Cuisine in Le Marche is as diverse as its geography. The region resembles an apostrophe—its five provinces curl around Ancona’s peninsula along the Adriatic Sea. (Ankon means ‘elbow’ in Greek.) In the eastern coastal areas, fresh seafood abounds. In the mountainous west, wild boar, game, and truffles dominate. The rolling agricultural hills in the center provide wheat, olives, poultry, pigs, produce, sheep, cattle, and more.
Le Marche’s mezzadria (sharecropping) heritage that endured until the 1960s influences La Cucina Marchigiana today, especially in our area. Small farms dominated the landscape, one hectare (2.47 acres) per family member was the norm. The sharecropper gave half of the farm’s proceeds to the landowner as rent. The mezzadri eked out a living with frugality, resourcefulness, and hard work. Livestock was well fed to enhance their flavor, and nothing was wasted.
At Casa Pace e Gioia, equidistant from both the mountains with their hearty fare, and the coast with its fresh seafood, we get the best of both worlds. Locally grown vegetables, lentils, and beans are abundant and vegetarians have plenty of delicious options.
Some local specialties to try on your visit include:
Olive Ascolane - local olives that are typically stuffed with a meat mixture, then breaded and fried. Fabulous!
Vincisgrassi - a many layered lasagna that is surprisingly light. Everyone makes their own version. Some mix vino cotto (a local “cooked wine” usually served with dessert) into the pasta dough.
Brodetto - a fish soup found mostly along the coast and prepared differently depending on location. The freshest and most appropriate fish varieties are always used.
Ciauoscolo - or ciabuscolo is a unique pork sausage so soft it’s spreadable. Sometimes served for dessert!
Bistecca di Marchigiana - Steak from the prized local Marchigiana white calf.
Coniglio in Porchetta - Rabbit with fennel stuffed with pork. Sounds improbable, tastes wonderful.
Pappardelle with Wild Boar Ragu - Available seasonally but when it is…
Gnocchi with Duck Sauce - a local specialty.
Truffles - Both white and black truffles grow in the mountains, especially around Amandola, are used to complement local dishes.
Dozens of our favorite restaurants are within a 10–15 minute drive. Our suggestions and menu copies are available in the house and prior to check in.
We can also arrange for a private chef to prepare a delicious and affordable gourmet meal for your group to enjoy on the patio overlooking the sunset!
If you’d like to prepare your own meals with our exceptional local ingredients, we’ll tell you where we buy from our trusted suppliers. Our large traditional grill uses both wood and charcoal and our fully-equipped kitchen has a 6 burner stove and oven.
If you are interested in a private or group cooking class, please let me know and I can arrange it.