I just started typing this article, and my mouth is already wet!
In this article, I will show you 15 tasty, yummy, delicious, flavorful and incredibly appetizing foods typical from Rome that you should absolutely try while visiting the Eternal City!
Italy is often called the “World Capital of food”, and well… Rome is the capital of Italy! You can guess where this is going…
Said that, get your eyes ready, keep your stomach at bay, and let’s go through the 15 tastiest Roman Foods to try in Rome 😉
Ps. While writing this article I had to stop and eat pasta at least three times, my Italian genes could not stand the hunger! haha ;D
The TOP 15 Mouth-Watering Foods from ROME!
1. Pasta alla Carbonara
The Pasta alla Carbonara is the ultimate Italian Signature Dish, known and renowned worldwide for its fantastic taste, and you can guess it…it comes from Rome!
The traditional recipe for Carbonara is pretty easy: pasta, eggs, cheek lard, pecorino cheese, and black pepper :)
What many foreigners don’t know, is that in the true Carbonara recipe there is absolutely NO CREAM!
The “cream” that you see and that tastes so damn good when you eat it, it’s nothing less than the slowly melted lard, mixed with the egg yolk and the grated pecorino cheese 🙂
All in all, one of the yummiest dishes you can try in Rome and an absolute must if you’re visiting the eternal city! You could also experience how to prepare the spaghetti by hand while enjoying an Italian aperitivo by joining a Rome Cooking Class too! ;D
2. Bucatini all’Amatriciana
The original “Pasta all’Amatriciana” was born in Amatrice, a little town far east of Rome.
Romans took this old recipe and added the “Bucatini” to it: a long spaghetti-like pasta with a hole in the middle which look like long tiny tubes.
The ingredients of Bucatini all’Amatriciana are simple: cheek lard, tomato sauce, basil and pecorino DOP cheese (sheep cheese).
The Bucatini all’Amatriciana are an incredibly simple yet tasty and healthy dish which once you’ve tried you’ll never had enough!
Personally, I like to add a touch of spicy olive oil (or peperoncino) to add a stronger punch and complete the taste, but that of course goes to everyone’s taste 🙂
3. Pasta alla Gricia
The Pasta alla Gricia is considered the grandmother of the Amatriciana.
Here the ingredients are the same as Amatriciana: cheek lard and pecorino cheese (which, as you might start to guess, Romans truly LOVE!). There is no tomato sauce in this pasta, as it was created far before tomatoes were imported into Europe after the discovery of America.
For the Pasta alla Gricia, usually, Romans prefer to use the “Rigatoni”, a short and fatty kind of pasta that mixes perfectly with the sauce and helps to create a yummy mouthful of Italian taste!
When Rigatoni are truly “al dente” (just the right consistency to bite with pleasure), they are a Luna park for the palate!
4. Spaghetti Cacio e Pepe
The Spaghetti Cacio e Pepe (Cheese and Pepper) is one of the simplest dishes of the Roman tradition and comprises only two ingredients: black pepper and pecorino cheese (here we go again! ahah).
This dish was created in ancient days by Roman shepherds who simply tried to put together the few ingredients they had to make out of them a filling, yet tasty meal to save and survive.
The funny thing about this, is that although preparing a “Cacio e Pepe” seems pretty easy, in reality, it’s far from it and there are many schools of thought about it!
Cacio e pepe is also a good option for vegetarian pasta (attention: not vegan!), as it is one of the few typically Roman pasta that doesn’t have meat inside! (The Roman cuisine is very “meaty” indeed…).
5. Rigatoni con Pajata
The Rigatoni con Pajata is another typical and authentic food from Rome.
This dish of humble origins was considered for long times a “poor dish”, as the choice of meat used to prepare the sauce fell on the “pajama“, a cut of the beef considered of inferior quality (the intestine!).
The ingredient of the Pasta with Pajata, in addition to the meat, is simply a bit of onion, garlic, basil, sedan, olive oil, white wine, and a touch of spicy peppers.
6. Gnocchi alla Romana
The Gnocchi is a typical Italian first-course dish known all over the world.
Every region in Italy has its special recipe for gnocchi, with different flours and different shapes.
In Rome, the traditional Gnocchi “alla Romana” (Roman-style gnocchi) is prepared using Semolina flour, milk, eggs and Parmigiano Reggiano Cheese, Butter, and traces of nutmeg.
Of course, I don’t even need to say it anymore (you can guess xD), Romans adore to serve their gnocchi covered with the classic Pecorino cheese (sheep cheese) which is almost omnipresent in Rome 🙂
As the Roman tradition goes, it is said that the day for eating gnocchi is Thursday! 😉
7. Pizza alla Romana
Everybody knows that Pizza was born in Naples.
Said that, in the years many Italian regions revisited the original recipe to create different varieties of Pizza and adapt to the local tastes: Rome is no exception!
The typical “Pizza alla Romana” (Roman Pizza) is a very flat pizza, prepared with mozzarella, tomato sauce, anchovies, oregano, capers, and olive oil.
The taste for sure is strong and divisive (not for everyone!), but I believe that it represents well the strong character of Rome and the healthy stubbornness of its citizens! 😀
8. Panino con Porchetta
The Porchetta is a religion in Rome.
Offered by the highest-end restaurants as well as by the dirtiest and greasiest food trucks in Rome, the Porchetta (Italian Stir-roasted Pork) is one of the most beloved dishes by Romans and tourists alike.
