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Top 6 Italian Dishes to Must-try in Rome

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Italian gastronomy!!!!… Pasta, pizzas, antipasti, meat and desserts, Italy has a lot to offer you in terms of culinary specialties. A simple and tasty local cuisine.

I make you discover here 6 culinary specialities not to be missed during your visit to Rome. There will be something for every taste!

Italian dishes: 1- The unavoidable pasta

A traditional dish not to be missed in Italian gastronomy, pasta is eaten at the beginning of the meal (primo piatto). Each region has its own speciality and each recipe has its own pasta shape!

Italian dishes: 1- The unavoidable pasta

I make you discover here the 4 traditional pasta dishes of the city of Rome:

  • Carbonara: typical dish served with spaghetti and cooked with fresh eggs, guanciale (a kind of bacon) and pecorino romano cheese. No cream in the traditional carbonara recipe!
  • Cacio and pepe: simple dish in terms of ingredients: cheese, coarsely ground pepper, and that’s it! The secret of this dish lies in the right proportions. Typically served with tonnarelli.
  • All’amatriciana: lightly spiced tomato sauce with guanciale. Served with bucatini – a kind of thick spaghetti with a hole in the middle.
  • Alla gricia: equivalent to amatriciana, but without the tomato.

2- The traditional pizza

Classic of the city of Rome, the white pizza (pizza bianca) is a fine yeast-based dough coated with olive oil, salt and rosemary. No tomato sauce or toppings on this pizza! Crunchy and full of flavour, it is enjoyed as an aperitif or as a simple snack.

For a quick lunch on the go, opt for pizzas à la coupe (al taglio). Many small pizzerias offer this service. A real religion in Rome!

Choose, weigh, pay and go!

I advise you to try the suppl. A small fried dumpling made of rice, tomato and mozzarella, this Roman speciality is easy to eat with your fingers. My favourite speciality!

3- The Roman rendez-vous: aperitivo

Not to be missed! Italian tradition at aperitif time, usually between 6.30 and 8pm, one of my favourite culinary traditions in Italy.

Order a drink and help yourself to a plate of food at a buffet, often at will. The cost of an aperitivo is usually very low – around 10 euros. Buffets are often very full: salads, pasta, cold cuts, cheeses, etc…

The principle is to put yourself in the mouth before dinner!

For the drink, I advise you the spritz. It is a mixture of apérol and prosecco, both bitter and very refreshing.

To share with family, lovers or friends!


4- Antipasti

Antipasti are eaten at the beginning of the meal, before the pasta, and serve as an hors d’oeuvre. I invite you to taste the many specialities of cold meats (pancetta, coppa, parma ham) and cheeses (pecorino, parmesan, mozzarella, burata).

Discover also the Roman specialities delicately fried: zucchini flowers, cod fillets and suppli.

Also very typical, don’t miss the artichoke! Star vegetable of the Italian capital, two recipes are particularly famous and widespread:

  • Carciofi alla Romana: artichokes roasted and stuffed with garlic, parsley, salt and pepper.
  • The carciofi alla giudia or artichokes à la juive: fried and served simply with a little salt.

 5- For carnivores: meats

 5- For carnivores: meats

For meat lovers, Rome is for you! Many typical dishes of the capital are based on meat simmered in sauce: lamb, beef, pork or veal.

Here are some specialities not to be missed:

  • L’abbachio alla Scottadito: famous recipe of grilled lamb chops sprinkled with thyme, rosemary and tarragon. To be enjoyed with your fingers!
  • La Coda alla Vaccinara: a sauce dish made from oxtail with tomatoes, various vegetables and aromatic herbs.
  • Trippa alla Romana: rustic and popular dish of tripe in a tomato sauce with cheese and mint.
  • Saltimbocca alla romana: thinly cut beef fillets wrapped in ham and sage. Literally means « jump in the mouth ».

Fish dishes are less common in Roman cuisine. However, if you take a trip to the seaside, try the Roman fried squid. To be eaten on the beach, simply with your fingers and a drizzle of lemon juice.

6- Will you have dessert?

When it comes to dessert, Italy also offers a wide choice. Don’t hesitate to end your meal with a sweet treat accompanied by a digestive, as Italians traditionally do.

You will be able to taste the inevitable tiramisu, composed of coffee and a smooth cream. This delicacy can be enjoyed as a dessert or at any time of the day.

For more originality, I recommend the Crostata di ricotta, a cake made with ricotta and candied fruit, or the Ciambelle al vino, small dry cakes in the shape of a fritter to be dipped in wine to help digestion.

I also recommend the Maritozzi, a kind of orange and raisin bun with a cream filling.

On a beautiful sunny day, don’t hesitate to enjoy an ice cream (gelato). Possessing a multitude of flavors, the ice cream parlors have multiplied in the capital to the delight of tourists and Romans!

Buon appetito!


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