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Category Archives: Ancona

Frasassi

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The Frasassi Caves are a remarkable cave system in the province of Ancona, Marche. They are one of the largest known cave systems in Europe and they have an impressive array of stalactites and stalagmites spread along 19 miles of accessible caverns. Inside the caves, natural sculptures have formed for over 190 million years. The water flowing on the limestone dissolved small quantities of limestone that fell to the ground. Over time, these deposits form stalagmites (columns that grow upward from the lower part) and stalactites (columns that grow down from the ceiling). They are among the most famous show caves in Italy. Show caves are caves that are managed by a government or commercial organization and made accessible to the general public, usually for an entrance fee. Unlike wild caves, they typically possess such features, as constructed trails, guided tours, lighting and regular touring hours.

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In 1948, Mario Marchetti, Paolo Beer and Carlo Pegorari, members of a speleological group (scientists who study caves) discovered the entry of the Cave of the River. In 1966, a member of the Fabriano Speleological Group, Maurizio Borioni, discovered an extension that was one kilometer long inside the River Cave. Five years later, in July 1971, a new discovery took place. This time a group of young men found a narrow opening in the River Cave where a strong air stream came out. The men were Armando Antonucci, Mauro Coltorti, Mauro Brecciaroli, Mario Cotticelli, Massimo Mancinelli, Giampiero Rocchetti and Roberto Toccaceli. They worked for about one month to widen the narrow path and, the following  August, they passed through what would be later called “Strettoia del Tarlo” (Worm’s narrow path). The young men discovered a series of new caves, burrows, wells and striking tunnels, that also contained animal prints that had been preserved for thousands of years.

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The next discovery, the Cave of the Wind, took place on September 25, 1971, when Rolando Silvestri discovered a small entrance in the north slope of the mountain, Valley Montagna. Helped by some friends, he was able to open a passage from a small opening. His initial disappointment caused by the small discovery was followed by the hope for something bigger. He found success and in the small opening there were many openings and, after further excavation, they discovered a cave about 100 meters deep. Their problem, then, was how to get into the cave and reach the bottom. Eventually, with the right equipment, they lowered themselves into the cave, later called “Abyss Ancona”. Their lights illuminated the splendour and beauty of this discovery. The explorations of the speleological group increased and their goal was to find a connection between the two caves, which they believed existed. Two months later, on December 8th, speleologists found a path between the Cave of the River and the Cave of the Wind and named it, Fabriano Conduit.

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Frasassi1The two huge caves were a labyrinth of underground rooms that followed one another for more than thirteen kilometers. At the time, only speleologists with the right equipment could explore this wonderful underground world. Late in 1972, the local government built an artificial tunnel 200 meters long between the two caves. The opening took place on September 1st, 1974 and since then many tourists have been able to visit these caves and appreciate the beauty of nature.

There are several possible routes inside the caves. The first one is the tourist route where you will be accompanied by professional guides. It is an organized underground route, easily accessible by everyone. It covers 1.5 kms and it lasts over 70 minutes. The second route, called the adventure route, is more difficult than the tourist route. The Frasassi Authority provides for two adventure routes of different difficulty levels: the blue route (lasting about two hours) and the red one route (about 3 hours long). Equipment is provided by the Authority and you navigate the paths on your own.

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The Cave of the Wind, also the largest cave in Europe, became well-known to the Italian public after being used in an unusual TV reality program, which involved seeing how well people got on when shut in a cave together for a long time. The region around the Frasassi Caves is a mix of quiet hill villages and very attractive scenery, including the Gola della Rossa Nature Park, which is also well worth exploring.

The Cuisine of Anacona, Marche Region

The influence of the neighboring regions, can be seen in the popularity of fresh egg pasta and oven-baked pasta dishes in Marche. Vincisgrassi is a regional favorite, a baked-lasagna stuffed with chicken livers.

You will also find a variety of soups, such as Minestra di lumachelle made with eggs, cheese and bread crumb pasta, similar to Passatelli. Tripe soup, or minestra di trippa, is also a regional specialty and is served with a battuto topping (lard pounded together with herbs). Along the coast, soup consumption continues but it takes the form of brodetto or fish soup. Brodetti are prepared with all types of fish and various other ingredients like vinegar, flour, garlic and saffron.

