Extra-Virgin Olive Oil: Mediterranean’s taste

Extra virgin olive oil: a tasting experience

A splash of olive oil on your dish, a fragrant touch, an ancestral gesture connected to family history.
The golden thread that links the history of each Italian family with a thousand-year tradition. In other words, is a cultural, gastronomic and emotional heritage. Consequently, we must preserve it.

Is oil a dressing or food? Quality oil plays a decisive role in the success of a dish, no matter if at home or at a restaurant.

Within the Mediterranean diet model, scientifically considered one of the best nutritional system choices, and declared a UNESCO World Heritage, olive oil occupies a position of excellence.

The choice to replace other fats is absolutely personal. It’s a matter of personal taste residing in the territorial tradition of the kitchen.

But, as long as you speak in both cases of quality.

How should we consider quality Olive Oil?

The mix of variety, territory, maturation, climate and harvesting and extraction technique.

Is olive oil quality measurable?

There are measurable chemical parameters and quality assessment methods. Chemical analysis is defined by the components of acidity, polyphenols, and peroxides.

The control of genuineness is based on detecting the presence of compounds that are atypical.

For example, the presence of chemical products used for extraction.

How to know we are choosing the right one?

Firstly, read the label: extra-virgin olive oil is extracted, it is not produced.

To extract the oil it is necessary to use mechanical and artisanal machinery. It is important to focus on the origin of olives and the time gap between the harvest and the squeezing. It is evident that shorter is the gap, better is the result. We love to choose producers that take care of this.

Italian production law, requires artisan mills to certify all stages of production of their oil. From breeding choices, extraction, bottling, an artisan product guarantees more protection for the consumer.

Secondly, be sure olives grows in the same Country of the Producer.

In the same vein, better if milled and bottled by the producer itself.

Certainly, this will mean shorter time from hearvest to squeeze, in other words more quality. Big food Companies or  multinationals, that market the product with massive advertising campaigns, are, in short, bottling companies.

Rarely they are producers or farmers, often buying olives in different countries of the Mediterranean basin. In other words, those Companies are focused on buy and blend olives. They need, above all,  to obtain a homogeneous product for distribution.

Pairing olive oil and food

Maybe we do not enough consider the opportunity to match food and olive oil.

Do you usually use just one type, for all food preparations?

Extra virgin olive oil can be more or less intense, fruity or vegetal.

You can absolutely boost the overall flavor of your recipe, with the right pairing. For instance, a sweet potato salad could be more tasty just by adding some olive oil with a bitter taste. The contrast of flavors, to clarify, will definitely improve the recipe.

Write to us or take a tasting class. Enjoy your quality food.

How to reach Rome from the airport and back

How to reach Rome from the airport and vice versa, many foodies ask us. No stress!

There are may ways: the best choice depends on the location of your hotel, how many people are in your group, arrival time.

Firstly, take note that Rome is served by two different airports: Fiumicino (located west side) and Ciampino (east side).

Fiumicino (FCO) is the biggest Roman airport and it is called Leonardo da Vinci. Terminal is organized in 4 different docks: T1, T2, T3 and T5.  T5 is reserved to air companies from and to USA, and from and to Israel.
National and international flights from Rome vary according to final destination of air companies. There are info points managed directly by air companies in the main hall of the airport.

Most importantly. Check your destination airport name before planning your in/out transfer.

Ciampino (CIA) is the secondary airport called G.B Pastine. Many aircraft companies flights to Ciampino, especially Ryanair, Easyjet and others.

For both airports

By Taxi

There are several Taxi Company available. Biggest and reliable Company is 3570 Tel. number +39 063570, operators english speaking, many taxi drivers speak English.

From the airport to Rome by taxi

There are always taxi cabs available outside the building of the Airport, waiting for passengers in line. Taxi drivers licensed by Rome City Council are white and bear a sign “TAXI” on their roofs.

The symbol of Rome City Council is clearly visible on the front doors and the license inside the back left. This will protect customers from unauthorized drivers.

 

Tourist fishing is illegal in Rome.

In case someone stops you meanwhile you are inside the terminal building, asking if you’d need a taxi, simply ignore them or say “no grazie”. In addition, make your way to the exit.

Just to clarify, we recommend you to ignore them (even if they wear some kind of badge) to avoid to be cheated by not authorized drivers.

You will find, Official Taxi cabs waiting at the taxi stand outside the terminal.

