young fresh beans that are available now.

Whether it is eating this dish here in the Marche that makes it so delicious, or whether it would taste good anywhere I don’t know but if there is one dish that sums up this region this is it. The ingredients reflect the provence; with anchovies from the adriatic just 20k away, fava beans and fennel from the garden, local capers and olive oil and mature pecorino cheese from the mountains 30k in the other direction, this is dish made in le Marche.

fava bean salad
Serves 2
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Prep Time
20 min
Cook Time
3 min
Prep Time
20 min
Cook Time
3 min
Ingredients
  1. 4 anchovy fillets, preserved in oil not salted
  2. 1 tbls capers
  3. clove of garlic
  4. 2 handfulls fava beans
  5. olive oil
  6. white wine vinegar
  7. pepper
  8. lemon juice
  9. grated pecorino
Instructions
  1. with a fork mash up the anchovies and capers in a small bowl, mash the garlic in a pestle and mortar and add to the anchovy mix. pour in small glass of oil and good spash of vinegar. make sure they are good quality, grind in a little pepper but no salt. this mix will benefit from being allowed to stand for 30 mins or so in the fridge but you can press on if you dont have time. Cook the beans in already boiling water for 3 minutes or until they are just tender. Drain and mix the hot beans in with the anchovy paste, making sure everything is well coated. Pile the beans on a serving plate and squeeze the juice from half a lemon over before topping with a handful of grated pecorino and finally a last drizzle of olive oil.
Notes
  1. This dish is wonderful warm as the beans absorb all the amazing flavours and the residual heat brings everything to the fore on your tongue, but I am told it is also good cold. Personally I have never had any left over to try.
Cooking Holidays Italy http://www.italianfoodandflavours.com/
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