Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Acqualagna - Home of Truffles

Along with Alba, Acqualagna is home to 4000 inhabitants and the prized white truffle. This smelly fungus can retail for 4000 euros/kilogram, so purchase wisely. (The black truffle is considerably less expensive.) When you're in Acqualagna, remember to visit these places. (Info. from Corriere.it, 2003)

Main Drags: Via Flaminia, Via Pianacce, Via Furlo
Main Sights: Truffles (mushrooms) and dogs, Abbey of S. Vincenzo,
Candigliano Fortress, Gola del Furlo (Glen of Furlo), ancient remains near Via Flaminia
Tour Acqualagna, Italy

For Good Food, Consider Eating at These Restaurants (enjoy truffles with cuisine):
La Ginestra - Located in Furlo, tel. 0721/797.033, www.ginestrafurlo.it, Closed Mondays, hotel/restaurant.
Il Tartufo -
Via Risorgimento 3, tel. 0721/797.195, Closed Mondays
Il Vicolo
- Corso Roma 39, tel. 0721/797.145, Closed Tuesday evenings
L’Osteria del Parco -
Via Mochi 11-13, tel. 0721/797353, Closed Tuesdays.
Gipsy - Via Case Nuove 10, tel. 0721/700.035, Closed Tuesdays.

Birra al Pozzo - Via Pianacce 12, Acqualagna, Closed Wednesdays.
Furlo - Via Flaminia 66, Furlo,
Tel. 0721/700.096, www.anticofurlo.it, Closed Monday evenings and Tuesdays.

Typical Products of Le Marche - Where to Go Shopping
Urbani Tartufi - Via Risorgimento 1, Acqualagna, tel. 0721/797.195. Name says it all, truffles and the like. Closed Mondays.
Maria Gabriella Truffa -
Via De Gasperi 55, Acqualagna, tel. 0721/798.634), Truffles, pasta, polenta, oils.
La Bottega di Pietro Sorcinelli - Via Marconi 18, Acqualagna, tel. 0721/798.218. Preparation of three types of proscuitto, cinghiale (wild boar), and blend of cinghiale and pork. Assorted fresh pasta, local specialties.
Ghiottone - Corso Roma 89, Acqualagna, tel. 0721/797.095.
Latte e Formaggi - Corso Roma 60, Acqualagna. Rich assortment of local cheeses.

Oleificio Teresa Contardi' , Purveyor of Fine Olive Oils -
Via San Biagio 93, 61045, Pergola, Pesaro-Urbino, tel. 0721/778.295.

Wine - Agriturismi (Where two addresses are listed, I believe the first address is the vineyard/grounds, second is the cellar. Contact owner to verify. "Frazione" is the territorial subdivision, or a smaller town, hamlet.)
Villa Ligi di Stefano e Francesco Tonelli
Frazione Montevecchio, via Montevecchio 119.
Via Zoccolanti 25, Pergola, Italy, Tel. 0721/734351, e-mail: villaligi@libero.it. Produces Vernaculum, red light-med wine; 2 types are Vernaculum Grifoleto and Vernaculum La Rossa. Hints of strawberry and plum. Soft on the palate, although wine in the evoluntionary stages. Couples well with warm crostini and truffles, salami, proscuitto, tripe alla Marchegian, and even young fossa cheese.

Gli Ippocastani
Via Montesecco 123, Madonna del Piano, 61045 PERGOLA (Pesaro-Urbino), Tel. 0721/775252 - 0731/982182 Cellulare: 3358217475 e-mail: ippocastani@puntomedia.it, www.agriturismoippocastani.it

Villa Frattabella

Hotels (Alberghi) in Acqualagna (or nearby)
ALBERGO RISTORANTE BIRRA AL POZZO - Via Pianacce, 12 Acqualagna, Tel. 0721/700084.
ALBERGO RISTORANTE LEON D'ORO - Via Flaminia, 213 Acqualagna TEL: 0721/798164.
ALBERGO RISTORANTE LA GINESTRA - Passo del Furlo, Acqualagna TEL: 0721/797033.
ALBERGO RISTORANTE LA CAPANNA - Via Canfiagio Acqualagna TEL: 0721/708127.
ALBERGO RISTORANTE SHINE - Via Aldo Gamba, 56, Acqualagna TEL: 0721/797487.
AFFITTACAMERE - Via Candigliano, 3 Acqualagna TEL: 0721/798720.
BED & BREAKFAST - Via Pianacce, Acqualagna TEL: 0721/700016.
BED & BREAKFAST - Viale Risorgimento, Acqualagna TEL: 0721/798674
BED & BREAKFAST - Strada Frontino, Acqualagna TEL: 0721/708196

Read this info on "affitacamere" first.

Buona fortuna!

Other Helpful Sites:
Montefeltro Tour - Famous Duke of Pesaro-Urbino region, has good info on Acqualagna and other towns
Map Acqualagna - Street or region map
Acqualagna Comune - with additional links
Acqualagna Truffle Festival - Held in Autumn, Late October-Early November
Gola del Furlo - Hidden gem near Acqualagna
Acqualagna Parks and Sights - Info from Italian Nature & Parks

Monday, April 17, 2006

Cuisine of Le Marche

You may be more familiar with the foods and wines of other regions of Italy. Marchegian cuisine is varied, as its provinces, which hug the Adriatic and Apennines. While I lived in Urbania, I tried to sample much of the regional cuisine. One of my favorites (I recalled eating over and over again!) was Olive all'ascolana (stuffed olives from Alla Ascoli Piceno). (You may come across different names, olive alla marchigiana, but as long as it's stuffed and deep fried, you're on the right track!) It's not a main dish, but an antipasto of deep-fried stuffed green olives. The dish requires a lot of manual labor, one I'm not particularly fond of, but I'll pass along the recipe.

Another dish that is particular to Le Marche is Vincisgrassi, which I was unable to sample. It's similar to lasagne with meat sauce.

Le Marche Recipes
Olive all'ascolana - Version 1
Olive all'ascolana - Version 2 (Italian)
Olive all'ascolana - Version 3

This last version (#4), is from a cookbook I have. I haven't tried it, but I'll post it because I LOVE eating stuffed olives!

Olive all'ascolana (stuffed olives alla Ascoli Piceno) Recipe
Serves 6
1 cup stock
1/4 lb. (100 g.) bacon, finely chopped
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/4 lb. ground pork
about 6 oz. (150 g.) beef
1 tablespoons tomato paste
3-4 (50 g.) chicken livers
1 egg
3/4 cup (50 g.) parmesan cheese, freshly grated
grated nutmeg
salt and pepper
approximately 50 large, green olives in brine
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 eggs (to coat)
oil for deep-frying

Directions: Soak 3 tablespoons of breadcrumbs in stock. Fry the bacon in olive oil, add the pork and beef, and fry these as well. Dilute the tomato paste with lukewarm water and add to the meat. When the meat is tender, add the chicken livers and fry for a further 5 minutes. Then grind all these ingredients in a food processor. Add the egg, parmesan, and soaked breadcrumbs to the meat and mix well. Season to taste with cinnamon, nutmeg, salt, and pepper. Pit the olives and stuff with the mixture. Coat in flour, beaten egg, and breadcrumbs, and deep-fry in plenty of hot olive oil until crisp. Drain on kitchen towels and serve hot.

More links to recipes from Le Marche
Delicious Italy
Food and Wine Mag

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Le Marche Tourism Links

Get to know the region by discovering the helpful Le Marche tourism links below: