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a tart or a pancake or rolled up pasta

Fregnaccia is a word that makes Italians giggle because it also means 'bullshit'. Every region in Central Italy has a different idea of what it should be as a dish.

In Abruzzo, it's fresh fregnacce pasta, folded over a filling of parboiled borage leaves, ricotta, parmesan, and nutmeg, covered with grated cheese then baked

In Lazio, fregnaccia are crepes filled with grated pecorino or sugar and cinnamon

In the Marche, fregnaccia are freshly boiled sheets of pasta, seasoned with a sauce of giblets, pepper and grated pecorino cheese, then rolled up.

In Umbria, it's usually a tart or cake made with polenta, or with wheat and buckwheat flour, apples, pine nuts, walnuts, aniseed and olive oil.

Sagre delle Fregnaccia (Marche style) takes place in Amandola, in Le Marche's Sibylline Mountains, in August.

Text © Dana Facaros and Michael Pauls

Image by sagrafregnaccia