Dang. I was bringing in eggplant and basil today when I began thinking about the gorgeous flavors and food that is Italian cuisine. I realized that I SPACED writing about my trip to Rome a few months ago. In the spirit of "better late than never," here goes!
Seemingly everywhere we went, Rome offered delicious food.
From rich Gelato to soft, warm mozzarella, fine Salumi and piles of fresh pasta. Even during our private tour of the Vatican (where we were blocked from St. Peter's because Pope Francis himself was using it- kind of cool) there were amazing cured meat sandwiches. Crusty fresh bread with Prosciutto, Salami or Capocollo. Nothing else and they were perfect. Italy takes enormous pride in their food. Not necessarily complex, but thoughtfully and perfectly prepared. There's a definite emphasis on quality.
I thought I'd share some pics from my favorite meal in a small, family-owned trattoria in the Campo Marzio. Of course, I photographed the dishes and wine that we enjoyed for your viewing pleasure. There were crisp salads and a little antipasti to start: a roasted sweet pepper and eggplant with a warm, fresh ball of Mozzarella and basil. So simple and really, really excellent. My youngest son ordered the Lobster Diavola, the elder chose pizza (always), Mom the Osso Buco and I had Cacio de Pepe.
Cacio e Pepe is a traditional Roman Pasta dish-and was very honestly my favorite meal in Italy. It is very simple but incredibly satisfying. You should add this one to the recipes you commit to memory. Check out the video from @SeriousEats for a fool-proof guide. (Although, if you have access to fresh pasta, definitely use that in lieu of dried.)