Zuppa di cicerchie (Grass Pea Soup)

FrankLazio, Marche, primi piatti, Puglia, Soups, Toscana, Umbria38 Comments

Zuppa di cicerchie (Grass Pea Soup)

Yes, autumn is well and truly here. There’s a definitely chill in the air, the leaves are turning color, pumpkins have been placed on doorsteps, and logs are piled high on back porches, ready for the fire. I don’t know about you, but when the temperatures drop, I start to … Read More

Baccalà in guazzetto (Roman Style Salt Cod in Tomato Sauce)

FrankLazio, secondi piatti32 Comments

Baccalà in guazzetto

Here is the “other” Roman way with salt cod: baccalà in guazzetto, simmered in tomato sauce. It may not be quite as famous as Rome’s iconic battered and fried salt cod filets called filetti di baccalà but it’s just delicious, although in a very different way. Simmering salt cod in tomato sauce—”in … Read More

Filetti di baccalà (Fried Salt Cod Filets)

FrankLazio, secondi piatti39 Comments

Filetti di baccalà

During my years in Rome, I mostly lived on the small but charming piazza di san Paolo alla Regola, not too far from the famous Campo de’ Fiori and its mercato. Along the via dei Giubbonari on the way to the campo, where I usually bought my fruits and vegetables notwithstanding the astronomical prices, there … Read More

Minestra di broccoli e arzilla (Skate and Romanesco Broccoli Soup)

FrankLazio, primi piatti, Soups44 Comments

Minestra di broccoli e arzilla

I lived in Rome for over ten years, but in all that time, minestra di broccoli e arzilla, or Skate and Romanesco Broccoli Soup, somehow passed me by. I belatedly discovered this homey soup only recently, while perusing some old cookery books I picked up there years ago. Better late than never… … Read More

Pasta alla gricia: The Mother of Roman Pastas

FrankLazio, pasta, primi piatti30 Comments

Pasta alla gricia

What was Italian cuisine like before the tomato arrived from America? Pasta alla gricia gives us some idea. Widely considered the ancestor of the more famous bucatini all’amatriciana, it is a simple dish that, according to at least one  legend, originated among shepherds in the mountains around the town of … Read More

Cacio e pepe, a Roman classic

FrankLazio, pasta, primi piatti49 Comments

Cacio e pepe

When you’re in a real hurry or just too tired to cook anything too elaborate, here’s a great solution: cacio e pepe, literally ‘cheese and pepper’, a pasta dish usually made with spaghetti, bucatini or—my personal favorite—tonnarelli, a kind of square spaghetti better known Stateside by its Abruzzese name, spaghetti … Read More

Supplì (Roman Rice Croquettes)

Frankantipasti, Lazio28 Comments

Supplì (Roman Rice Croquettes)

Supplì —deep fried rice croquettes—are a classic Roman antipasto. Along with olive ascolane (meat stuffed olives), they are a fixture on pizzeria menus all over town, a little something to nibble on while you wait for your pizza. Supplì are obviously very close cousins—more like siblings, really—of Sicilican arancini, but while … Read More

Carciofi coi piselli (Braised Artichokes and Peas)

Frankcontorno, Lazio, Spring12 Comments

Braised Artichokes and Peas

Two iconic spring vegetables, artichokes and peas, are braised together with an onion flavor base to make this simple but tasty side dish. Often made with a bit of pancetta and broth, you can omit the pancetta and substitute water for broth to make a vegan version which, to my mind, … Read More

Garofolato (Roman Pot Roast)

FrankLazio, secondi piatti14 Comments

Garofolato (Roman Post Roast)

Northern Italians may have their brasato, and Tuscans their stracotto, but Romans have their own version of pot roast, which they call Garofolato. The name comes from the exuberant use of cloves—garofalo in Roman dialect (vs. chiodo di garofano in standard Italian—to scent the dish. If you ask me, this may be … Read More

Cinghiale in agrodolce (Sweet and Sour Wild Boar)

FrankFall, Lazio, secondi piatti, Winter30 Comments

Sweet and Sour Wild Boar

Genuine Italian cookery generally has straight-forward taste profiles. As I’ve said before, one of the best ways to tell if a recipe is really Italian is to count the ingredient list: you should have your doubts about any recipe with over, say, seven ingredients; more than ten, and you should turn the page. Well, here’s … Read More

Trippa alla romana (Roman-Style Tripe)

FrankLazio, secondi piatti23 Comments

Trippa alla romana

Tripe was once a common part of the Italian diet, and no where more so than Rome. The inhabitants of the Eternal City are famous for their love of offal, which they jocularly call the quinto quarto, or the ‘fifth fourth’, a butcher’s term for those humble parts of the … Read More

Gnocchi alla romana (Roman Semolina Gnocchi)

Frankgnocchi, Lazio, primi piatti39 Comments

Gnocchi alla romana (Roman Semolina Gnocchi)

Here’s a linguistic quandary: The Italian word gnocchi is usually translated as ‘dumplings’, and the dictionary defines the word ‘dumpling’ as “a small mass of leavened dough cooked by boiling or steaming” or “a piece of dough, sometimes filled, that is cooked in liquid such as water or soup”. Well, … Read More

Costolette d’abbacchio fritte (Roman-Style Breaded Lamb Chops)

