Ecco Le Marche

Last year I (wholeheartedly) talked about a typical, rich Easter breakfast with a promise to add the recipe for frittata con mentuccia (a kind of omelet with mint) later. And since Easter is approaching, here it is:

I have to thank Elke for the research work! She found found different variations of the recipe. Some use Pecorino cheese, others Parmesan, some use garlic, some don’t, you can add or omit parsley and one recipe made the frittata more like scrambled eggs. She ended up with a very tasty version of hers!

Ingredients:

  • 4-5 eggs
  • half an onion
  • 1 peeled whole garlic clove
  • Neat fresh Mentuccia (a typical Marchigian type of mint that is relatively mild; alternatively other mint)
  • Some parsley
  • 2 tbsp grated Parmesan
  • Pepper salt
  • some white wine
  • a good dash of olive oil
  • possibly some chopped carrots and celery

Preparation:

Finely chop the mint and parsley and whisk together with the eggs, parmesan, spices and a dash of white wine.

In a coated pan, sauté half the finely chopped onion, possibly some chopped carrots and celery and the garlic, then remove the garlic and carefully add the egg mixture instead. Cover and cook for a few minutes on each side. Complete.

Buon appetito!

Mentuccia (Latin: Calamintha nepeta) grows everywhere here in Le Marche and for many of us it is the real sign that spring has arrived! Since it disappears in late fall, it’s good custom to dry some leaves for the winter.

One of the book Elke used for her reasearch is the wonderful cookbook “Antologia della cucina popolare” of Alta Valle dell’Esino (an area here in the middle of Le Marche, along the upper Esino river).

The book was published in the 1980s when high school students asked their grannies (the unique keepers of traditional cuisine) for their old recipes.

Many of the recipes reflect how poor and simple life was in Le Marche at that time. For the dish of the Frittata con Mentuccia, however, a good deal is served, since it was intended for Easter: in addition to the ingredients that Elke used, a good deal of bacon, liver or soft salami is also added.

Have a wonderful Easter with our frittata alla mentuccia!


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