It was good Friday. We crowded Mercatello’s fine Ristorante da Uto and had what people eat on good Friday. Fish. And seafood in many variations for the antipasti.
The meatless day before Easter could not pass without the owner bringing out one of the special breads of Le Marche they baked a day ahead, yet another Easter specialty to be eaten with the meat and innard extravaganza the Marchigiani partake of on Sunday morning. Torta Brusca, sometimes called Crescia di Pasqua is a savory bread made with cheese. Pecorino is the most traditional, he told us, but folks gussy it up a bit with the more expensive Parmigiano Reggiano.
Impressive bread. Rich. It uses lots of eggs and a good dose of black pepper besides the cheese.
There are variations, of course. You can make it flat and fill it with other cheese, like stracchino or even yogurt, the two variations we found on the table for our own Easter breakfast at Palazzo Donati, which is reproduced on the left. Then they can be called “pizza di Pasqua” or Easter pizza.
This is the kind of stout bread you need to “fare la scarpetta” (or “make a shoe”) with which to sop up the juices of the traditional Easter breakfast, which includes all manner of offal and their juices—from tripe to lamb intestine, liver and lung (and then on to snails and boiled eggs in green sauce). That’s a lot of good innard juices to sop up. You need a good bread for that.
Here’s a recipe. Have fun.