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Roman dishes that you must try

Posted on May 21st, 2024

by Adriana ruiz


Roman cuisine is a delightful fusion of simplicity, tradition, and bold flavors. Let’s explore some quintessential Roman dishes that you must try when visiting Italy’s Eternal City:

 

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1. Cacio e pepe is a classic Roman pasta dish that combines simple ingredients to create a flavorful and creamy result. It consists of spaghetti (or other pasta), Pecorino Romano cheese, freshly ground black pepper, and sometimes a touch of butter. The secret lies in the technique: the starchy pasta water emulsifies with the cheese, creating a luscious sauce. Here are some variations you can try:

Spaghetti Cacio e Pepe: The traditional version with spaghetti.
Bucatini Cacio e Pepe with Broccoli: Incorporates broccoli for added flavor.
Paccheri Cacio e Pepe with Sausage: A heartier version with sausage.
Strozzapreti Cacio e Pepe with Mussels: Seafood lovers will enjoy this twist.
Pasta Nduja e Pecorino: Introduces spicy nduja sausage.
Pici Cacio e Pepe: Features thick, hand-rolled pasta. Enjoy this Italian favorite!

 

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2. Amatriciana is a classic Italian pasta dish that originated in the town of Amatrice, located in the province of Rieti. It’s a beloved staple in Roman cuisine and has gained popularity worldwide. The key ingredients include guanciale (cured pork jowl), pecorino cheese, and tomato sauce. The pasta is typically served with either bucatini or spaghetti.

 

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3. Carbonara is a creamy pasta made with eggs, Pecorino Romano, guanciale (cured pork jowl), and black pepper. The secret lies in the technique of combining the hot pasta with the egg mixture to create a luscious sauce. It’s a Roman classic that never disappoints.

 

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4. Supplì are rice croquettes consisting of a ball of cooked risotto, typically filled with tomato-based meat sauce and a piece of mozzarella. The entire morsel is soaked in egg, coated with breadcrumbs, and then fried to crispy perfection. When broken open, the mozzarella stretches out like a telephone cord, earning them the nickname ‘supplì al telefono.’ They’re a beloved street food in Rome and are often served as an antipasto in pizzerias throughout Italy.

 

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5. Porchetta is a savory, fatty, and moist boneless pork roast from Italian culinary tradition. Look for it at local markets or food stalls.

Here are the key details:

Ingredients:
Pork: The carcass is deboned and spitted or roasted traditionally over wood for at least eight hours, with fat and skin still on.
Flavorings: Porchetta can be stuffed with liver, wild fennel, garlic, rosemary, or other herbs.
Tradition: It’s a celebratory dish in Italy, especially associated with central regions like Lazio and Ariccia.
Street Food: In Rome, porchetta is a common street food, often served in a panino or as a filling for pizza bianca.

Trivia:
◦ Porchetta is one of the iconic culinary products of Lazio, alongside pecorino romano cheese.
◦ It’s a flavorful and beloved dish that combines crispy skin and succulent meat.

 

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6. Carciofi alla Romana is a delightful Roman dish featuring artichokes cooked with garlic, mint, and olive oil. This flavorful vegetable preparation captures the essence of Roman cuisine and is best enjoyed during artichoke season in spring.

 

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7. Saltimbocca alla Romana is a classic Roman dish that lives up to its name, which translates to “jump in the mouth.” Thin veal or pork cutlets are topped with prosciutto and sage, creating flavorful bites. These cutlets are then pan-fried to perfection and served with a white wine sauce. As a traditional secondo (main course) in Roman cuisine, saltimbocca is a delightful treat for the tste buds!

 

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8. Maritozzo is a delightful Roman sweet bun with a rich history dating back to ancient times. Crafted from an enriched brioche-style dough, this luscious treat incorporates extra virgin olive oil for both softness and flavor. The dough is skillfully shaped into round or slightly elongated buns, then baked until it achieves a golden brown hue. Once cooled, the maritozzo is sliced in half (similar to a hot dog roll) and generously filled with freshly whipped cream. For an extra touch of sweetness, a dusting of powdered sugar is added. The irresistible combination of honey, citrus, vanilla, and billowing whipped cream makes maritozzo a beloved choice in Rome and the Lazio region. Traditionally enjoyed for breakfast or as a delightful snack, this bun continues to captivate taste buds.

Remember, when in Rome, eat like a local! Explore trattorias, osterias, and family-run restaurants to savor these authentic Roman flavors.

What other Roman dishes would you add to this list?

 

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