There are also a number of special, regional preparations such as porchetta, a combination of spices and cured pork and called potacchio, if cooked with white wine, tomato, lemon juice and spices, alla marinara, if stewed in tomato sauce or, if baked, gratinati al forno.

People from Marche are also meat-lovers and will eat everything from pigeon to lamb. Piolotto is a way to prepare meat by wrapping it in paper with a piece of lard, which melts into the meat during cooking. Another local favorite is a spit-roasted whole, boneless pig that has been stuffed with herbs. Milk-fed veal, on the other hand, is often cooked in Chianti wine.

Among the regional salumi is Prosciutto di Carpegna DOP seasoned with juniper, is well-known. There are also soppresse, salsicce, sausages and a particular salume called Ciauscolo, which has the consistency of a pate seasoned with garlic, thyme and fennel.

Some of the best cheeses made in Marche are Casciotta d’Urbino DOP, Raviggiolo del Montefeltro, Slattato and herb-flavored sheep’s milk cheeses. For a special treat, look for Olive Ascolane (plump olives are stuffed with meat, dipped in egg and breadcrumbs and then fried).

Desserts in Marche are generally made using popular ingredients. Cicerchiata is a dessert made from yeast dough, shaped into balls, fried and covered with honey. Becciate are made with raisins and pine nuts. Adventurous eaters could try Migliaccio, a dessert made with pig’s blood, sugar and citrus peel. If Migliaccio is not your cup of tea, try Frusteri, a simple pastry made with sapa di mosto or cooked grape must.

One of the most well-known wines produced in Marche is Verdicchio, a white wine that pairs well with fish. The region is also famous for its Anisetta, aromatic liquor that smells and tastes like anise.

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Cozze al limone (Mussels with lemon)

The area is an ideal growing environment for mussels. As a result, mussels here are big and pulpy with a mellow sea flavor.

4 Servings

Ingredients

  • 3 lbs mussels
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 lemons, cut into thin slices
  • Several sprigs of parsley;
  • 1 dried red chili pepper
  • Salt and pepper

Directions

Clean and scrape the mussels under running water. Place them into a big, deep bowl filled with cold water and throw away any mussels that float.

10 minutes before serving, pour the olive oil into a large pan with a high rim. Add the garlic and the sprigs of parsley roughly chopped, the chili pepper broken into pieces and a little salt and pepper.

Drain the mussels and put them in the pan alternating with the slices of lemon.

Cook over a high heat until all the mussels open. Shake the pan from time to time.

Serve the mussels with their cooking liquid and some slices of toasted crusty Italian bread.

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Vincisgrassi – Special Lasagna

A dish from the Marches with an odd name. Vincisgrassi is the Italianization of the name of the Austrian general, Prince Windischgratz, who was commander of the Austrian Forces stationed in the Marches. The dish was allegedly created for the prince by a local chef.

For the lasagna sauce

  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 2 oz prosciutto, chopped
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 medium carrot, chopped
  • 9 oz fresh chicken livers, cleaned and cut into small pieces
  • 1/3 cup dry white wine
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste dissolved in 1/2 cup warm beef or chicken stock
  • 9 oz calf’s brain and sweetbreads, cleaned
  • 1 thick slice of lemon
  • Salt
  • 2/3 oz dried porcini
  • 4 oz cultivated mushrooms
  • 1 garlic clove, squashed
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 cup whole milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper

For the Lasagna

  • 1 lb lasagna noodles
  • Salt
  • Béchamel Sauce made with 1/4 cup butter, 1/3 cup flour, 4 cups whole milk, salt and freshly ground white pepper
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Directions

Melt the 1 tablespoon of butter in a saucepan over medium heat and saute the chicken livers and the prosciutto for 1 minute, stirring constantly. Add the onion and carrot and brown the vegetables.Pour the white wine over the mixture and cook until it has evaporated. Add the tomato paste dissolved in the stock, mix well and bring the sauce to the boil. Lower the heat and simmer very gently for 1 hour.

Simmer the brain and sweetbreads in water with the lemon for 5 minutes. Drain and refresh. Meanwhile, soak the dried porcini in 1/4 cup warm water for 20 minutes. Drain, reserving the liquid. Clean and slice the fresh mushrooms. Sauté them with the garlic in the olive oil for 5 minutes. Remove the garlic and discard.