Taxi fare from both airports to Rome City centre is a fixed amount.

Certainly, final fare may vary according to the address of your Hotel in Rome.

Please take note that Rome is a large city, therefore final bill could surprise you if you’d not failiar with distances.

To pay fixed fares your transfer will need to start from the airport to address within the ancient city limit (named Aurelian Walls).

In other words, to reach Hotels or accomodations located outside this area, you will pay the meter fare and not a fixed price.

Be smart: Check if taxi driver is applying fixed fare 
Fixed fares are inclusive of all extra charges from/to both Airports. Prices are per journey and not per passenger.

  • Fiumicino Airport to/from Hotel located within the Aurelian Walls: € 48.00
  • From Fiumicino Airport to/from Castello della Magliana – Parco dei Medici: € 30.00
  • Fiumicino Airport to/from Nuova Fiera di Roma Exhibition Centre : € 25.00
  • From Fiumicino Airport to/from Ciampino Airport : € 50.00
  • Fiumicino Airport to/from Tiburtina Station : € 55.00
  • From Fiumicino Airport to/from Ostiense Station : € 45.00
  • Fiumicino Airport to/from Port of Civitavecchia : € 120.00
  • From Ciampino Airport to/from within the Aurelian Walls : € 30.00
  • Ciampino Airport to/from Tiburtina Station € 35.00
  • From Ciampino Airport to/from Ostiense Station : € 30.00

Head to the airport from Rome city

Booking a taxi cab pick up. You can call radiotaxi number and book a transfer for next day, or you’d call number from your Hotel.

Firstly, be ready to take notes when you call a taxi. The radiotaxi service will tell you the Code of the taxi cab assigned, write it down.

Taxi code generally shows a City Name and a number. For instance “Venezia 1000”. Taxi code is always displayed on  the side back doors of the cab.

Secondly, we recommend you to leave the hotel 3 hours before departure of your flight. If you’d like to pay by credit card advise the radiotaxi when making the booking.
You can book a taxi directly from the app https://www.ittaxi.it/ and pay by credit card.

The App is useful to call taxi in other Italian cities too. Very useful in case of very crowded days as per example, in case of bad weather, strikes and stuck of public transportation.

Thirdly, be sure to jump in to the right taxi cab only after reading taxi code.

Booking a private limo transfer – you’d call one of the private companies that provides transfer to/from airport. Prices may vary according to Company.

Generally, this choice is more expensive then public taxi.

Please take note that Uber service is not a super saver choice in Rome, sometimes prices are higher than taxi fares.

Airport shuttle service– shuttle shared service is available from centra located Hotels. Is a shared private vehicle with stops to pick up/drop off others at their hotels. Prices about € 40,00 per  journey.

Train (to Fiumicino only)

  • Leonardo express train connects Roma Termini with Fiumicino, flight takes 30 minutes approx. Fare is about € 14,00 per person
  • Train route:  Fiumicino – Fara Sabina (FM1): with stops at Tiburtina station, Tuscolana, Ostiense, Trastevere station – Runs Monday to Saturday every 15 minutes and Sundays or public holidays every 30 minutes. Fare: € 8 euros

Bus

From Rome termini station you can take private buses to Fiumicino (every 30 minutes) and Ciampino (every 40 minutes) – € 4,00 fare per ticket

Our recommendation

If you are, for example, at least 2 people with luggage and your hotel is far from main train stations, taxi is the best choice. Taxi will pick up you directly at the Hotel.

Above all, try to avoid to manage a triple transfer from hotel to train station to airport.

In other words, taxi is more convenient and comfortable to go straight to the airport.

If your hotel is located outside the “Aurelian walls” area, according to the distance, could be better to arrange a private transfer.

In conclusion, for further recommendation about how to move in Rome, contact us by email.
We’ll be glad to help you.
Enjoy your Roman holiday!

What & where to eat in Rome: Circo Massimo

What and where to eat: best restaurants near Circus Maximus

Looking around for the best restaurants near Circo Massimo? this is the article for you.

Enjoy this area, is very beautiful if you want to go for a walk. You can also stay in the park with a book all day long, certainly there are a lot of bars and paninerie where to eat.

In my opinion, one of the best bar here is Bar Bistrot Gusto Massimo (Via del Circo Massimo 5), here you can have a panino or a sandwich or just a coffee.

However, you can even have lunch sitting at a table and enjoying the view of Rome.

