This will be my first trip to Italy. Admittedly, the first Italian I’ve studied? Menu items. Tips from friends I will test out include: making reservations (even if same day, apparently it’s a respectful gesture), seeing the outdoor sites early in the day to avoid the heat (the Forum, Coliseum), seeing the churches early enough in the day since the close early afternoon, and saving tours of museums for later in the day (say, after a nap) to cool off.
Two weeks ago, I tried out the much-buzzed about Roman restaurant: Locanda in the Mission. I won’t be back. Really slow service, really expensive food which did not match the value. Immediately after going, I decided to give a go at a simple dish, an Italian equivalent of the comforting mac & cheese, called Cacio e Pepe. That roughly translates to “cheese and pepper”. It’s pasta water mixed with pecorino cheese and pepper. Simple ingredients, tricky to make well. I can’t wait to try this and Carbonera. I saw an episode of No Reservations, where Bourdain ate Cacio e Pepe out of a cheese bowl. Not sure if I’ll find that place in Rome, but I do hope to find something as delicious.
Here’s a recipe you can try at home for this dish, sans cheese bowl.
If making for two, I recommend 1 lb of fresh egg pasta. 1/4 cup of pasta water. 1/2 cup of percorino and 1-1/2 teaspoon of pepper.
Ciao for now. Will post when I return.