The traditional cucina romanesca is praised for being flavourful yet simple, mainly relying on fresh seasonal ingredients from the nearby markets. The specialities of the Lazio region are distinctive and unique to the area, which is why the best place to try them is Rome.
Don’t miss out on these dishes if you want to eat as Romans do.
Cacio e Pepe
As in the rest of Italy, pasta is an important part of the menu; and one particularly distinctive pasta dish in Rome is cacio e pepe. This is one of the most ancient dishes of the Roman Empire and today a signature Roman dish. Quite simple and with only two main ingredients that are Pecorino Romano cheese and black pepper, this is delicious and well balanced.
Another quintessential Roman dish is the piquant pasta Amatriciana, named after a small town of Amatrice that is about an hour northeast of Rome. This flavourful pasta is immersed in a simple sauce composed of bacon, tomatoes and onion with grated Pecorino. The long and hollow pasta Bucatini is a perfect companion to this delicious red sauce.
Suppli alla Romana
This extremely tasty snack made out of riceballs filled with chicken and pork is both comforting and indulging. A small surprise in the middle of the riceball in a form of gooey mozzarella makes it especially delicious. Although Suppli is a Roman version of the original Sicilian traditional snack, it is nonetheless a very good interpretation.
Carciofi alla guidia
Carciofi alla guidia is also known as Jewish deep-fried artichoke and is probably the most famous dish of Roman Jewish cuisine. Originally it was created in the Jewish ghetto in the 16th century and is traditionally served to break the fast of Yom Kippur. So from late February to early May Roman markets are filled with green and purple artichokes that are later on transformed into the mouthwatering golden flowers.
Coda Alla Vacinara
For a hearty meal, this traditional Roman stew made from braised oxtail with tomatoes is a winner. It is packed with rich, savoury and sweet flavours that go perfectly well with a glass of red wine. It originated in the Regola district of Rome, from the vaccinari(cattle butchers) that were paid with the leftovers and prepared from them this meal.
Gnocchi Alla Romana
These delicious gnocchi are prepared in the Roman style using semolina flour and are served with tomato and topped with parmesan cheese. They differ from the classical gnocchi made out of potatoes, and because they are only made in Rome they are called Gnocchi alla Romana.
Another favourite Roman dish not to be missed is a giant pork loin wrapped in pork belly and marinated in garlic, herbs, orange peel and fennel before it's been thrown into the oven for slow cooking. Thinly sliced and served with fresh bread is how you eat this Roman delicacy and experiencing a Roman atmosphere.
Filetti di Baccala
Cod fillets are among most famous Meditteranean specialities and salted cold fried in an egg batter is a finger-licking Roman delicacy. You can have it as a snack on foot or sitting down, and either way, it will be a perfect startup before you get on with some of the famous Roman main courses.
Without a doubt, this is the most famous dish, adored in every corner of the globe. Pizza Margherita is an absolute perfection composed of tomatoes and mozzarella di bufala. Although pizza originally comes from Naples, the Roman version is with a thinner and crispier crust making it lighter.
Mascarpone cheese, coffee and chocolate are combined for this wonderful dessert. Luckily some of the best tiramisu can be found in Rome, where amongst tits beauty you can indulge in this sweet traditional recipe.
Crostata di Ricotta
There is nothing sweeter than finishing a meal with something sweet, and when in Rome do it with a slice of Crostata di Ricotta. This shortcrust pastry tart is a delightful treat, that is filled with a rich filling of ricotta cheese, raisins and pine nuts. Yum!