For those who know me well, you wont be surprised to hear that the thing I most looked forward to when planning for Italy was the FOOD! Here's a nod to my favorite meals in Rome.
Warning: Do not read when hungry!
Cacio de pepe at Roma Sparita.
HOLY COW. This is a traditional Roman dish of al dente pasta, butter, ground pepper, parmesan cheese and pecorino cheese. And at this restaurant they serve it in a parmesan cheese bowl that you can also eat. (I glared across the restaurant when I saw an uneaten bowl go to waste!)
A dear friend who once lived in Rome recommended this restaurant calling it the "best pasta in Rome." I later found out it was also featured a few years back on an Anthony Bourdain show, which the locals didn't seem thrilled about.
Gnocchi vognole veraci e fiori di zucca at Roma Sparita.
At the same restaurant we ordered the gnocchi with clams and zucchini flowers. I LOVE ZUCCHINI FLOWERS… who knew?! They perfectly soak up the clam sauce and even after cooking they still have a perfect tenderness (not too mushy, not too crunchy). The clams are in season, the gnocchi melted in my mouth and the sauce was perfetto! In my book this dish was better than the Anthony Bourdain meal pictured above!
Tagliere (Mix Platter) at La Locanda del Prosciutto.
On one of our strolls we stumbled on this amazing little lunch spot. It was closed at the time but we could see racks of prosciutto hanging inside through the window and decided to walk back later when it opened. We came back and had it all: prosciutto, mortadella, pork loin, porchetta and bruschetta!
Caprese salad at La Locanda del Prosciutto.
At the same restaurant I ordered one of my favorites, caprese. The bufala mozzarella cheese was unreal. The folds in the cheese stored all of the juices, creating incredible texture unlike any cheese I've ever had.
Gelato di fragola e pistachio outside the Pantheon.
This bowl of strawberry and pistachio gelato represents only one of the many bowls of gelato I've had so far…. and its only been 3 days! I always order pistachio and so far its ranged from extremely nutty (my favorite) to more on the sweet side like the one pictured above. I then choose a new flavor for my second scoop, usually a fruit because they do such a great job making gelato from fresh fruit! Nothing beats a bowl of gelato on a hot day in Rome.
Now here's to hoping they can fit me on the plane when I return in November!