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  • Chiara Gallo

What to eat in Rome?

Updated: Mar 26

Welcome to Rome: the kingdom of authentic Italian cuisine and irresistible flavours. The Eternal City is not only famous for its historical monuments and its cobbled streets, but also for its extraordinary culinary tradition. As you explore the wonders of this ancient and fascinating city, be sure to delight your taste buds with some of the most iconic dishes Rome has to offer. Here is a guide on what to eat when you are in Rome. If you're visiting Italy, make sure to read our previous blogs on Rome and Venice.



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Pasta, tomato, mozzarella, olive
Italian food


Appetizers:


Supplì


These fried rice balls filled with rice and ragù, with a stringy strip of mozzarella in the centre. They were originally stuffed with chicken giblets, mincemeat, or provatura, a type of Lazio cheese; currently, a piece of mozzarella is also included. Each morsel is then dipped in egg, bread crumbs, and oil before being deep-fried. They are closely linked to the rice-based French croquettes, sometimes known as croquettes en surprise, and the arancini from Sicily. With a stringy center and a crunchy shell, supplì are an absolute must to enjoy while exploring the picturesque streets of the city.


rice and mozzarella
Supplì


Carciofi alla giudia


The delicious carciofi alla giudia are a dish born in the Jewish ghetto of Rome and today a great classic in city restaurants. The original recipe basically consists of fried artichokes. For this recipe, Romanesco artichokes are usually used. After removing the tough outer leaves with a sharp knife, they are pounded open and submerged in lemon juice water for a few minutes to avoid turning discolored. Finally, they are salted and peppered and deep-fried in olive oil. After cooking, they are crisped by sprinkling them with a little cold water. The leaves have a crunchiness that is nutty when eaten heated.


artichoke
Carciofi alla giudia



Main courses:


Pizza alla Romana


When in Italy, of course the first food you try has to be pizza. Pizza alla Romana, not to be mistaken with chewy Neapolitan-style pizza, is extremely thin and should always have a nice crunch to the dough. The circular pizza can be topped with prosciutto alla capricciosa, olives, artichokes, eggs, and basic marinara sauce. Young Romans, who rarely let a week pass without spending a night out over pizza with pals, are the meal's biggest fans.




Pasata alla carbonara


If you are hungry and say “Rome”, you immediately think of spaghetti carbonara.

Carbonara is an unmissable dish for anyone visiting the seven hills, omnipresent on the menus of all trattorias and adored by Romans and tourists alike.

A handful of ingredients, mixed together in the right ways and at the right times, which makes you hungry just by reading them: spaghetti, bacon, egg yolks, pecorino romano and freshly ground pepper. Italians don't add extra ingredients like cream, milk, garlic, or onions. Additionally, they prefer to use guanciale (cured pork) instead of bacon.


egs, cheese
Pasta alla carbonara


Pasta all'Amatriciana


This classic Roman dish is a tribute to the simplicity and goodness of high quality ingredients. Amatriciana sauce, made with crispy pancetta, tomato, chili pepper and pecorino romano, is served over a pasta such as spaghetti or bucatini, creating a combination of bold flavors and hints of sweet and spicy.


Spaghetti, tomato sauce
Pasta all'amatriciana


Pasta Cacio e Pepe


Another timeless classic of Roman cuisine, cacio e pepe is a delight for cheese lovers.

The history of this recipe is connected to the transhumance of shepherds between Lazio, Umbria and Abruzzo, who constantly moved with their flocks and needed easily available ingredients. Made with pecorino romano, black pepper and pasta, this simple, yet rich dish is a celebration of the perfection of essential flavours.


cheese, pepe
Pasta cacio e pepe



Second courses:


Trippa alla romana


Tripe is an ancient Roman poor dish, it is obtained from different parts of the bovine pre-stomach and is the least prized part of the animal as the most prized part was for the nobility and the clergy. In the traditional recipe, the tripe is cut into strips and cooked with plenty of tomato, onion, pecorino romano, white wine and mint, one of the queen herbs of Roman cuisine. A delicious and very successful dish.


Trippa, tomato sauce
Trippa alla romana


Abbacchio alla romana


It is an Easter recipe which is however cooked all year round in the restaurants of the capital. This dish is a meat-lover's delicacy, featuring tender lamb baked in the oven with herbs and seasonings that bring out the unique flavor of the quality meat.


meat
Abbacchio alla romana



Desserts:


Maritozzi


This traditional dessert is a soft sweet roll, generally filled with whipped cream and often served with a touch of icing sugar. Its delicate flavor and smooth texture make it a popular choice for a sweet break during the day. The most ornate varieties also contain candied fruits and/or pinoli nuts. Maritozzi can vary in size, shape, and filling: they can be filled exactly in the center or slightly out of it.



Cream
Maritozzo


Crostata di ricotta e visciole


A fragrant and delicate tart, filled with a creamy mixture of ricotta and sour cherries, which give a pleasant balance of sweet and sour. This dessert is a feast for the senses, thanks to its enveloping aroma and soft texture. It is a simple cake to make, but of great effect and with an intense flavour, in which a shortcrust pastry shell encloses a heart of ricotta and sour cherry jam. This ingredient is similar to the classic cherry jam, but capable of giving this tart a much more particular touch and a pleasantly acidic flavour, which goes well with the creaminess of the ricotta, just like in cheesecake.


dessert, ricotta,
Crostata di ricotta e visciole


Bignè di San Giuseppe


Traditionally prepared for the feast of St. Joseph, these cream puffs are filled with custard and often decorated with candied cherries. Their light and delicate taste makes them a perfect choice for those who want a touch of sweetness without being too heavy.


cream, eggs
Bignè di San Giuseppe

We have reached the end of the blog about what to eat in Rome.

To continue discovering more hidden gems and captivating destinations, stay tuned for more articles on our website. Follow us @thewalkingparrot to be continuously updated on new releases and join us as we embark on new adventures. We will be back soon with a new article! If you're visiting Lisbon, make sure to try our Fado, Food, and Wine tour!





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