Cook a top Roman recipe at home: Pasta alla gricia

Do you know the recipe we are about to prepare?

Discover pasta alla gricia, a super typical Roman recipe that widens the heart just by hearing its name …

Only three ingredients? Impossible! Someone might exclaim.

Trust me, it’s the pure truth….

Exactly, we are talking about the Gricia recipe. Pasta alla Gricia is one of the tastiest, most vibrant and simple recipes in the world.

What you need to prepare it are only 3 ingredients, but of excellent quality:

  • Pasta
  • Pecorino romano
  • Guanciale pork cheek meat

Guanciale is crucial, with pancetta (bacon) is not the same thing….

This is the Roman mantra you must internalize to earn the respect of any Roman.

The secret of the dish’s success lies in the cutting and cooking of the bacon.

 

How to proceed:

First, cut the bacon into strips 1c wide and 0.5cm thick.

For four people you will need at least 250 grams of peppered bacon.

In a very hot pan, let the guanciale fat melt until it becomes like oil. Basically cook until the meat is browned. It must become crunchy and a nice camel color.

At this point, remove the bacon from the pan and keep it aside. In the pan with the oil base you will skip the pasta after having cooked it al dente. For four people, throw at least 350 grams of pasta.

Finally, remove the pan from the heat, add a ladle of cooking water and the pecorino romano and mix well until creamy. For four people you will need at least 60 grams of pecorino.

Before serving

Add the bacon that you set aside and garnish with more grated pecorino.

This gricia recipe is also the basis of two other equally tasty recipes: carbonara and amatriciana.

The magical power of Roman cuisine is revealed: add the egg and you have the carbonara, add the tomato and you will have the amatriciana.

But Gricia is also splendid in its simplicity, guaranteed!

Pair your dish with a nice glass of white wine such as Frascati Superiore, Est Est Est, Orvieto or Fiano.

Enjoy your meal!

Buon appetito!

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Ciambelle or Donuts? here the real Roman-style recipe

Warning, what you are looking at is not a donut!

This is the famous Roman fried donut (ciambella fritta) that is produced in thousands in all the pastry shops in the capital, fresh from the day.

It is found in bars and pastry stores in the early morning, supplied by the bakeries that bake at night. Immediately sold out if you are not an early bird. Just keep this in mind if you would like to have one in the afternoon, they are nowhere to be found.

Where does this recipe come from?

Deriving from the peasant tradition, like most traditional sweets, it refers to holidays.

Surely it begins with a dough of bread, subsequently enriched with sugar and aromas and is linked to baptisms, communions, weddings or peasant celebrations linked to the threshing of wheat.

The fact that the ciambella fritta is a fried dessert immediately makes us think of poor tables.

Frying was, in fact, much simpler than lighting an oven for poor people.

During the Middle Ages it was even forbidden to bake bread in the ovens except on certain occasions. Here frying becomes a complementary way to cook.

What is the difference with the American cousin, called donut?

Firstly, the appearance, you will never find a local pastry chef dressing the ciambelle fritte with coloured icings or sugar tails, but only a sparkle of sugar.

The fried donut therefore has its origins in all countries, with different derivations, however, it has become an institution in the United States where two legends compete for the origin of the dessert.

The first refers to stories of ships and sailors, at the beginning of the century.

The sailor Hanson Crockett Gregory explained in an interview that, tired of eating raw sweets inside, he decided to create them with a hole.

The second story linked to the origin of this dessert, sees a chief of a Wampanoag Indian tribe as the protagonist.

During a pursuit of a settler, who was holding a pancake in his hand as he fled, an Indian boy shot an arrow that dug a hole inside the cake.

For us Italians, donuts are Homer Simpson’s favourite sweets, and, judging by the American TV series, the preferred food of US policemen.

And no, I have never seen an Italian policeman eating donuts.

Do you want to try making donuts at home?

Here is the recipe for 15 large donuts.

  • 330 grams of flour ’00
  • 230 grams of strong Manitoba type flour
  • 130 gr of fresh whole milk at room temperature
  • 130 gr of water at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon of dry yeast
  • 1 egg
  • 50 grams of sugar
  • 50 grams of butter at room temperature
  • 9 gr of salt
  • grated zest of 1 large lemon
  • grated peel of 1 large orange
  • 1 tablespoon of vanilla flavoring
  • About 1 liter of oil for frying

First, marinate the grated citrus peel for 2-24 hours with the aroma of vanilla and half a lemon.