If you’re looking for a place to have dinner or lunch, but you’re sick of pasta and pizza (strange but could happen), you can go to 0,75-Zerosettantacinque (Via dei Cerchi 65). Here you can enjoy the best hamburgers of this area, the staff is very friendly and the prices are not too high.

In conclusion, I recommend you a very good place, a little bit fancier offering traditional Roman dishes: Alvaro al Circo Massimo (Via dei Cerchi 53).  This is one of the best restaurants in the area. Do not miss their best recipe, the Amatriciana and the Lasagne, definitely worth the visit.

A little bit of history about the Circo Massimo

The Circus Maximus (in Italian Circo Massimo) is an ancient Roman chariot racing stadium in Rome.

Located few steps from the Colosseum, Aventine hill and Mouth of Truth.  It was  a mass entertainment venue located in Rome.

Situated in the valley between the Aventine and Palatine hills, it was the first and largest stadium in ancient Rome and its later Empire.

Impressive its measures, 621 mt (2,037 ft) in length and 118 mt (387 ft) in width. The stadium could accommodate over 150,000 spectators. Its name talks, Maxuìimus means “huge”, the biggest.

The actual shape follows more or less the old one, but nothing remains of the marble decorations, the tribunes, the shops and fortified walls that used to sourrond it. During Imperial time there were two huge Egyptian Obelisks in the middle of the track and several little temples.

Mainly this stadium was for games and challenges, shows and feats. Most important were the chariot and horse races. Often, chariot races were guided by slaves, challenging against others to be rewarded with freedom.

This place is legendary since the earliest years of Rome. It seems to be that exaclty here happened the event of the Rape of the Sabines. The sabine were a group of women coming from Sabina (a still existing northern area, not far from Rome), invited to assist public games at the Circus and abused there. The reason of this crime, was Romulus’ plan to give a bigger legacy to Roman citizens providing new brides.

After the 6th century, the Circus fell into disuse and decay, and was quarried for building materials. The lower levels, ever prone to flooding, were gradually buried under waterlogged alluvial soil and accumulated debris. Therefore, the original track is now buried 6m beneath the modern surface.

Mid 19th century workings at the circus site uncovered the lower parts of a seating tier and outer portico. Since then, a series of excavations has exposed further sections of the seating, curved turn and central barrier but further exploration has been limited by the scale, depth and waterlogging of the site.

The Circus Maximum Today

In spite of its actual condition, spoiled and looking like a field, it became the model for circuses throughout the Roman Empire.

One of the Obelisks (From Ramses II) is now in Piazza del Popolo. Pope Sixtus V, the one of the Sistine Chapel, wanted the obelisk re -sited there, at the end of the Via Sistina. Certainly to celebrate his restyling of the City in XVI Century. Probably he didn’t expect , erecting the obelisk could be so complicated. But they succeded at the end.

The circus site is now a public park and it often hosts concerts and meetings.

When to go

The perfect periods to come and see the Circo Massimo are two:

Firstly, during winter, especially during Christmas holidays, because of concerts, meetings and parades. Mainly for New Year’s Eve.

Secondly, is May/June, for more or less the same reasons: concerts, demonstrations, meetings.

In addition,  in summer or spring this area is really really beautiful and has a very romantic atmosphere, with all the trees with flowers and the first summer fruits, everything is green.

Sun starts to go down very late so you can enjoy every single moment here in this amazing park, included a stunning sunset. Then, you can go for a romantic dinner in one of the best restaurants around.

How to reach Circo Massimo

Circo Massimo is very very easy to reach, because here arrives the subway, more precisely, the B line (the blue one). So if you are close to a subway station, you can’t get lost.
There are even some buses you can take, like for example number 75 from Termini, or the tram number 3.

Contact us

Any enquiry about this article? Write to Martina at love@www.gourmetaly.com.
Martina is a local foodie and best restaurants hunter. She has a Bachelor in Fine Art for Tour Operators and Cultural Management. Meet Martina and join one of our events.

Eating in Italy: do as the locals do

Eating in Italy: do as the locals do

Meeting local people is the best way to get in touch with the authentic mood of Italy. Go beyond the ordinary.

Visiting Italy? One of the main reasons that comes out when you plan your trip, is to finally enjoy real Italian food.

There is anyone that love to fall into tourist traps or step into the first restaurant to enjoy ordinary food? No way.

When in Rome, do as Romans do: how many times have you heard it?

