Saturday, 23 July 2011

Vincisgrassi vs lasagne al forno and chef Antonio Nebbia

Lasagne al forno are an Italian dish made of layers of egg pasta, tomato sauce with beef meat and besciamella sauce. Historians suggest that its origin dates back to the Roman Empire, and Cicero was very fond of it.

Vincisgrassi are a younger variant of lasagne that sprang out of poverty and ingenium in the region Le Marche, Central Italy. The main difference with respect to lasagne is the use of poultry meat, including offals, rather than beef, and the addition of Marsala wine or vino cotto to the pasta dough.

The chef Antonio Nebbia from Macerata offers to future generations a unique recipe of the dish in his recipe book "Il Cuoco maceratese". This is a milestone of Italian, and more broadly Mediterranean cuisine, as well as of food habits in the 19th century.

Why were vincisgrassi not simply called pasta al forno alla Marchigiana? They owe their name to Joseph-Niklas von Windisch-Graetz . He was a general in the Austrian Army who freed Ancona from the siege by the French Army in 1799 ca, although for a very short period of time before the French Army took the city back.

Wine tip: Rosso Conero and Lacrima di Morro d'Alba ;
Dessert tip: Cicerchiata .

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