FCI 002 – Traditional Roman Cuisine With Maria Pasquale

maria pasquale heart romeAlthough Italy is a foodie paradise, Rome isn’t generally considered as one of the top culinary destinations in the Bel Paese. We think of Sicily, Naples, Bologna, and of course Tuscany…but usually not Rome.

My friend Maria Pasquale is helping to change that through her personal blog HeartRome, and the company she works for Eating Europe Tours,  where she manages their PR & social media.

My first encounter with Maria was last April when I went on her Daylight Trastevere Tour. I was blown away by all the little “secret” locations in my own backyard that I never even heard of. Then in October we were both guests on a fantastic blog tour in Verona, Mantova and Lake Garda in October.

Traditional Roman Cuisine

One of the challenges to finding a good restaurant in Rome is that there are just too many options. This is especially true within the historical center where they are all fighting ferociously for every tourist Euro. And even if you successfully avoid all the tourist traps and zero-in on a few authentic Roman restaurants, then there’s the cuisine itself to consider, which isn’t always immediately appealing to the uninitiated straniero (foreigner). Second courses often feature various frattaglie (innards) and scarti (scraps) that, while delicious when prepared properly, don’t necessarily translate well on the menu.

When I decided to start doing a podcast, I knew right away that I’d want to interview Maria. And then when I read her recent article about “The Return of la Pajata” (simply “la Pajata” in Roman dialect; in Italian, “Rigatoni con la Pagliata“), I knew what I’d want to talk about.

Most folks are usually ready and willing to try the typical pasta dishes (primi piatti) like carbonara, amatriciana, and cacio e pepe.  Trying the secondi often requires a bit more convincing. So where can you go to find the aforementioned la pajata and other specialties from the “quinto quarto,” such as trippa alla romana and coda alla vaccinara? In this podcast episode, Maria gives specific suggeChecchino Romastions for great restaurants where you can taste these authentic dishes. For example:

Checchino dal 1887 in Testaccio

Mordi e Vai (sandwich stand at Testaccio Market)

Try the Colatella at Flavio al Velavevodetto

Try the Coda all Vaccinara at da Enzo al 29 in Trastevere

For a more modern take on Roman cuisine, check out Pepper Restaurant in Pigneto

And for aperitivo, consider these  options:

Co.So from HeartRome

Co.So from HeartRome

Enoteca della Provincia in the historical center

Palatium Enoteca Regionale in the historical center

Freni e Frizioni in Trastevere

Co.So in Pigneto

Porto Fluviale in Ostiense

Maria Pasquale

I would like to give a big “GRAZIE” once again to Maria for generously sharing all her suggestions with me. You can find her on her websites

www.heartrome.com and eatingitalyfoodtours.com / eatingeuropetours.com

and social media…
Twitter: @heartrome
Instagram @heartrome

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Living in the Caput Mundi and trying to decipher Italian culture for the English speaking world.

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