Strain the porcini liquid through a sieve lined with cheesecloth or paper towels. Slice the porcini and put them, together with the fresh mushrooms and the porcini liquid, into the chicken liver sauce after the sauce has been cooking for 1 hour. Cut the brain and sweetbreads into small pieces and add to the chicken liver sauce with the milk, nutmeg and cinnamon. cook for another 30 minutes.

Make the béchamel sauce and cover it with plastic wrap to prevent a skin forming.

Butter a lasagna pan 11 x 8 inches. Cook 3 or 4 lasagna noodles at a time in plenty of salted boiling water  Place on kitchen towels until ready to make the lasagna

Spread 3 tablespoons béchamel over the bottom of the pan and then cover with a layer of noodles. Cover with 4 tablespoons of the chicken liver and mushroom sauce and the same amount of béchamel. Cover with another layer of noodles and repeat until all the ingredients are used up, finishing with a layer of lasagna noodles and béchamel.

Refrigerate for at least 4 hours, so that all the flavors will combine. Remove from the refrigerator and allow the lasagna to return to room temperature.Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

Bake for about 30 minutes or until hot in the center.

Melt the butter and pour over the vincisgrassi as soon as it is removed from the oven. Sprinkle with the Parmesan and let stand 5 minutes before serving.

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Fried Sweet Ravioli with Ricotta

For the Dough:

  • 4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 stick (8 oz) butter (softened)
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 egg yolk, beaten (reserve the white for sealing)
  • Oil for frying

For the Filling:

  • 2 cups ricotta
  • 2 ounces mini dark chocolate chips
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon (plus more to garnish)
  • 3/4 cup powdered sugar (plus more to garnish)

Directions

In a sieve lined with cheesecloth, strain the liquids from ricotta for a few hours in the refrigerator.

In a measuring cup, mix the milk, vanilla and egg yolk and set aside

Prepare the dough by mixing flour, sugar and salt in a large bowl, add the soft butter in pieces. Start working in the butter with your hands, then slowly add the milk mixture. Knead dough for 10 minutes on a lightly floured surface. Wrap in plastic wrap and set aside for 1 to 2 hours to rest in a cool place (though not in the refrigerator.)

Prepare the filling by mixing all ingredients with a spoon in medium bowl.Refrigerate until ready to use.

Heat the oil about 4 to 5 inches deep in a heavy bottomed pot or Dutch Oven to 350-370 degrees F.

Cut the dough into 4 equal sized pieces. Flour the work surface and roll out each section 1/8 th inch thick and large enough to cut out four ravioli with a 5 inch round pastry/biscuit cutter.

Place 1 tablespoon filling, on each ravioli circle and use the egg white to brush the edges of the circle. Fold ravioli in half; press with a fork to seal.

Place 2 to 3 ravioli in hot oil at a time and fry until golden brown. Place on paper towels to cool and sprinkle powder sugar on both sides once cooled slightly. Serve slightly warm garnished with additional powdered sugar and cinnamon.

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Ancona is Italy’s largest ferry port on the mid-Adriatic

The Marche region (also known as the Marches in English) forms the eastern seaboard of central Italy with the regions of Emilia-Romagna to the north and Abruzzo to the south. From the narrow coastal plains the land rises sharply to the peaks of the Appennines, which form a natural boundary with Umbria and Tuscany to the west. While the coastal areas are heavily populated, the beautiful inland countryside is sparsely inhabited . The inland mountainous zones are mostly limestone and are noted for bare peaks, rushing torrents, dramatic gorges and many caves. In contrast, the areas nearer the coastal plain are known for their fertile rounded hills topped by ancient fortified towns. The highest point is Monte Vettore in the Sibillini mountains. The coast itself boasts long sandy areas and, apart from the limestone Conero peninsula, the land is virtually all flat. Economically, the region is mostly reliant on medium and small scale industries, often family run. Shoes, clothing and furniture manufacturing are some of the most successful businesses. The relatively poor soil and the general movement away from the land has meant that agriculture now plays a minor role, apart from the production of Verdicchio, the Marche’s famous white wine. By the coast, fishing remains an important activity.