Locals are really demanding about food indeed. When it’s time to choose restaurants or even a snack bar, being “eat well” quite a serious thing for us.
It says that Italians live to eat instead of eating to live. There is a big truth in this. Certainly, you’d bear in mind that the heart our social life is always connected with sharing food.
Eating is not just a matter of filling your stomach, but with the pleasure to appreciate the good things of life.

Tasty things that the world offers and, moreover, to share these with people you like and care for.

In Italy you will learn why Italians are shocked by tourists drinking a cappuccino at the end of a meal. Why they are horrified about people dressing pasta with cream.

Twirling spaghetti with the little help of a spoon? you’ll look very old style, or weird sometimes. Cutting spaghetti with a knife? Please don’t do that anymore!

However, to best experience the Italian food, we recommend you a good start.

Always remember: Italian food means Regional food.Most important before your visit Italy, be open minded.

You will never truly enjoy eating Italy, if you will try to have the best pizza in Trentino Region or the best Amatriciana in Milan, or the perfect Florentine steak in Palermo.

Each region will provide you with the real authentic local food indeed. Local food needs to be tasted in the right place but, pay attention. Not all restaurants or trattorias are able to provide you with the top of the experience.

What do locals mean for “top” (“Il meglio del meglio”)?

No doubts! more than the super popular stellar chef, the touchstone is our granma style.
Local poeple love their regional family cooking style.
Be sure, they will sit at the table eating food while talking about food, the last foodie experience (great or bad)  and the next one.

Often you’ll hear discussions about which granmother’ recipe is the best for the Sauce Bolognese. And keep in mind we do not call that sauce bolognese, but Ragù.

We could go on for hours. No panic anyway, there is a way to eat in Italy by learning all this stuff. Choose a food tour in Rome, one of the nicest way to taste the best while getting in touch with local people in an authentic way.
Gourmetaly food tours provides  the best food tour of Rome. Led by local enthusiastic foodies in the very heart of three amazing quarters of Rome: Campo de Fiori, Jewish Ghetto and Trastevere.

A recommendation: Join your food tour at the beginning of your staying. You’ll be able to distinguish touristy places from the ones beloved by local people.

In conclusion, get involved with the tradition and local customs. You’ll see those are not a combination, but a sign of history and culture.

Rome food: the tradition of rice balls Supplì

Rice balls (supplì) in Rome: the tradition

If you are looking for an unforgettable risotto in Rome, you will not have an easy life.

The Romans, as the Neapolitans and the southerners, were used to use rice in case of disturbances gastric and intestinal. In fact, even the ancient Romans considered rice like medicine.
Rice was long linked to the role of medicine even when the Aragonese dynasty introduced the cultivation in Salerno in the fifteenth century. For long-time Salerno had the reputation for best rice production until the cultivation passed in Lombardy due to the favorable environmental conditions.
Italy then split into two, the Northern regions related to the use of rice and the Southern ones related to the pasta. In Rome we call the famous rice balls “supplì, in Naples sartù, in Puglia “tiella”, in Sicily Arancini.

The supplì is one of the symbols of the Roman fried food: it can be an appetizer, a side dish, a finger food, a snack or lunch standing.

What matters most is that it is well done.
A well-made rice supplì in Rome must comply with certain rules.

  1. Size and shape. Not too small, nor too big, with the shape of an egg able to be eaten in two bites.
  2. Mozzarella. A cube of mozzarella must be placed at the center of the rice balls.
  3. Dry frying. The outside of the rice balls, covered with grounded dry bread, should be like a dry scab.

At the first or at the second bite, you will taste the melted mozzarella that will leave a long wire. Because of that, the Roman rice balls are called “supplì style phone” (in memory of the telephone wires).
The name supplì comes from the French word “surprise” and it is related to the effect of mozzarella.
In Rome many pizzerie, trattorie, restaurants or street market sell supplì.
Some important historians and intellectuals, when in Rome, were delighted by the quality of supplì. It also seems that James Joyce talked about it 20 years after his trip to Italy.

So, you can not leave Rome without tasting supplì.

Take a food tour to try one of the best supplì in town. Otherwise visit one of the following and enjoy:

  • Milky Ba ghetto (Ghetto Ebraico)
  • La Gatta mangiona – Via Ozanam (Monteverde nuovo)
  • Supplì – Via S. Francesco a Ripa (Trastevere)
  • La Casa del Supplì – Piazza Re di Roma (San Giovanni)
  • Supplizio – Via dei Banchi Vecchi (Navona)

The traditional food of Rome: what to eat in special days

The traditional food of Rome calls special food on special days.

