Typical Roman cuisine
There’s no denying that one of the joys of Italy is its cuisine. Subtle, rich in flavours and nuances, Italian cooking is very popular all over the world. If you want to eat in Rome like the Romans do, you’ll need to know some of the typical dishes. Here’s a list to help.Bear in mind that most local dishes are high in calories. Their origins lie in country fare designed to provide plenty of energy. So go easy!
Fiori di Zucca. This is one of the most popular Roman antipasti (starters): crumbed and fried courgette flowers, sometimes filled with cheese, anchovies or prawns and eaten in spring and summer.
Supplì alla romana. Supplì are rice croquettes with mozzarella in the middle. They can also contain meat or tomato sauce. You’ll find them in restaurants and fast food outlets as a typical Roman starter.
Spaghetti alla carbonara. Without a doubt the most internationally famous Roman dish. The genuine recipe features beaten eggs, pancetta, parmesan or pecorino cheese, olive oil and black pepper. Adding cream and onion is a food crime for any decent Roman.
Penne all’arrabbiata. Arrabbiata is a sauce made with tomato, garlic, olive oil and chilli pepper that is very popular in Rome. You can also add basil or parsley. As the name arrabbiata ‘angry’ suggests, it can be very spicy.
Bucatini all’amatriciana. Amatriciana sauce comes from the town of Amatrice, where it was eaten by shepherds in summer. The original sauce was made without tomato, but now it almost always includes it, as well as onion, guanciale or pancetta, pecorino cheese, pepper and olive oil.
Spaghetti cacio e pepe. A simple yet impressive Roman classic. Spaghetti with pecorino cheese and a good dose of pepper.
Gnocchi alla romana. Roman gnocchi are nothing like the potato ones. They are flat and made with semolina flour, egg, cheese and butter, cooked in milk and served au gratin.
Carciofi alla giudia. Jewish-style artichokes. A light dish of fried artichokes, parsley and white wine.
Trippa alla romana. Tripe in tomato sauce and fried vegetables with mint and pecorino cheese is a very popular dish in the Italian capital.
Coda alla vaccinara. A melt-in-the-mouth stew made with beef, wine, spices and vegetables, including celery and carrots.
Saltimbocca alla romana. Another popular dish is saltimbocca ‘jumps in the mouth’, made with thin strips of veal rolled up with prosciutto and sage.
Abbacchio alla romana. Suckling lamb sautéed in olive oil and garlic, cubes of prosciutto, rosemary, vinegar, salt and pepper and served with roast potatoes.
And to round off a good meal in a restaurant in Rome, as well as dessert, wine and coffee, make sure you try one of the typical Italian liqueurs, such as limoncello (lemon liqueur), sambuca (sweet liquorice liqueur) or grappa (brandy). Have you already tried any typical Roman dishes? What do you like best about Roman cuisine?