Mix 95 grams of flour with 50 ml of water and 50 ml of milk. Cover with cling film and let it rest in the heat until bubbles appear.

Then add the rest of the flours, the milk and water, and finally the sugar. You work a lot, you can also use the mixer at low speed.

Add the egg, the chopped butter and salt. when the dough becomes shiny and well blended, place it in a bowl.

Let it rise for at least 3 hours until it has tripled its volume.

Roll it out with a rolling pin and create circles with the hole in the center, using a pastry cutter or glasses and bowls to get the shape of the donut.

Let the forms rest at 26-28 degrees until doubled in volume, then fry your ciambella fritta one by one in abundant boiling oil.

In conclusion, dry them with absorbent paper and sprinkle them with sugar before serving.

Enjoy your meal!

Do you want to know our ranking of the best fried donut in Rome? contact us

Traditional Roman dishes: Maritozzo

“Er Maritozzo co’a Panna” is one of the sweetest and most beloved pastries of Roma. The maritozzo is a soft and not too sweet brioche, usually tasted stuffed with fresh whipped cream.

The origins of the recipe take us back to Ancient Rome food tradition.  Workers  used to eat this bread certainly, as refreshment food.

The original recipe included raisins, candied fruit and pine nuts, therefore a power energy source.

During middle Ages, however, the maritozzo-bread became the sweet exception to the liturgical feast restrictions.

It was eaten during the period of Lent, becoming the name of “er santo maritozzo” or “Lent”.

Legend or tradition, however, the name is connected to a very special day.

To clarify, on the first Friday of March every year, future husbands used to donate the pastry to the ladies.

They used to decorate the dessert with sugar, to represent two pierced hearts. Most of the time a jewel present was hidden in the cream filling.

And on this particular occasion, to the young suitor was assigned the appellation of maritozzo (literally husband).

The recipe is simple but requires patience and time.

Maritozzo’s recipes and ingredients

For the yeast:

  1. 50 g of flour
  2. 50 ml of water
  3. 3 g of brewer’s yeast
  4. 1 teaspoon of sugar

For dough:

  1. 200 g of flour
  2. 20 ml of milk
  3. 45 g of honey
  4. 40 ml of seed oil
  5. 1 yolk
  6. 300 ml of fresh whipping cream for the filling
  7. 50 g of icing sugar

How to make Maritozzo

Firstly, prepare the yeast, mixing all the ingredients above listed in a small bowl.

Let it grow for about half an hour.

Secondly, mix oil, milk, honey and the yolk in a bowl. Slowly add the flour, stirring with a fork.

Add now yeast to the mixture and the rest of flour to form soft dough.

Let’s knead hardly until the dough is being smooth by you. In short, let the dough rise until doubled.

Divide the dough into 6 equal balls, giving it a slightly elongated shape, therefore, let it grow likewise until doubled.

Most important, heat the oven to 180 °C.

Before baking, take care to brush the brioche with egg white, therefore, bake again for about 15 minutes.

After that, once well cooled down, make a scar longitudinally to host the dressing.

You are ready, in conclusion, to fill up your maritozzo with white cold whipped cream.

Let’s sprinkle it with icing sugar and Buon Appetito.

 

Recommended Wine for a great pairing

Aleatico di Gradoli, red garnet color with purple shades, Aromatic characteristic perfume, fresh flavor, soft velvety and sweet.

 

Boast of Italian food: spaghetti allo scoglio

The spaghetti with seafood (“Spaghetti allo scoglio”) are one of the most loved summer dishes. They are cooked throughout Italy, especially in seaside resorts and during holidays, but its origins take us south: to Sicily.

Unlike what you think, the origin of the name “Spaghetti allo scoglio” is not connected to the ingredients, but to an ancient recipe of fishermen. The sauce was made with small pieces of rock, which were sautéed in the pot to detach the “rock animals” still alive. The stones were removed and the pasta added to the sauce: a dish with an intense sea flavor.