Did you know we like to eat special food on special days here in the Capital?

Are food and culture connected? definitely yes!

Italy and Rome’s food has changed through ages and eras of cultural, social historycal and politica changes. Local products and traditions melted together with dominations and different cultures.

Ancient Roman food culture, evolved a lot an was highly influenced by other cultures. More the Roman Empire terriotires enlarged , more new products, food styles and recipes were popular. In other words the influence of the Greek one, firstly changing the wine making process and cooking techniques.

What we know today as Italian food, is the result of a millennial process.

Firstly the fall of Roman Empire, secondly the invasions from the northern gents and the arabs. Just imagine how many different  food styles mixed together leading to different traditions all over the Italian Peninsula.

In other words, territories dominated by northern cultures, basically hunters and sheperds, developed in cheeses and meat food tradition. Southern areas, likewise Sicily or Puglia, for example, developed a food style more mediterranean, fish, vegetables and spice art.

Christianism played a big part in selecion of foods and recipes connected to religious feasts. Economical situation influenced cooking styles and food as well.

At the end of the middle age with the discovering of new lands, everything changed. New exotic products coming from Americas decorating tables will play a part in the cration of  Italian new cooking style. Still today we are taking advantage of the tomatoes arriving from “the new world”.

Would you ever think Italy without tomatoes?

In the Renaissance period, Rome become a center of development, not only from the art and culture point of view. Also the cuisine raised as an art, in terms of chefs popularity and hospitality tradition. Bets chefs, as well as best artists used to cook for the Popes and their guests.

In those days an important cookbook by Bartolomeo Scappi, become the milestone of the modern cooking. Bartolomeo Scappi was the “bottigliere del Papa” (Pope’s Sommelier). The Opera dell’arte del cucinare (The art of cooking, 1570), listed more than 1000 different recipes.

From a writer of 1907, we know that this list was really popular already. Discover which recipes are most popular and traditional in Rome, according to our grandmother’s teachings.

Special days and recipes:

1st January =Capodanno. Lentils (zampone e lenticchie) and grapes
Carnival/Shrove Tuesday. Flat fried pastries (chiacchiere or frappe) and ravioli.
Lent (40 days before Easter). Chickpeas, codfish, maritozzo (typical roman pastry filled up with whip cream).
San Giuseppe (19th March). Pancakes, zeppole, bignè
Easter. Lamb, consommè, eggs, salami, pizza.
25th April. Cherries (that is not more like this, nowadays cherries comes on June).
24th May. Giuncata (a traditional homemade cheese with sheep milk and fragrant herbs).
26th Maggio (San Filippo Neri). Strawberries at lunch.
24th June (San Giovanni). Snails (yes! snails if you’re brave – Monti area).
2nd November (commemoration of the death). Dead bones cookies (fave dei morti).
11th November (San Martino). First wine tasting of the year (novello wine) with roasted chestnuts.
25th December (Christmas). Pasta with anchovies, eel, mullet, salmon, broccoli, nougat, Pangiallo.

 

Vegan Tiramisu recipe

Vegan tiramisu recipe is calling all friends of animals.

Try to make a vegan tiramisu that do not involves eggs, mascarpone or animal ingredients for your ethical friends.
Is that possible? yes it is.

Surely taste will be different, but satisfaction guaranteed.

This is your recipe, ready? let’s start cooking!

Ingredients for the cream:
-400 Grams of velvety tofu
-300 Ml vegetable cream
-3 Tablespoons rum
-Espresso coffee
-dark cocoa or cinnamon
For the biscuits:
-350 Grams of flour
-20 Grams of potato starch
-80 G frumina
-100 Grams of margarine without hydrogenated fats
-160 Grams of brown sugar
-150 Gr soy milk
-2 Tablespoons rice syrup
-1 Teaspoon baking soda
-1/2 Teaspoon vanilla
-2 Teaspoons of baking powder

Firstly, let’s prepare the biscuits, in a bowl sift the dry compounds excluded sugar.
Mix in a bowl milk, add 20g of water and rice syrup, add the softened margarine and add all the dry ingredients. stir until mixture is smooth and sticky.
Rest in refrigerator for at least an hour.
Secondly, heat the oven to 190 ° and create small strips of dough smoothing the surface. inform for 10-15 minutes. Once lightly browned divide them in half lengthwise.
Whip the cream with a whisk vegetable, sugar coat if not already sweet, when it will be mounted, add the tofu and the rum and reassemble.
soak the biscuits in coffee and producing a layer on the bottom of a vessel.
Add a layer of cream, a layer of biscuits,  cream again up to the desired height. lultio cover the layer of cream with cocoa.