Ancona is on the top of a cliff and has a city center rich in history, monuments and well preserved semi-urban parks. The historical districts overlook the port arch, as if they were surrounding a stage. From its port every year, about one million travelers sail to Greece and Croatia. The weather in Ancona is typically mild throughout the year, with summer temperatures in the high seventies and winters that rarely dip below thirty-five. The city of Ancona stands on an elbow shaped promontory, protecting the widest natural port of the middle Adriatic Sea. The name of the town means its geographical position: Αγκων, in Greek means “elbow”, and this is what the Greek people called it when they settled in the area in 387 B.C.

In Roman times it kept its own coinage and continued the use of the Greek language. When it became a Roman colony is not exactly known but Ancona was occupied as a naval station during the Illyrian War. Julius Caesar took possession of it immediately after crossing the Rubicon and the harbor was considered an important defensive location for the Romans. After the fall of the Roman empire, Ancona was attacked by the Goths, Lombards and Saracens. In 1532 it lost its freedom and came under the control of Pope Clement VII. After the French took over in 1797, Ancona’s harbor frequently appears in history as an important fortress.

The Italian Jewish Community

The Jewish community of Ancona dates back to around 1300. In 1427 the Franciscan friars tried to force the Jews of Ancona to wear a badge and live on a single street, but apparently this attempt was unsuccessful. After the expulsion of the Jews from the Spanish dominions in 1492, refugees began to arrive in Ancona, to be joined later by others from the Kingdom of Naples.

As Ancona was about to be declared a free port, Pope Paul III invited merchants from the Levant to settle in Ancona regardless of their religion. (The Levant includes most of modern Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, Israel, the Palestinian Authority, Cyprus, Turkey’s Hatay Province and some regions of Iraq or the Sinai Peninsula.) Promising protection against the Inquisition, he encouraged the settlement of Jews. Many Jewish merchants took advantage of the harbor facilities and settled in town to trade with the Levant. The size of the community and its widespread connections attracted many noted rabbis and scholars throughout the centuries, including Judah Messer Leon (15th century), Amatus Lusitanus, Moses Basola (16th century), Mahalalel Hallelyja of Civitanova, Hezekiah Manoach Provenzal, Joseph Fermi (17th century), Samson Morpurgo, Joseph Fiammetta (18th century), Jacob Shabbetai Sinigaglia, Isaiah Raphael Azulai, David Abraham Vivanti, Isaac Raphael Tedeschi (19th century), and H. Rosenberg who published several monographs on local history.

During World War II, the Germans and the Italian Fascists demanded tributes to allow the Jews to live there. After the war, 400 Jews were left in town, and by 1969 the number dropped to 300. There are two synagogues, a Mikveh and two Jewish cemeteries: Monte Cardeto, the old one, and Tavernelle, the new cemetery.

In his book, La Cucina Veneziana, Giuseppe Maffioli writes that Jewish cooking had a great impact on the local cuisine and, despite their forbidden foods, the Jews had a more varied diet than the Christians. He cites that among the Jewish dishes adopted in Italy there were many vegetables ‘alla giudia’, meaning Jewish style, salt cod dishes, almond pastries, and puff pastry.

Precipizi, an Italian Jewish Hanukkah treat

Precipizi, an Italian Jewish Hanukkah treat

Today, most Italian Jews live in the large cities of Rome, Milan, and Turin. Many of the old historic communities that were once scattered throughout Italy have disappeared or have lost their identity, but the old Jewish recipes remain as a testimony to their existence. Looking at the alphabetical index of recipes in a book entitled, La Cucina Nella Tradizione Ebraica, a collection of recipes from members of the Jewish women’s ADEI WIZO organization: there are arancini canditi di Padova, baccald e spinaci all’uso fiorentino, biscotti di Ancona, biscotti senza burro; brassadel di Purim; buricchi di pasta frolla, budino di zucca gialla Veneto; cacciucco alla livornese and cuscusszi livornese; cefali in umido di Modena. Such recipes are a witness to once famous and thriving Jewish communities in Italy.

Carciofa alla Romana at Ba"Ghetto

Artichoke Hearts, Jewish style

What was it that made a dish Jewish?