Ingredients for 4 people

  •  350 gr Spaghetti or Vermicelli (durum wheat semolina and bronze drawn)
  •  1 kg Mussels
  •  750 gr Clams or lupins
  •  700 gr (clean) Squid, cuttlefish, baby octopus
  •  300 gr tomatoes
  •  Half a glass of Cognac or brandy
  •  White wine
  •  3 cloves of garlic
  • 1 medium onion
  • 1 Chili pepper
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  •  Salt 
  • Chopped parsley

 Method

First of all let’s clean the fish!

The simplest ones are the clams. Rinse under fresh water to remove any sand inside.

Next the mussels: with a knife scratch the impurities on the shell and pull away the fine linen (the filaments that come out of the mussel).

Remove the octopus and squid’s head, entrails and skin (or have them cleaned by the fishmonger), and cut them into strips. Do the same thing with the prawns, finally extracting the pulp.

In a hot pan, brown oil, garlic and chili pepper.

Pour the clams and mussels into a large pot and let them open over high heat. Peel them about two thirds and filter the cooking liquid.

Take the squid and cook in another pan with a drizzle of olive oil, a clove of garlic and a little salt. Finally blend with white wine.

Also brown the prawns in a saucepan with oil, garlic and a drizzle of cognac or Brandy. When cooked, add the squid, mussels and clams and dip in the cooking shellfish broth.

Sauté the tomatoes, cut into small pieces, in oil, two cloves of garlic and a medium onion. When the vegetable water has dried, add the shellfish and crustaceans and wet with the cooking broth of the fish.

In the meantime boil salted water and pour the pasta, which must be drained halfway through cooking. Drain the pasta in the pan with the sauce and sauté adding a little chili pepper and a ladle of cooking water, in order to create a very thick and creamy mixture. Then serve it with unshelled seafood.

As per personal taste, sprinkle with chopped parsley.

With fish sauce you can prepare many variations: from risotto, to cooking in foil or crust.

Matching wine:

dry and fragrant white wine such as Ligurian Vermentino, or with Falanghina, Greco di Tufo or Bianco d’Alcamo.

Summer: desire for freshness colors and flavors

June 21 marks the beginning of summer . The days get longer and the desire for fresh, colors and flavors becomes more and more.

Therefore, why not tease our taste buds with the best summer flavors: Tomatoes, aubergines, basil, figs, melon, zucchini flowers.

All in season now can be cooked in many ways.

But, if we combine them with the best Italian IGP products, what a Yummi!

Buffalo mozzarella from Campania region,  the top extra virgin olive oil from Liguria , the carpaccio di bresaola produced in Valtellina. Prosciutto San Daniele and Parmesan cheese, in addition, are just to name a few.

Combine this delicious ingredients and become a chef for a day.

Here the list of our favorite summer dishes:

Seasonal starters.

Firstly and definitely, a very classic snack beloved by Roman people is the  Pizza, ham and figs (Pizza Bianca, Prosciutto e Fichi). This recipe is amzingly mixing salty and sweet flavors. Perfect pairing wine is a sparkling lambrusco, Bonarda or a Franciacorta Saten.

As apetizer, perfect quick lunch, likewise a side dish or whenever you like, Caprese salad will never disappoint you. Especially if you choose top quality Mozzarella and very good tomatoes. If you think this is an ancient local recipe you’ll be surprised to learn is certainly not. Tomatoes, just to clarify, arrived in Europe only after 1500 from Southern Americas. Pair this dish with a glass of Prosecco or a DOC Garda.

On the other hand, is not Summer without Ham and melon (Prosciutto e Melone) . This is another recipe that plays on contrast of flavors, sweetness and salty. Let’s pair this dish with a glass of Fiano di Avellino or Frascati Superiore.

Ten minutes to prepare something to bite? Panzanella is a rescue-remedy. Just focus on Extra-virgin olive oil and let your fantasy find your own style. Let’s match with a glass of Trebbiano bianco from Tuscany.

Similarly Bruschetta is a simple but delicious way to welcome someone at your table.

Seasonal main course

Do not miss the season to try one of the top baked recipes above all: Eggplant Parmigiana . This amazing dish is a complete meal in a plate. Try it with a glass of Aglianico Taurasi.

