The vincisgrassi, Ancona typical first course, in honour of an Austrian prince against Napoleon

Visiting Ancona and sitting at the table of a restaurant you can miss anything but tasting the famous “vincisgrassi”, typical dish of cultural and gastronomical world of Ancona.


The vincisgrassi, described as princisgras, appear for the first time in “Il Cuoco Maceratese” (The Cook from Macerata) defined by Antonio Nebbia in 1783.
The legend from Marche tells that the prince Windisch-Graetz came in 1799 leading Austrian army in order to secure Ancona by Napoleonic army; and, in that occasion, it was “sublimated” by this dish that most probably derived its name from.
There is no possibility to indicate an original and sole recipe, because every place of Marche made their very peculiar variations that did not alter the harmony of this oven-cooked pasta, unique for its characteristic.

Hereunder we advise you one of those recipes for vincisgrassi preparation.

Vincisgrassi Recipe

Ingredients for 8 / 10 people:

Sauce preparation:

300gr of minced meat
600/700 gr beef and pork fatless stewing steak (somebody adding also lamb and chicken)
one sausage or a well minced minute steak of belly of pork (70 / 80 gr.)
chicken riblets
meat nerves (help to “pick up” the sauce)
one veal rib of beef tail
1 tube of tomato puree
400 gr. thick pureed tomatoes
2 onions, 1 celery rib, 1 carrot
1 glass of white wine
3 / 4 cloves
sweet marjoram
salt e pepper
olive oil and knob of butter

Lasagne preparation:

Preparing home-made egg pasta and rolling out a thin layer
Cutting it in rectangular shapes (cm.10 x 5)
Boiling in salted water 3 / 4 of them at a time (consider them cooked when they come to the surface)
Picking them up with a pierced wooden spoon and plunging them into a basinful of cold water and then laying them on a short dry tablecloth.

Bechamel sauce preparation:

milk, flour, butter, salt and nutmeg.

Pasta preparation:

eggs (about 8 per kilo of flour), flour.

Furthermore plenty of grated Parmesan.


Preparing gravy the day before serving (it needs to boil for long time, at least 3 hours) in the following way:
taking a large saucepan and putting into it oil and the knob of butter, a well chopped spring onion, the well crumbled sausage or the bacon and making it frying; when the onion is golden brown adding the minced meat and let it on cooking.
When the meat is well browning, please adding the stewing steak, the chicken riblets (well cleaned and minced) and the one veal rib of beef tail.
Keep on browning; if meat tend sticking together, please do not worry and mixing and sprinkling a few of white wine.
Chopping well the onion, the celery and the carrot and adding them to lightly frying ingredients.
Mixing and adding remaining quantity of white wine.
Watering down the tomato puree and put it into the saucepan; adding the cloves, the sweet marjoram, salt and pepper.
Making it boiling again and adding the meat nerves.
It is necessary adding water in order to make gravy as thick as we want reaching out the quantity needed, using following method: there have to be three fingers of water covering meat.
Adding pureed tomatoes.
Now make gravy boiling, softly and for long time; then reducing flame and let it standing. Checking out every now and then (occasionally) and mixing; if sauce reduce then adding some water to it.
Gravy is finished and cooked when oil makes little lakes over brown surface.
Let it standing for a night long.
on the next day preparing bechamel sauce: it will occur over than one litre.
Preparing home-made egg pasta formerly cut in rectangular shapes; boiling in salted water 3 / 4 of them at a time (consider them cooked when they come to the surface) and picking them up with a pierced wooden spoon and plunging them into a basinful of cold water and then laying them on a short dry tablecloth.
Preparing a large roasting pan (while cooking pasta tends to swell); spreading gravy on a layer of boiled pasta, then gravy, bechamel sauce, parmesan cheese and a new layer of pasta; please, keep on doing so on until finishing with cover of bechamel sauce and parmesan cheese.
A small trick: picking up a sharp knife and piercing from high to low the vincisgrassi surface in several points and you will allow gravy better distributing.
Then putting in the oven and letting it cooking for about 45 mins at 175° / 200° C.
You will see a crisping crust forming.

Now enjoy and taste this rich and delicious dish of our beloved Dorian town.

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