FrankLazio, secondi piatti, Spring5 Comments

Unlike fruits and vegetables, one doesn’t often think of meats as having seasons, but I’ve always associated game with the fall, pork with winter, and lamb with the spring. And as it turns out, there is something to this. Lamb is generally at its most tender in May and June when the animal is … Read More

Carciofi fritti alla romana (Roman-Style Fried Artichokes)

Frankcontorno, Lazio23 Comments

Carciofi fritti

Rome has produced two world famous artichoke dishes, carciofi alla romana (Roman-Style Braised Artichokes) and carciofi alla giudia (Jewish-Style Deep-Fried Artichokes) Both are fantastic but require rather elaborate preparations and deserve ‘star’ treatment as an antipasto or even a light vegetarian second course. Lesser known but every bit as delicious, … Read More

Frittatine in trippa (Frittata in Tomato Sauce)

FrankLazio, secondi piatti, Toscana15 Comments

Frittatine in trippa

Eggs and tomatoes were meant for each other. From the Neapolitan “Eggs in Purgatory” to the Mexican huevos rancheros to the Chinese Stir-Fried Eggs with Tomatoes, to the old-fashioned American scrambled eggs with ketchup, everyone seems to love this epic combination of flavors. Here’s another Italian take on the theme, … Read More

Spaghetti alla carbonara

FrankLazio, pasta, primi piatti35 Comments

My grandmother Angelina never made it, as far as I can recall, but as a long-time resident of Rome I have a great fondness for la carbonara, one of the iconic dishes of Roman cooking. Together with bucatini all’amatriciana, you’ll find it on just about every menu in town. And … Read More

Bucatini all’amatriciana

FrankAbruzzo, Lazio, pasta, primi piatti36 Comments

Bucatini all'amatriciana

It could be said that bucatini all’amatriciana and spaghetti alla carbonara are the ‘Romulus and Remus‘ of Roman cooking. No two dishes typify the local cuisine better than these two yet, like the two founding brothers of the Eternal City, neither actually comes from the city of Rome itself. L’amatriciana, … Read More

Spinaci alla romana (Roman-Style Spinach)

Frankcontorno, Lazio25 Comments

Spinaci alla romana (Roman-Style Spinach)

We all know that spinach is full of iron and other good stuff, but it has an undeserved reputation for being … blech. I’m not entirely sure why, but I suspect it has something to do with the school cafeteria spinach I remember from my childhood, stewed within an inch … Read More

Fettuccine «Alfredo»: The Original Recipe

FrankLazio, pasta, primi piatti37 Comments

Fettuccine Alfredo has a unique place in the multifaceted world of Italian cookery. The dish is famous in America and hardly known in Italy, but it is actually Italian, not Italian-American, at least originally. It was invented by Roman restauranteur Alfredo di Lelio, who—the story goes—invented it to suit his pregnant … Read More

Pasta alla capricciosella (Pasta with Squid, Mushrooms and Peas)

FrankLazio, pasta, primi piatti48 Comments

Pasta alla capricciosella

My nostaglia for Rome often brings me to a website and Facebook page called Roma Sparita or, literally, “Disappeared Rome”. The site features a entrancing combination of  old photographs and prints of a by-gone Rome along with amusing poems written in romanesco, Roman dialect, in the style of Trilussa. I recently … Read More

Polenta con salsicce e spuntature (Polenta with Sausage and Spareribs)

FrankLazio, piatti unici, polenta20 Comments

Polenta with Sausage and Spareribs

Rome is not especially known for its love of polenta, perhaps because its winters are relatively mild compared with those up in true polenta country skirting the southern rim of the Alps, but there is one polenta dish you are bound to find if you visit Rome in the cold … Read More

Broccoli strascinati (Dry Sautéed Broccoli)

Frankcontorno, Lazio10 Comments

Dry Sauteed Broccoli

One of things that most fascinates me about cooking is how a very slight change in technique, even using the same ingredients, will produce a very different end result. We’ve already explored on this blog the ripassare technique, perhaps the most common in central and southern Italian vegetable cookery, in … Read More

Roman Style Lamb Shanks

FrankLazio, piatti unici, secondi piatti18 Comments

Roman Style Lamb Shanks

Baby milk-fed lamb or abbacchio is one of the wonders of Roman cooking, in particular in the spring. Lamb that young is not often found in markets in our neck of the woods, but the same techniques work well with mature lamb as well. So the other day I ‘invented’ Roman … Read More

Bignè di san Giuseppe (St. Joseph’s Day Cream Puffs)

Frankdessert, Lazio, snack33 Comments

Bignè di san Giuseppe

Being a Catholic country, Father’s Day is Italy is celebrated on March 19, the feast of St. Joseph. The feast is associated with a number sweet and savory dishes, but none more so perhaps than the  fancy, sweet version of zeppole usually called, appropriately enough, zeppole di san Giuseppe. Romans  … Read More

Fagioli con le cotiche (Roman-Style Pork and Beans)

Frankcontorno, Lazio, piatti unici11 Comments

Roman-Style Pork and Beans

Tuscans are known for being the biggest bean-eaters in Italy, so much so that they are sometimes called mangiafagioli in Italian. But Romans are no slouches in the legume department, either. They love fava beans, of course, and they make a mean pasta e lenticchie, for example, even if the … Read More