If you’re on the go while visiting Rome, and you’re looking for a fast, fat, tasty, and dirty cheap meal, you know that a “Panino con Porchetta” (Pork Sandwich) is never too far away! 😉
I love this easy street-food meal! 😀
9. The Roman Supplì
The Supplis are the absolute kings of Roman street food!
The classic supplì is a breaded and fried ball of rice mixed with tomato sauce and stringy mozzarella cheese.
Of course, as the recipe is centuries old, that has also been often revisited, and in Rome is now possible to find Supplis carbonara, supplis amatriciana, with ham, with vegetables, even with fish!
My suggestion is to not care too much about which one you will taste: they will all taste pretty amazing! If you give in, just be sure to account for a cheating day, as the calories of the supplies can add up pretty quickly! ;D
10. Saltimbocca alla Romana
The Saltimbocca alla Romana is one of the most well-known Roman dishes both in Italy and abroad.
The Saltimbocca are calf steaks, coated with flour, slowly cooked submerged in butter and white wine, and lastly covered with Prosciutto Crudo (“Crude Ham”) and sage leaves.
The cooking procedure ensures that the meat remains tender to the point of melting in the mouth, thus upholding the promise of their name!
Olive oil and black pepper are there to complement the taste and offer a mouthful of Italianity ;D
11. La Bruschetta
Bruschetta is a typical summer food all over Italy, and Rome is no exception!
Bruschetta is simply a slice of bread (toasted or not) with something on top! Easy as that! 🙂
The classic bruschetta is made with bread, tomatoes, oil, and mozzarella. It’s cheap, it’s balanced and it’s damn tasty!
Said that in the past decades the “art of Bruschetta” has been surely brought to unimaginable levels years ago, and today you can find “Bruschetterias” (Bruschetta restaurants) which offer all kinds of tastes and combinations for all palates!
Combine Bruschetta with Italian wine for the ultimate experience 😉
12. Calamari alla Romana
Crunchy, yummy, addicting calamari!
The calamari alla Romana is a simple dish from Rome that is known all over the world!
The ingredients for this recipe are also pretty simple: calamari (or squids) cut in circles, eggs, flour, water, and sunflower oil.
After properly coating the calamari with a blend of all the other ingredients, the calamari alla Romana are fried in abundant scorching sunflower oil until they become golden and slightly rigid.
A simple finger food to prepare, an even easier finger food to enjoy!
13. Carciofi alla Romana
In Roman Cuisine, artichokes are a common ingredient with a long tradition!
The “Carciofi alla Romana” (Roman-style artichokes), is a great option if you want to try a specialty food from Rome while choosing to remain vegan!
The Rome-style artichokes are based on the variety of violet Romanesco artichokes, which have leathery leaves on the outside and a tender heart.
The artichokes are slowly cooked in the pan with mint and garlic and addition of extra-virgin olive oil, black pepper, and lemon.
All in all, they’re a fragrant side dish sent us through the ages by Roman farmers that were feeding themselves back in the day with the few ingredients typical of the Lazio region. I am not an artichoke enthusiast, but I have to admit that the Roman-styled ones are yummy also for me! 😉
14. Abbacchio a Scottadito
If you travel to Rome during Easter time, you cannot miss this one! 🙂
The Abbacchio a Scottadito is a typical Easter recipe of Lazio (the region where Rome is in), and the main ingredients here are lamb ribs.
The Abbacchio (lamb ribs) is slowly grilled with a very simple seasoning (classical Italian!): salt, pepper, olive oil, rosmarine and lemon.
The are called “Scottadito”, which translates in English as “Burning-Finger” because they must be consumed extremely hot to be able to enjoy the tenderness of the meat.
What do you think, will you be able to devour such a dish without remaining burned? 😉
15. Maritozzo Romano
And last…the dessert!
The “Maritozzi with cream” is the signature dessert from Rome: soft sweetened tiny bread rolls, filled to the brim with a soft white yummy cream made with honey, milk, fresh panna, sugar, vanilla, and orange peel.
People in Rome love to eat the Maritozzi in the morning with their Coffee or Cappuccino (if you want to learn more about the difference you can check our article on All Italian Coffee Types!).
The smell of Maritozzi in the cafeterias in the mornings is very intoxicating and trying to say no it’s tough!
The recipe of Maritozzi is an ancient Roman recipe as this kind of sweet were usually prepared as a gift for future brides (and thus the name “Maritozzo” which in Italian translate to “Husband”). Some men were also putting the wedding ring hidden within the dessert (and who knows, maybe some women even ate some of them by accident!) 😉
And here we come at the end of this yummy article! (my stomach is aching for Rome food by now ahah)
In this post, I presented you with 15 typical and authentic recipes from Roman cuisine!
Being Italian, during my life I had the lucky opportunity to try all of them (some of them even hundreds of times aha) and I cannot stress enough how a journey to Italy is not complete if you don’t dive into its rich culinary tradition!
Of course, Rome foods don’t stop here: the millennial history of the city greatly impacted also its food culture and by walking through Rome you might find countless other recipes proofing the long history of the eternal city!
Before going, I ask you: did you try any of the above-mentioned Roman Foods? How did you like them? Do you know any other recipe that might fit on the list? 🙂
Let us know in the comments below! 😀
Hereafter I will leave you a few articles that you might be also interested to check out:
- 15 Interesting Facts about Rome you didn’t Know!
- Travel Italy: Discover the most Beautiful Destinations in Italy and How to Visit them!
Thank you for reading, and see you in the next article!
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