“Life is a combination of magic and pasta.”
– Federico Fellini
Experiencing authentic Italian cuisine is a crucial part of visiting Italy. I don’t believe it is even legal to exit the country without having indulged in at least one plate of pasta. With Italian food, one does not really need to look for the most expensive restaurant in order to find the best food. I think most tourists like myself are looking for authenticity, checking in hidden corners and the narrowest streets for that warm, cozy, family-owned business with a centuries-old recipe. Thanks to Italy’s efforts to support local slow-food over large fast-food chains, it is not terribly hard to find this kind of business. Or at least I have been successful, which is why I have decided to expand on some of Rome’s classic, must-have dishes.
I believe the main reason why pasta in Rome is so enjoyable is the higher use of egg in their various sauces. The carbonara and the pesto that I’ve had here have been creamy and tasty on every bite. The use of egg also changes the color of the dish, as you may see in my photos. The carbonara, which I am used to see served with a white sauce, has a yellowish tone. The pesto as well, has a very vivid green color.
My favorite: Mamà Ristobistrot
Prosciutto is thinly cut and uncooked, dry-cured ham. I can unashamedly say that I have had at least one slice of prosciutto every day that I have been here. It is served during breakfast, lunch and dinner. Even the prosciutto sold at the supermarket is considerably tastier, fresher and definitely cheaper than prosciutto sold in America. It goes great in sandwiches with artichoke cream, mozzarella and it makes a match made in heaven with fruity wine.
My Favorite: CottoCrudo
Risotto is rice in a creamy consistency, cooked in different kinds of broth depending on the desired flavor. In other countries, it may have a reputation as a high-end dish, but in Italy it is a very homey dish. In my opinion, risotto really encapsulates the warmth and taste of the northern Italian culture. One of my goals this term is to learn to cook it myself, so we will see how it goes.
My Favorite: Il Gatto Bianco
Gelato is Italian ice cream. It is creamier, denser and tastier than your regular ice cream, mainly because it has less butterfat. During my stay in Rome, I have seen more gelaterias than I have seen pharmacies, and curiously, the latter are closed more often. Priorities. The variety of flavors is outstanding, so it is usually hard to make a choice, but every flavor I’ve had has exceeded my expectations.
My favorite: Gelateria Fatamorgana