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Sometimes it seems that we forget the Marche region and then we are positively surprised.

Every time it’s the first time, and every time we enjoy the incredible beauty.

This summer I’m on vacation in the Riviera delle Palme, in the south of the region on the border with Abruzzo (another treasure trove of flavours).

We are in San Benedetto del Tronto where the Ascoli olives (from the name of the nearby Ascoli Piceno) meet with the Abbruzzo sheep’s kebabs.

One of the most beautiful promenades in Italy: a 5 km walk that goes from Porto d’Ascoli (which has been an integral part of the urban centre of San Benedetto del Tronto since the 1960s) to the city centre bordered by a cycle path.

We are at the sea and here fish cuisine is the master. We must remember that San Benedetto del Tronto is the main fishing port of the Marche, whose construction dates back to 1907.

There is a dish that is the symbol of the local cuisine and is the Brodetto alla Sanbenedettese, a sort of fish soup with the peculiarity of the use of vinegar and peppers

Other local recipes that can be tried in the premises of this area are Monkfish Tripe with Cannelloni Beans, and Monkfish in Potacchio.

This time I wanted to prepare Monkfish in Potacchio following the recipe of the chef from the La Gioconda restaurant.

First we explain a little dialect from the Marches saying that the ‘potacchio’ is a sauce with tomato that has the particularity of being flavoured with an abundant amount of rosemary.

While the monkfish has nothing to do with princes and princesses it is a fish that is called by various names in the different Italian regions. Also because the fish have the same shape but a different flavour depending on the sea and the seabed in which they live.

Its name derives from a fin which acts as a ‘fishing rod’ for its prey. And with its big mouth it is capable of swallowing anything.

The Adriatic Sea monkfish has firm flesh and a delicate taste, perfect for this recipe.

Recipe of the Monkfish in Potacchio

Take a pan and prepare a base with garlic, oil and chilli pepper. Leave to flavour and add the sprigs of rosemary and, shortly thereafter, the tomato pulp.

Leave the sauce to cook well and when it is almost cooked, add the monkfish.

It is not allowed to cook very much because this fish has a very tender pulp but prolonged cooking would make it stringy.

With the leftover sauce you can season a pasta and you will have another delicious dish.

The wine? I drank a Passerina from Ciu Ciu, don’t forget!

Vanni Cicetti

ITA Vanni ha trasformato il suo hobby in lavoro. È sempre stato nell'ambito della ristorazione iniziando dal bar e diventando capo-barman dell'Aibes - Associazione Italiana Barmen e Sostenitori. È passato poi alla ristorazione facendo corsi sui vini e poi di cucina. La sua grande curiosità, unita al desiderio di sapere e di assaporare, lo ha portato sempre a conoscere e scoprire cose nuove. ENG Vanni has turned his hobby into work. He has always been in the restaurant business starting from the bar and becoming head barman of the Aibes - Italian Barmen Association and Supporters. He then moved on to catering courses on wine and then cooking. His great curiosity, combined with the desire to know and taste, has always led him to know and discover new things.