On diet or super-fit crazy about fitness? This recipe will provide you taste and a boost of proteins Carpaccio of bresaola, rocket and parmesan is one of the most favorite summer combinations. Meanwhile you taste it, let’s try a glass of Ribolla gialla, success guaranteed.

Everybody knows this:   Fried courgette flowers (Fiori di Zucchina Fritti) is a must to try when in Rome. The delicious recipe will perfectly match with a glass of Franciacorta Rosè or a Spumante Rosè Oltrepò Pavese.

In conclusion, if you do not find in this list the your favorite italian summer dish, come to Italy to discover and taste the boast of the local cuisine.

Buon appetito!

 

Boast of italian food: Prosciutto e melone

Prosciutto e Melone: a dish over 3000 years old.

Summer binges on our tables one of the most popular Italian dish: prosciutto e melone (ham and melon).

A combination that is the result of knowledge that goes straight from the time of the Etruscans and Romans: sweet and sour flavors.

In fact, according to the ancients, the body’s heat was due to an “internal fire” that warmed the limbs. Consequently the cold and wet foods had to be combined with hot and dry foods. As a result, they were able to mitigate the negative consequences on health. This explains the origin of sweet and sour flavors: cheese with pears, peaches with wine and cured ham and figs or melon.

Prosciutto and Melone is the perfect summer appetizer!

Ingredients

• 200g Dop (Protected Designation of Origin) or PGI (Protected Geographical Indication) prosciutto

• 1 melon, possibly netted.

Method

Cut the melon into slices in the shape of the fruit. Remove the seeds and peel and put the slices on a serving plate. Place one piece of ham on each slice of melon.

Did you know that: For each melon its ham!

An original way to transform this simple dish into a gourmet appetizer is to choose the right combinations of the ingredients, strictly Italian.

All you need to do is focus on the regional specialties, for example, a PGI melon from Mantua, grown between the provinces of Emilia, is always consistent and sweet. The perfect mix is, therefore, to serve it with a ham of character, such as the Crudo di Cuneo Dop.

If, on the other hand, you want to amaze your diners , try Tamaris melon, a lesser-known PGI (except for the chefs), characterized by a smooth, light skin, and a very sweet and fragrant flesh, reminiscent of courgette. Combine it with a delicate and refined cured ham, such as Prosciutto di Parma Dop or Prosciutto di San Daniele Dop.

Boast of roman food: il pinzimonio romano

The Pinzimonio is a must try foods of the Italian cuisine. Fresh, tasty and crunchy, this vegan appetizer is the perfect summer finger food .

But have you ever heard “Cazzimperio” ones in Rome? The term “Cazzimperio”, which may seem like a dirty word in the Italian language, is actually a typical Roman term to indicate Pinzimonio, a sauce prepared with simple ingredients, in which you can dip raw vegetables.

To clarify,there are several opinions on its origin, but the most confirmed one is that the word derives from the archaic Italian “cazza” which indicates the ladle used by alchemists.

If you want to prepare a fresh, crunchy, vegan and traditional appetizer, this is your dish!

Very easy and quick , just follow the list of ingredients.

Ingredients

Method

Firstly wash all the vegetables and cut them into strips leaving the skin.

Then, take a small bowl and mix the oil with salt, black pepper and a little vinegar or lemon juice.

After that emulsify everything well and serve.

Prepare a small glass with pinzimonio sauce and another with vegetable sticks for each guest, so that everyone has their own.

Note: The choice of vegetables is very important: fresh, seasonal and organic. You can mix up different ones according to your taste . Just go to the farmer’s market and let your eyes shop for you.

Recommended Wine:

Pignoletto Frizzante Secco Reno. pale straw yellow color, intense, elegant and floral bouquet with fruity notes dominated by ripe pear and apple.

 

Boast of roman food: spaghetti aglio olio e peperoncino

Who has never improvised midnight spaghetti or a meal with friends? Spaghetti with garlic, oil and chili, “ajo ojo peperoncino” in roman dialect, is a must dish for Romans.

The name of the dish is the list of ingredients: spaghetti aglio olio e peperoncino. But beware of mistakes: no burnt garlic, overcooked pasta, low quality oil.

You can add if you like a little chopped parsley at the end.

This a  dish that you will rarely find in restaurants. In other words , you will be your chef and reviewer.