Have you ever tought what to drink with a tiramisu? If you’d like to try a delicious match open a bottle of Primitivo dolce Naturale, a sweet red wine made with a boast of Italian grapes: Primitivo.

Did you know? Primitivo grape variety is the ancestor of the californian clone of Zinfandel……all roads lead to Itay. Wine and dessert pairing is an amazing discovery.

How to order a Coffee in Rome

How to order a coffee in Rome. It’s really a big deal?

Rome is crazy about coffee.

For about one euro, you can get a teeny cup of pure ecstasy. It’s probably the easiest thing to do in Italy, but not so easy if you don’t know some tricks.

Be ready for a panoramic shot of ways to order a coffee in Italy. Is not easy explaining this ritual. But in ordinary life is something people do without paying so much attention to, except if something is not make as they expect.

How to proceed:

Head right into any bar and ask for “un caffè”.

Firstly note that in Rome we call “bar” a coffee house. Generally opens during working hours. Is not a place to drink alocohol or cocktails, is maingly a coffee house with a big offer of snacks and desserts. Surely selling espresso coffee and cappuccino. But do not undertake  the importance of this place, many people have a quick lunch there, in other words is a traditional version of a deli.

You could say “un caffè, per favore” . Per favore means “please”, but can be omitted if you smile 🙂

Some bars have you pay first, then go  to the counter while others do the opposite. It is a courtesy to leave a small coin to ‘hold the paper down’ for the server.

Elegant bars offers you a little chocolate together with the teeny cup, may be a little chocolate ball or square, or a delicious roasted coffee seed covered by chocolate (bitter and sweet at the same time).

From northern to southern Italy there is no need to specify that you’re ordering an espresso: if you just say “caffè” at the cashier you’re definitely ordering an espresso. Any other variation has to be specified.

How many ways to order one?

You’d be amazed. Same thing, coffee=espresso, could be ordered in totally different ways. Firstly the cup material. Many people likes to drink coffee in a little glass instead of the porcelaine standard cup for espresso. If you’d like this way let’s order “Caffè al vetro”. Maybe you’d be in the “Tazza grande “‘s team, in conclusion a lover of coffee served in a larger cup size.

However you’d like your espresso in a porcelain or a glass, you’d like to have it plain or “modified”. The most popular extra is “macchiato”(with a splash of something in). Caffè macchiato is one of the most preferred styles, maingly with milk. However milk can be cold or hot, and you’d need to specify.

But your espresso can be even “corretto” , that is to say “fixed”. If you’d like to fix your coffee you can add a splash of alcohol in. Easy? yes, but please specify which kind of alcohol you’d like. Roman people love their caffè corretto con Sambuca, with Grappa in northern Italy.

When asking for a “marocchino” you’d like your coffee with some milk froth on top and a pour of chocolate powder. looking like a micro-cappuccino.

If you are in a tourist area there may be tables and chairs for people to sit and drink coffee. However, be ready to pay more. There will be table service and often bars post two sets of prices for those who want to drink standing at the bar (bancone) or sitting at a table (al tavolo). Expect to pay more if you’d decide to sit down, but the cost can be well worth it if you’ve found a cozy little spot for people watching.

Want to learn more? Enjoy our Espresso and Gelato tour of Rome. 

 

How to cook Spaghetti alla Carbonara (Roman style recipe)

Is Carbonara pasta a typical recipe of Rome?

If you ask a Roman guy which are the first three traditional roman style dishes, he will answer: Bucatini all’Amatriciana (or Amatriciana), Tonnarelli cacio e pepe and Spaghetti alla Carbonara.

Origin of Spaghetti alla Carbonara

The origin of this famous and delicious dish is unknown. According to the legend, a Carbonaro (coal dealer) looking for rest from his work opened a restaurant called “Trattoria del Carbonaro”.
Others claim that the recipe takes its name from traditional dishes prepared by typical lumberjacks during work breaks.
Every chef and also every grandmothers make a different carbonara: there are those who only use the egg yolk, those who use the whole egg, those who pour the eggs into the pan of pasta, others pour the eggs in the bowl.
Some prepare it with the bacon, but in Rome you only use the “guanciale” (pork cheeks)!
Definitely Spaghetti alla Carbonara is one of the most difficult dish to prepare.  Altough if it is realized with a few ingredients. The challenge lay in balancing perfectly all ingredients.

