So, who am I to disobey? No, not this Italophile.
Some of the most delicious Roman dishes that I can't wait to scarf down are:
Pasta Carbonara. This is my all-time favorite pasta dish! Raw eggs are tossed with hot pasta (which cooks the eggs), parmesean cheese and lots of browned pancetta. Heaven on a plate!
Bucatini all'amatriciana. Thick, hollow pasta with tomatoes, guanciale (pork cheek) or pancetta (pork belly) and grated Pecorino Romano cheese. Yum.
Cacio e Pepe. The simplest of them all- spaghetti, lots of black pepper, tons of that sharp grated Pecorino Romano cheese and a little of the pasta water create a delicious, creamy sauce.
Pasta Arrabbiatta. This is labeled *angry pasta* because of the addition of red hot chili peppers. (and no, not the band). I'm normally not a huge fan of hot and spicy food, but when in Rome….
Gnocchi. In Rome, the old tradition in real trattorie is to have a special plate for every day of the week. Thursdays happens to be gnocchi night. You can bet we'll have some fluffy, delicious pasta pillows- with whatever sauce they are serving!
Fiori di zucca. Fried zucchini flowers, stuffed or plain. Crispy, salty, goodness.
Abbacchio Scottadito. Roasted Roman spring lamb chops that are grilled. The name implies burnt fingers- because you'll burn your fingers in haste trying to claw your way at them. Maybe, but rumor has these are finger licking good.
Porchetta. Sucking pig, stuffed with herbs and garlic and roasted on a spit. Then it's sliced and slapped on a sandwich. And it's sold out of a truck in Italy. That is what I call fast-food!
Pizza Bianca. Many a forna in Rome make this. It's sold by the pound and gets wrapped in paper as you take it with you. You might think it is white pizza- but it is really more like a foccacia dusted with salt, rosemary and olive oil. There can be toppings likes potato and rosemary or zucchini blossoms. This ain't pizza hut!
Roman pizza. Romans cook their pizza in a scorching hot oven, which means that the extra-thin Roman crust comes out extra crispy- even a bit scorched around the edges. My favorite is the simple Margherita- tomato, basil and mozzarella. Oh, I hope it's bufula mozzarella.
Supplì. A larger version on arancini. Basically a ball of risotto rice, surrounding a hunk of mozzarella and held together with egg, tomato and breadcrumbs and then fried.
Carciofi alla Romana. Artichokes braised in olive oil and water, sometimes with garlic and mint- the traditional Roman style.
Carciofi alla Giudia. The typical Jewish version of artichokes-flattened and fried.
But, there are a few Roman delicacies that no amount of sweetly-spoken mangia's, could make me eat. They are:
Trippa. Tender tripe in creamy, spicy tomato sauce, served sprinkled with pecorino cheese. Basically, intestines. I'll pass.
Pajata. Chopped suclking calf intestines boiled with it's mother 's milk still inside and served with tomato sauce. Oh, yum. Teeny-tiny baby intestines. No thanks!
Coda alla Vaccinara. Ox tail in celery and tomato broth. I'm sure it is delicious, but I'll stick to all the other edible parts of an ox, of which I am so sure there are many.
Now, I am sure that eating my way through Rome will be my activity of choice. Let's just hope that all the walking and the extra shots of espresso, speed up my metabolism enough to avoid me gaining 20 pounds!
What's your favorite on the list? Would you try any of my off-limit dishes?