Flavors of Le Marche: Spaghetti alla Marchigiana
The cuisine of Le Marche is rooted in rustic countryside traditions. The Marchigiani table overflows with the abundant treasures of land, sea and stream. Every dish celebrates the uniquely delicious bounty of the region’s fertile lands, highlighting such ingredients as olives, wheat, porcini mushrooms, pork and wild game. Marchigiani cuisine relies upon locally produced ingredients as a cornerstone of its culinary traditions, masterfully combining robust flavors and textures into satisfyingly rich dishes that have been prepared for centuries.
While you may see many interpretations of Spaghetti alla Marchigiana on restaurant menus all over Le Marche, below is one of our favorite versions dating back to the early 1900’s…
Spaghetti alla Marchigiana
1 pound of spaghetti
1/3 pound of guanciale cut into little cubes
1 cup of olive oil
1/3 cup of lard
1 medium white onion, finely chopped
1 clove of garlic, chopped
1 fresh chili pepper left whole
1/3 cup of grated pecorino cheese
Salt to taste
This recipe comes out best when the spaghetti are drained around the same time that the sauce is ready. It is advisable to begin making your sauce while the pasta is boiling.
1. In a large pot of boiling, abundantly salted water, begin cooking your spaghetti.
2. Meanwhile, in a large saucepan sauté the lard, guanciale and fresh chili pepper in olive oil.
3. When the guanciale is crispy and golden, add the onion and garlic, continuing to sauté. Add salt to taste.
4. Once the onion and garlic have become golden, take the pan off of the flame and set aside.
5. Drain your spaghetti when it is al dente.
6. Put the drained spaghetti into a serving dish and sprinkle the pecorino cheese on top. Pour the onion, olive oil and guanciale sauce over the top of the pasta. Mix well and serve. Additional pecorino cheese can be sprinkled over the pasta as a finishing touch. Buon appetito!
Recipe makes 4 generous servings.