Spaghetti alla Carbonara Roman style: the recipe

Ingredients

  • 500 g. of spaghetti
  • 100 g. of bacon (pork cheek meat)
  • 4 eggs (must be fresh)
  • grated pecorino and grated parmesan
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • salt
  • black pepper (quantity at will)

Preparation
While boiling water for the pasta (I recommend the amount of water must be at least three times the weight of the dough). Fry the bacon, cut into strips, with the oil in a frying pan until the bacon is crisp and “camel” colored.
In a plastic bowl mix the grated cheese and egg yolk salt and pepper.
Once the pasta is al dente, drain it without with the colander, transfer it from the boiling water to the pan with the bacon flavor making it on the fire for a few seconds (stirring quickly).
Add the pasta straight from the frying pan into the bowl, flip it over quickly and continuously.
Eggs melt creating a cream. Serve immediately.
You fail if the egg looks like an omelet crumbled, so is really important that everything is made at the same time.

Join us for a cooking class to learn from the masters!

Drink Italian! best wine from Sicily

Best Italian wine from Sicily. Sicilia in a glass

Did you know Sicilian wine is faboulous?

Sicily can be considered as a real continent. The biggest southern island of Italy, presents unique features. Its Volcanic soils, proximity to the sea, and climate conditions gives special scents to wines. Sicilian wine tradition claims a millenial tradition of winemaking. Boasting a record of little family vineyards and producers. From reds to whites, Sicilian wine offer is wide and good. Certainly perfect for food pairing or meditation. Champion in producing sweet wines and fortified.

Key points for sicilian wines? Varieties and climate.

Just looking at the timing of the harvests. Which began here in early August in the most torrid areas. Ending in November, on certain areas of Etna. There is not another wine region with similar conditions.

A little bit of history about Sicily.

Sicily boasts winemaking since the beginning of times. Certainly, Sicily was one of the first to get in touch with the Greek culture. Therefore it become one of the most productive wine region.

For instance, the Emperor Julius Caesar praised Sicilian wine. Wines from Sicily were, indeed very popular in the ancient time. However, for long time after that period, were not so much appreciated. In other words, up and down trends, in spite of a pedigree dating back even to Phoenician and Greek time.

On the other hand, recently new trends succed. Local varieties are providing great emotions to wine lovers. Moreover, wineakers are investing on technology. In short, modern approach to winemaking is boosting quality.

In conclusion, Sicily is destinated to be one of the Italian raising-star. Wine collectors, sommeliers or simply wine lovers, should keep an eye on Sicilian wines.

Superb floral whites are certanily produced in the northern area of Alcamo.

In the west, elegant Marsala is a fortified wine that, in addition, rivals top sherries and ports.

The new generation of wine makers, make award winning Bordeaux-style reds. They are especially located on Mount Etna area.

Above all, we recommend to try some of the following:

White wines from Sicily:

  • Etna Bianco Superiore Pietramarina – Benanti 2016 (Viagrande – Catania).
  • Moscato Passito di pantelleria Bukkuram 2016 ( Marsala – Trapani).
  • Moscato Passito di Pantelleria Ferrandes 2018 (Isola di Pantelleria – Trapani).
  • Catarratto Porta del Vento 2019 (Camporeale- Palermo).
  • Bianco A’ puddara Fessina 2018 (Castiglione di Sicilia – Catania).
  • Marsala superiore Donna Franca riserva (Marsala- Trapani).

Red wines from Sicily:

  • Cerasuolo di Vittoria COS 2010( Vittoria – Ragusa).
  • Etna Rosso A’ Rina 2011 (Castiglione di Sicilia – Catania).
  • Cabernet Sauvignon Tasca d’Almerita 2010  (Sciafani Bagni – Palermo).
  • Contrada Rampante 2011 (Castiglione di Sicilia – Catania).
  • Eruzione 1614 Nerello Planeta  2011 (Menfi – Agrigento).
  • Eloro Nero d’Avola 2011 (Ispica – Ragusa).

Need help?

Where to buy wines, how to pair those with food, let’s  contact us.
After that, we just have to cheers.
Therefore let’s say: Salute!