Extra Virgin Olive Oil: the taste of the Mediterranean

The experience of tasting extra virgin olive oil

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, a cultural, gastronomic and emotional heritage that we want to preserve and recover.

Is oil 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 and also resides in the taste and in the territorial tradition of the kitchen, as long as you speak in both cases of quality.

How should we consider oil quality?

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

Is 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 in the production of extra virgin, ie chemical products used for example for extraction.

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 this time better is the result, so we love to choose producers that take care of this.

Big companies, multinationals, that market the product with massive advertising campaigns, are basic bottling companies, not producers or farmers, often buying olives in different countries of the Mediterranean basin, blending them with an order to obtain a homogeneous product for distribution.

The artisan mills are required by law to certify all stages of production of their oil, from the methods of raisins, extraction, bottling, then an artisan product offers more guarantees of protection for the consumer.

Pairing olive oil and food

Maybe we do not consider the opportunity to match food and olive oil, generally, we have just one kind at home and we use it for all food preparation. Choosing the right one can really make a difference in the final taste of your dish. Extra virgin olive oil can offer several different taste sensation, a good match can exalt the recipe.

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

Boost of Roman traditional food: Filetti di baccalà

If you come to Rome on Fridays do not miss to the famed baccalà (fried cod fillets). Inexpensive, delicious, a favorite of locals, the baccalà fillets are served wrapped in paper.
Ingredients:
1 1/2 pounds dried salt cod
1 cup flour
mineral water
vegetable oil (or other oil for frying)
Rinse the baccalà, fillets, the place for 48 hours in water, changing the water every 8 hours, in order to remove most of the salt.
Clean the baccalà fillets, cut them into 1-inch strips, and drain. Pat dry.
Prepare the batter by adding the mineral water to the flour, whisking quickly to incorporate. The batter should “barely” come off the whisk when you raise it up: it should neither run off it quickly, nor stick to in entirely.
Heat the oil to hot but not smoking (make sure you have it hot enough to start, or you will end up with soggy fish fillets). Coat the fillets with the batter, using your fingers to remove the excess, then fry them for 10-15 minutes, turning them with a fork once or twice, until they are golden and cripsy.
Drain on a wire rack or paper towels and serve hot !

Boast of Roman traditional food: mozzarella in carrozza

Mozzarella in carrozza: the original recipe

Like many of Italy’s most delicious recipes, mozzarella in carrozza (“mozzarella in the carriage”) has humble origins too.  The idea comes from the custom among less well-off families, who could not afford to waste food, to use up stale bread and no-longer fresh mozzarella in a new and tasty dish.
Over time the recipe for mozzarella in carrozza conquered Lazio kitchens, to establish itself as a classic too in Roman tradition.
The name “mozzarella in carrozza” refers to the fact that the two slices of bread form the “carriage”, within which the cheese travels.

How to make mozzarella in carrozza

Ingredients

  • 6 slices white bread, crusts removed
  • 1 fist-sized ball mozzarella, cut into approximately 1/4-inch slices, then strips
  • 4 flat anchovy fillets, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup whole milk
  • 3 heaping tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 egg
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup olive oil, for frying

Preparation

Make sandwiches out of the bread and mozzarella, leaving a little margin around the edges unfilled with cheese and the anchovies fillet,  and press the edges together with your fingers to help seal. Pour the milk into 1 soup bowl, the flour into another, and beat the egg with salt and pepper in another. Warm the oil in the frying pan over medium heat. Dunk the sandwiches briefly, 1 by 1, in the milk, then dredge in the flour, then dip in the beaten egg. Fry in hot oil on each side until crisp and golden and remove to a paper towel.

The traditional food to eat on special days in Rome

Special food on special days: the recipes of tradition

Did you know that in Rome we like to eat special food on special days? From a writer of 1907, we know that this list was really popular already. Discover which recipes are most popular in Rome, according to our grandmother’s teachings.
1st January. Lentils and grapes
Carnival/Shrove Tuesday. Flat fried pastries 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.
2nd November (commemoration of the death). Fava bean and dead bones (cookies).
11th November (San Martino). First wine tasting of the year.
25th December (Christmas). Pasta with anchovies, eel, mullet, salmon, broccoli, nougat, Pangallo.

Boast of roman food: Ciambelline al vino (crunchy donuts with wine)

Le Ciambelline di nonna (Grandmother’s ciambelline): the original Roman recipe

This simple but tasty cookie is  typical of the Roman hills, where they are called “ubriachelle” (drunk).
Ciambelline do not contain yeast and ingredients are only of plant origin, so no butter, milk and eggs.
Despite this, the wine donuts maintain a nice crispness.

Ingredients

  • 200 milliliters of white table wine
  • 200 milliliters of extra virgin olive oil (EVO)
  • 200 grams of sugar
  • 1 seed of anise, crushed
  • 1 flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 200 grams of sugar cane

Preparation

To make the donuts to the wine must first dispense into a bowl, add the anise seeds, sugar and salt.
Sift the flour and pour in the slurry until a soft consistency of a pastry. (Probably will serve more flour than indicated in the ingredients). At this point you make a ball, place it in a bowl and let it rest for at least two hours in the refrigerator, covered with plastic wrap.
When they passed the two hours, cut into small pieces of dough and make it little rolls, like when you make the dumplings.
Joined together the ends, wetting them slightly so that sticking. Give them a round shape with a hole in the middle.
Put the sugar in a dish where you will pass the donuts, making adhere well sugar from one side only. Bake at 190°C for about 20 minutes.
Serve those at the end of a meal together with sweet wine, vin santo or grappa.