Adaptations of local produce and recipes to comply with religious dietary laws meant that oil or goose fat were used instead of butter or pork fat for cooking. For the same reason, many dairy and vegetable dishes were developed to provide substantial meatless meals. The need to find substitutes for forbidden foods like pork and seafood resulted in the creation of such specialties as, goose prosciutto and salami and a white-fish soup. In the days when cooking revolved around the Sabbath and religious holidays, dishes that were chosen to celebrate these occasions acquired embellishments, such as coloring with saffron or sprinkling with raisins and pine nuts. The laws of the Sabbath, which prohibit any work on that day, gave rise to complex meals in one-pot to be prepared on Friday afternoon and left to cook overnight for Saturday. An example is the hamin toscano or polpettone difagioli—a veal loaf cooked with white beans, beef sausages, hard boiled eggs, and tomatoes. Centuries before Americans popularized pasta salads, Jews were the only Italians to eat cold pasta.

For Passover, ground almonds, potato flour, matzo meal, and matzos were used to make all kinds of pizzas, cakes, pies, dumplings, pancakes, and fritters. Numerous desserts are found in the Jewish Italian cuisine, like amaretti, marzapane, moscardini, mucchietti, scodelline, zuccherini, ciambellette, mustaccioni—to name a few. Certain foods became symbolic dishes to celebrate festivals, like Pollo Fritto, chicken dipped in batter and fried in oil, for Hanukkah.

Some of the Sites in Ancona

The marble Arch of Trajan, at the entrance to the causeway atop the harbor wall, in honor of the emperor who had built the harbor, is one of the finest Roman historical monuments in the Marche. However, most of its original bronze decorations have disappeared. It stands on a high podium with wide, steep steps and is flanked by pairs of fluted Corinthian columns on pedestals. It is a replica of the Arch of Titus in Rome, but taller, so that the bronze figures, Trajan, his wife Plotina and his sister Marciana, stand out as a landmark for ships approaching this Adriatic port.

The Lazzaretto (Laemocomium or “Mole Vanvitelliana”), planned by architect Luigi Vanvitelli in 1732, is a pentagonal building, built to protect the military defensive authorities from the risk of contagious diseases by incoming ships. Later it was used as a military hospital, then as a barracks. It is currently used for cultural exhibits.

The Food of Ancona

lts style of cooking is defined by fish and seafood along the coast, and vegetables, chicken, rabbit, snails, and truffles and other wild fungi in the hills and mountains. The coastal brodetto, or seafood stew, is seasoned with saffron and traditionally made with thirteen kinds of fish. 

Ancona is one of the biggest stockfish (dried salt cod) importers and Stoccafisso all’ Anconetana has a special place in the heart of Ancona people and in the history and tradition of this town.

This traditional Le Marche recipe involves soaking the fish for at least 24 hours and cooking it over bamboo canes to prevent the fish from sticking to the pan.

Seafood dishes are prominent in Ancona cuisine.

Creamy sauces made from chicken giblets are used liberally in Marche cooking. Pork recipes rely on generous chunks instead of the traditional thin prosciutto style servings. Since pork is so readily available, there are many types of sausages made in the Marche region. A hearty favorite local smoked sausage is ciauscolo, made with half pork, half pork fat and well seasoned with salt, pepper, orange peel and fennel seed. Olives grow well in this region and are served both on their own or stuffed with savory meat fillings. Grapes, grains, mushrooms and a wide variety of vegetables are found throughout the region.

Cheese-wise, Marche holds its own in the steep competition for great Italian dairy products. Casciotta d’Urbino is a sheep and cow milk cheese, hand-pressed into rounds that are then salted and cured in a moist environment, producing a velvety texture. Ambra di Talamello is made from goat or sheep or cow’s milk and is cured in a pit lined with straw, resulting in an earthy flavor. Cacio La Forma di Limone is a sheep’s milk cheese made with lemons, then formed into small balls (that look a bit like lemons). It is rubbed with a salt and lemon mixture and has a light lemon tang. Some excellent Pecorino cheeses can be found in the region as well.

Pasta in the Marche region is rich with eggs, with wide noodles being the most popular, such as, lasagna and pappardelle. The region’s signature dish, a pasta casserole with meat sauce, showcases flat pastas and savory meats. Other pastas like spaghetti alla chitarra, spaghettini, tagliatelle and maccheroncini have also found their way into Marche dishes.