Ingredients for 4 people

  •  300 g of bronze-drawn durum wheat spaghetti (preferably spaghettoni)
  •  3 cloves of garlic
  •  2 fresh chilies
  •  90 g of extra virgin olive oil
  •  Chopped parsley of your choice

Method

While the spaghetti cook in salted water, peel the garlic cloves, cut them in half and remove the green sprout in the center. After that, in a large pan, put the extra virgin olive oil with the garlic (being very careful not to burn it) and the fresh chili pepper (to which the stalk will have been removed) cut into thin slices. Brown the ingredients just enough to obtain a gold color. Drain the spaghetti al dente; pour them into the pan to be well mixed, with the help of half a ladle of cooking water.

Delicious variant of the spaghetti aglio olio e peperoncino: with anchovy fillet or toasted breadcrumbs 

Recommended wine:

Frascati white: Medium straw yellow color, delicate aroma, aromatic, dry, round, soft flavor

 

Boast of Roman food: pizza prosciutto e fichi

Take the amazing super local snack at 11.00 o’ clock. It’s Pizza time! Maybe you do not know but this is the deadline for cappuccino time in Rome.

Welcome to the savory snack time with a top food combination that will tantalize your taste buds: Pizza bianca Prosciutto and Figs.

In ancient times figs were crushed on the focaccia, which was a disc of unleavened bread dough. Today, however, figs have become the filling of the pizza bianca, which must be slightly salted on the surface. The most popular filling is with prosciutto (raw ham).
Therefore, pairing pork meat and fruit always have been very trendy in Rome since ancient Roman times. From a taste point of view this is amazing because salty taste of prosciutto will find a proper contrast with the sweetness of figs.

The salty taste of pizza, in contrast to the sweet taste of figs, is something unique that probably only who has lived a childhood in close contact with Roman grandparents and parents.knows.

Pizza with figs is a classic of the Roman tradition born as street food and today also present in the off-menu gourmet.

In short, today snacking with pizza and figs is a gourmet way to stop the half morning hungry.

Like Roman says: “Mica so pizza e fichi” used to indicate something good, of value as opposed to this poor dish.

Enjoy your 3000 years old snack and relax!

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Cheers!

Jewish-Roman food recipe: CONCIA DI ZUCCHINE

Concia di zucchine: the original roman recipe

La Concia di zucchine, tanning of zucchini, not to be confused with marinated courgettes, is an ancient recipe of Roman Jewish cuisine.
Rigorously prepared with Roman zucchini, serves as an excellent side dish or starter, originating from the Jewish community in the heart of the ghetto of Rome. Beloved by kosher eaters and not follows the iron rules of the Jewish religion.
Maybe you do not know but even Rome had her Julia Styles: Mrs. Ada Boni, in her Roman cookbook, calls them marinated zucchini.

Even if true for someone “marinated” and “tanning” are synonymous, in reality, there is a difference between the two methods of preparation.
La concia starts with frying zucchini. After that, stored in a container with oil, vinegar, garlic, mint, and a little chopped parsley. Most important to left to flavor for a couple of hours.

However, the zucchini tanning requires that the courgettes, should be left to marinate. It is necessary to cover it with vinegar at least for 24 hours.
Summer is the season when the Roman zucchini are spontaneous, fresh and delicious; the best time to taste this dish.

Preparation

Peel the courgettes, wash them and cut them for oblique slices about 1.5 cm thick.
Collect the zucchini in a colander, sprinkle with salt and leave it for a couple of hours.
After resting time, squeeze them, fry them, a few at a time. Certainly you’d need a plenty of hot peanuts oil or extra virgin oil. Let’s fry until a homogeneous browning. Then collect them gradually on absorbent paper.
Arrange the zucchini in layers in a container sprinkling on each layer a few pieces of garlic, fresh basil and mint and chopped parsley.
Pour into a saucepan a lot of vinegar necessary to cover all the zucchini, add a pinch of salt and a piece of pepper; bring to a boil and pour the hot vinegar on the courgettes.
Cover, put the container in the refrigerator and let the zucchini flavor for a day before eating.

Notes: you can put the garlic on a layer and one of zucchini instead of on each layer if you do not like the pungent and strong taste of garlic.
Replace the pepper with freshly ground black pepper if you do not like spicy.
Enjoy it!