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  • Writer's pictureCulinary Cam

Frecantò di Verdure, the Marche’s Version of Ratatouille, with the 2021 Colleleva Lacrima di Morro

Updated: May 6, 2023

This month Linda of My Full Wine Glass is hosting the #ItalianFWT group as we delve into the wines of the Marche and Abruzzo. And, while I am out of town and mostly offline celebrating my half-century, I never pass up the opportunity to do an Italian wine pairing.


This month, Linda is hosting a chat on Twitter - Saturday, May 6th at 8am Pacific. Follow the hashtag #ItalianFWT and be sure to add it to anything you tweet so we can see it. Here's the line-up of posts about the wines (and pairings) of the Marche and Abruzzo from the #ItalianFWT writers...


A Look Back...and A Glance at the Marche


I have written, briefly, about the two regions of today's event. Back in September 2021, the group looked at the Marche and I shared Cascatelli, a Brand New Pasta Shape, plus Pievalta Verdicchio dei Castelli di Jesi Classico Superiore 2017. I have also shared a single varietal - Pecorino - from the Marche: Oven-Roasted Trout with Citrus Salsa Crudo + 2017 Lunaria "Civitas" Pecorino. In October 2019, we focused on Abruzzo and I posted Scrippelle 'mbusse + Ferzo Passerina.


But I wanted to share a little bit more about the Marche this time around.


Located on the Eastern side of Central Italy, Le Marche is bordered by the Apennines to the West and the Adriatic to the East. To the North and South are the wine regions of Emilia-Romagna and Abruzzo, respectively.


Like most of Italy, Marche's winemaking heritage goes back thousands of years and has been influenced by the Etruscans and the Romans. Probably most well-known of its white wines, I was thrilled to get my hands on a bottle of red wine from Le Marche.


2021 Colleleva Lacrima di Morro


Back in March, the Italian Food Wine Travel writers looked at wines from Campania and I poured the 2020 Mastroberardino Lacryma Christi del Vesuvio Bianco. (You may read about that pairing in my post From Campania: Pasta Named for a Patron Saint + Wine from an Ancient Tale.) 'Lacryma Christi' means 'tears of Christ.' So I was intrigued to find a bottle of 'Lacrima di Morro d’Alba' meaning 'tears of the white hills.' It turns out the Morro d'Alba is the name of a town.


The grape itself - the Lacrima - is thought to be named after its teardrop shaped berries. This highly-regional grape almost went extinct before it was revived in the 1980s. I am so glad it survived as this wine was truly a joy to drink! With aromas of herbaceous lavender and heady wild roses, there is a juiciness on the palate that feels rich while it has with a fleeting feral finish.


I just recently spent the morning with someone who described some wines are 'feral' and I realized that that is an apt description of how I like my wines - sometimes spare and always surprising. I will be sharing more about my time with Jason at Tablas Creek Vineyard in Paso Robles. But this post is not about that. Stay tuned!


Frecantò di Verdure


When researching the regional food of Le Marche, I stumbled across a mention of Frecantò di Verdure, Marche's version of ratatouille. I knew I wanted to make a variation to match my wine. It's akin to a caponata but without the agrodolce (sour-sweet) that comes with the vinegar-sugar syrup in a caponata.


Also like caponata, making Frecantò di Verdure is more of a process than an actual recipe. Measurements are not crucial as, for instance, one more or fewer zucchini will not dramatically alter the dish. Everything softens and melts into a delicious saucy stew. But I am offering what I made. Feel free to use whatever you have on-hand for your Frecantò di Verdure.


Ingredients

  • 1 onion (I used 1/2 red onion and 1/2 white onion), peeled and cubed

  • 2 heirloom tomatoes, cubed

  • 1 bell pepper, deseeded and cubed (I used a yellow one)

  • 1 eggplant, peeled and cubed

  • 1 cup cubed waxy potatoes (I used baby red potatoes)

  • 1 zucchini, cubed

  • 1 summer squash, cubed

  • 3 Tablespoons olive oil

  • freshly ground salt

  • freshly ground pepper

  • 2 Tablespoons fresh basil, chopped


Procedure

Cut the onions, tomatoes, bell peppers, eggplant, and potatoes into cubes. In a large, flat-bottom pan, cook the onions in a splash of olive oil over medium heat until softened, approximately 5 to 8 minutes.


Add the eggplant and potatoes and cook until the eggplants are softened. Add the tomatoes, bell peppers, zucchini, and summer squash. Cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until the potatoes are very tender, approximately 30 minutes. Add water if the mixture seems too dry. Season to taste with salt and pepper.


When the Frecantò di Verdure is done, remove it from the heat and stir in the basil. Serve hot or at room temperature.



I added some balsamic roasted red onions and slices of bread for a quick, easy and veg-heavy dinner. Stay tuned for that recipe soon. The #ItalianFWT group will be back next month with a focus on the wines of Lazio and Umbria. Until then, cin cin!

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