How to cook Spaghetti alla Carbonara (Roman style)

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) who was tired of his work opened a restaurant called “Trattoria del Carbonaro”.
Others claim that the recipe is so called because it was a dish 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, even if it is realized with a few 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.

Boast of Roman food: artichokes are back!

carciofi romaneschiThe artichoke is the “prince” of Roman cuisine and definitely deserves a special praise this season.
many plants, known since ancient times, have spread to a double value, the food and the medicine, as in the case of the artichoke.
Beloved variety by Romans are the typical Roman artichokes, named “Cimaroli”, typical ones that come on the main branches of the bush.
From every branch that it collects only one who has the distinction of being the biggest and tender side ones.
During our food tour of Rome will taste this special vegetable alla Giudia (Jewish style).
A famous Roman chorus says “these are artichokes, slender-stemmed and sapor tasty, called in Roman dialect” pure amazement, “soothe the crazy and greedy, give prestige and pride to gastronomy, reconcile the bride with the groom, tamed the most harpy mother-in-law, and at lunch, at dinner in the house and tavern, gold crisp, delicious sake of all, these are the artichokes.
More interested in the history of artickokes?
Some botanists believe that the plant arrived in Europe by the Arabs, this view is corroborated by the fact that the term “Artichoke” derives from the Arabic word “Karshuf” .
According to others, the plant was known to the ancient Egyptians and then spread already in the classical world.
Some ancient texts indicate the medicinal Roman artichoke as originating from Sicily and referred to by its Latin name Cynara.
Anyway the real fortune and popularity of artichokes but beginning in the 16th century. One of the alleged medicinal properties of the artichoke seems to have been to be a powerful aphrodisiac.
However, the beneficial properties of artichoke are many, contains substances for cleansing the liver, is an excellent diuretic, rich in vitamins and revitalizing.
During the Renaissance, he established the cult for artichokes in Rome, so much so that at the height of the season was celebrated a festival called “the carciofolata.” Currently, the festival takes place even close to the area of greatest production of the Roman artichoke Ladispoli, but lost the mood of the ancient event.

Boast of Jewish roman food style: Tortino di aliciotti e indivia

Experience one of the most popular Roman-jewish recipes, a simple pie made with endive, fresh anchovies fillets, garlic, extra virgin olive oil, salt, black pepper.
wash and clean the endive and select tender part of the plant. Choose a oven pan and make layers of endive leaves and anchovies, salt and pepper until you reach the top of the pan. Add olive oil on top.
If you’d like you can add grounded garlic between layers.
Put the oven pan in the oven warmed up at 180 Celsius degrees for 30 minutes. The perfect “tortino” needs to be crispy, to reach this reuslt take the pan out from the oven, drain excess water away and bake it agaon for 15 minutes at 220° Celsius.
Perfect wine pairing: Trebbiano

Boast of Roman traditional food: pane, prosciutto e fichi (bread, prosciutto and figs)

Pane, prosciutto and figs: the best of Roman traditional food

September in Rome: summer is almost over and nature gives us a present: figs. A delicious, black-skin fig that comes only in this period.
Take some fresh homemade bread and put some slices of prosciutto together with figs to discover the incredible match od sweet and salt.
“Pane, prosciutto e fichi” or “pizza prosciutto e fichi” was a typical snack in Rome for long time. Today it is for foodies and traditional food lovers. The secret is simple: quality ingredients!

Pomodori al riso (rice stuffed tomatoes): the summer Roman dish

Rice stuffed tomatoes (the Roman recipe)

Rice stuffed tomatoes are a summer staple of Roman “fast food”, you can find them in every “rosticceria” for a gourmet and healthy lunch or snack.
Juicy tomatoes, smooth rice, and crunchy potatoes, very easy to prepare even for a lot of people, they are at their best eaten at room temperature.

Ingredients

You will need per person:

  • 2 medium-sized rounded, ripe BUT firm tomatoes
  • 3 spoons of rice (best Arborio or Carnaroli, but any NOT parboiled rice is fine)
  • 2 medium-size potatoes

To taste

  • Minced cloves of garlic
  • fresh chopped basil,
  • olive oil
  • salt

 

Preparation

Wash and dry the tomatoes. With a sharp knife, cut the tops off and set aside. You will use them to cover the tomatoes before placing in the oven. With a small knife and spoon remove the pulp inside the tomatoes, be careful not to make a hole.
Put the tomatoes pulp in a bowl, add garlic, basil, salt and a drizzle of olive oil, then toss in the rice and let it rest for at least two hours (or even overnight. The longer, the better).
Peel and cut the potatoes into small but not too thin pieces.
Fill each tomato until about 3/4 full. Do not overfill or your tomatoes will split open when the rice expands!
Place each tomato in a baking pan, greased with a bit of olive oil (or cover with baking paper) and ill in all the holes with the potatoes. Drizzle olive oil over everything and the rest of filling, if you have any, over the potatoes.
Bake in an oven for approximately one hour. Put an eye now and then starting for 45 minutes as, depending on the type of rice, cooking time will vary.