While the “marriage” mostly likely refers to the marriage of the ingredients, the soup is also thought to give strength to newly married couple.
In the dialect of the Lucani (as natives of Basilicata are known) “maritare” means to wed, and I have always thought that this wonderful soup was so named because it was customarily served at wedding celebrations. Recently, however, while doing some research, I came upon another explanation of why it is called “maritata” because it weds vegetables (in the soup base) with meat (in the polpette), and with this added protein it becomes a complete and balanced one-course meal. I like both interpretations of the name and believe they are compatible.
I prepare this delicious soup here: