By Alessandra Bianco, MA 2013-14.
This is the end, friends. We have reached our final region of Italy, and home to the capital city of Rome… Today we are in Lazio. This region is large and has a very diverse geographical and topographical makeup, which is reflected in the diversity of cuisine you can find here. While all roads may lead to Rome, some of the regional specialties might lead you a bit further afield in this region…
Fettuccine- flat noodles, but not with the heavy alfredo sauce that many Americans will be familiar with.
Gnocchi alla romana- tiny cylinders of semolina flour or mashed potatoes with tomato sauce
Spaghetti all’Amatriciana- Amatriciana is usually paired with bucatini (hollow spaghetti) in Rome, but it marries beautifully with spaghetti as well. This sauce, from the tiny town of Amatrice, is traditionally made with tomato, onions, and bacon.
Spaghetti carbonara– a creamy pasta dish with egg, cheese, guanciale or pancetta, and black peppercorns (but NO cream! The creaminess comes from the cheese, egg, and starch from the water the pasta was boiled in).
Abbacchio- roasted suckling lamb
Porchetta- suckling pig roasted on a spit
Spiedini alla Romana– Mozzarella and Bread Skewers in Warm Anchovy Sauce
Pollo Arrosto con Arancia ed Uvetta- Roasted Chicken with Oranges and Currants
Peperonata alla Romana– Slow-Cooked chunks of sweet peppers cooked with onions, tomatoes, garlic, and a hint of anchovies until they are silky soft. It makes a one-dish meal with crusty bread and a hunk of sharp Pecorino Romano.
Guanciale is made from the meat of the cheek and throat of a pig. The meat is salted, rubbed with pepper, and aged; less fatty than Pancetta, which is made from the belly of a pig, it is cooked in pasta sauces (including Carbonara), with vegetables, and more.
Carciofi alla giudia- artichokes fried in olive oil
Carciofi alla Romana– artichokes cooked in garlic and herb oil.
Bigne di San Giuseppe– are eaten to celebrate the Feast of St Joseph and are made with choux pastry filled with egg custard.
Maritozzo– The Roman maritozzi are made with yeast dough, mixed with oil, salt and a sugar. The characteristic is slightly oval shape, really sweet and usually filled with white cream or even chocolate or nut cream. They are consumed at breakfast with cappuccino or during the afternoon break.
Cornetto– Cornetti are the Italian version of a French croissant. Usually presented in many versions: unfilled, with cream, chocolate or fruit jam. These are the most famous Italian breakfast food and are typically consumed with cappuccino or fresh juice.
Crostata di Ricotta– History says that this dessert was first prepared during the Roman age. For the traditional recipe, the main ingredient is still ricotta cheese, but you will find some variants from region to region. For that reason you can sometimes find this cake with cream or chocolate on the top.
Photo by Geodus