March 30, 2016

Tasting Rome by Katie Parla

Tasting Rome: Fresh Flavors and Forgotten Recipes from an Ancient City
My rating: 4 of 5 spoons


Ahhhh! Food from my favorite country! Although I’ve never spent time in Rome itself apart from the airport (another story in itself!), I love the flavors of Italy and I waited with great anticipation for this book. It does not disappoint!

Tasting Rome is not just a cookbook. Filled with history, tidbits of information and photos that draw you in and make you long to be there, Tasting Rome is an experience. After the introduction, a section on Rome: Then and Now and a section entitled About This Book (none of which should be skipped over!), the book is divided into sections entitled Snacks, Starters and Street Food, Classic and Variations, Cucina Ebraica (food from the Jewish Quarter), Quinto Quarto (The Fifth Quarter, or offal based recipes), Verdure (Vegetables), Bread and Pizza, Sweets, and Drinks.

One of the things I love about Italian food is the simplicity of so many of its dishes. For instance, Insalata di Misticanza (Micro Green Salad with Hazelnuts and Pecorino), there’s only six ingredients, but those six ingredients combine for a salad that is both simple and delightful. Gnocchi di patate di Arcangelo Dandini (Arcangelo Dandini’s Potato Gnocchi) have 4 ingredients plus the sauce of your choice. Now, I have had gnocchi one other time in my life. They were premade and vacuum sealed and they were terrible! Heavy and chewy, they were not pleasant to eat, so I assumed I just didn’t like gnocchi until I learned years later that they are supposed to be light and fluffy. I just never got around to making them myself…until now. I’ve heard getting the texture right on gnocchi can be difficult and I believe it. I was still happy with how these turned out. There were a little denser and chewier than I think they really should have been, but were still very good. I’ll definitely try these again!

I’m currently searching for ‘nduja, a spreadable spicy sausage from Calabria so I can try the ‘Nduja in Carrozza, a take on Mozzarella in Carrozza where instead of mozzarella sandwiched between bread and fried, this recipe puts the ‘nduja between two slices of mozzarella and bread it before deep frying. It looks and sounds amazing!!

The Suppli Classici and Suppli Cacio e Pepe are Roman variations of the Arancini I so love from Sicily. The first is a mixture of rice, chicken livers and pork sausage in a tomato-based sauce inside, while the second is a simpler one with lots of black pepper throughout and mozzarella in the center.

There is so much to learn and love in this cookbook. Take a visit to Rome without ever leaving your home! I’m sure you’ll enjoy it!

I received a copy of this book through the Blogging for Books program for my honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

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