Brodetto all’anconetana (Fish Soup Ancona Style)

Regional Specialties

Olive all’ascolana, green olives stuffed with ground meat, breaded, and fried until golden and crisp.

Ciauscolo, a rich, soft smoked salami, meant to be spread, not sliced.

Vincisgrassi, lasagna layered with prosciutto, chicken livers, sweetbreads, and white sauce.

Rabbit, cooked porchetta style (roasted in the style of porchetta) with fennel and salt.

Frustingolo, a dense fruit cake made with nuts and dried figs.

One of the most famous dishes from the La Marche region of Italy, Vincisgrassi, a type of lasagna, is very rich – some versions being even richer with the addition of sweetbreads and a pasta dough made with vin santo or marsala.

Make Some Ancona Inspired Recipes At Home

First Course

Tagliatelle with Shrimp

Servings 4

 Ingredients:

  • 3/4 lb fresh tagliatelle
  • 1/2 onion, finely choped
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 1 cup marinara sauce
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 1 tablespoon parsley, chopped
  • 1 lb. medium shrimp
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt

Directions:

Soften the onion over low heat in the olive oil and then add the finely chopped garlic without letting it brown.

Pour in the white wine and allow to evaporate. Blend in the marinara sauce.

Add the shrimp and cook until pink, about 3 minutes.

Cook the tagliatelle al dente. Reserve 1/2 cup pasta cooking water. Drain pasta and add to the shrimp mixture. Stir in pasta water and combine. Garnish with chopped parsley.

Second Course

Wine & Tomato Braised Italian Chicken

Serves 4

 Ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • One 3 1/2-pound chicken, cut into 4 pieces
  • 2 cups diced white onion
  • Salt and ground black pepper, to taste
  • 2 tablespoons minced garlic
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh marjoram
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh sage
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • 6 cups peeled, seeded, diced plum tomatoes or equivalent canned
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 2 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley

Directions:

In a heavy ovenproof pan with a lid, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil over medium heat until hot.

Pat the chicken dry and add 2 pieces to the pan. Do not crowd the chicken. Cook until the chicken has browned on all sides, 5 to 8 minutes. Remove the chicken from the pan and set aside. Repeat with another tablespoon of olive oil and the remainder of the chicken.

Add the onions to the same pan and cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until soft, 8 to 10 minutes. Add the garlic, thyme, marjoram, and sage and stir. Add the wine and simmer for 2 to 3 minutes, scraping up the browned bits on the bottom of the pan. Add the tomatoes and tomato paste, stir to combine, and cook for 2 minutes.

Return the chicken to the pan and season with salt and pepper. Reduce the heat to low, cover, and simmer until the chicken is tender, 30 to 40 minutes. When tender, transfer the chicken to a warm platter, cover with foil, and set aside.

Skim off the excess fat from the braising liquid and reduce the sauce over high heat to a sauce-like consistency.

Taste and correct the seasoning, if necessary. Serve the sauce over the chicken and garnish with the parsley.

Dessert Course

Orange Cake, Ancona Style

Ouzo is an anise-flavored aperitif that is widely consumed in Greece and Cyprus and a symbol of Greek culture.

Ingredients

  • 2 cups and 2 tablespoons flour, plus flour for dusting the pan
  • 3 eggs
  • 3 oranges and the peels, grated (no pith)
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons ouzo
  • 1 tablespoon whole milk
  • 2 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 2 cups orange juice mixed with 3 tablespoons sugar

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350°F. Spray a tube pan with cooking spray and dust with flour.

Put flour, eggs, grated orange peel, butter, sugar and ouzo in a food processor and process until all ingredients are incorporated.

Add milk and baking powder and process again to incorporate.

Pour mixture into prepared pan and place in upper, middle level of the preheated oven.

Bake for at least 45 minutes and the top of cake is golden.

Place pan over a wine bottle or other receptacle to cool slightly.

Loosen the edges of the cake with a sharp knife.

Invert onto a plate.

While cake is still warm, poke holes into it, using the end of a wooden spoon or similar implement.

Pour the sweetened orange juice into the holes, filling them to the brim.

Within an hour, the cake will have absorbed the juice.

Serve at room temperature.

Note: The cake will keep for up to a week in the refrigerator, fully covered by plastic wrap.



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