Roman Dishes
 Top 10 Features of Roman Dishes

Click to enlargeThis savoury veal dish is so good they call it "jumps-in-the-mouth". A veal escalope is layered with sage leaves and prosciutto then sautèed in white wine.

Bucatini all'amatriciana
Click to enlargeNamed after Amatrice, the northern Lazio town high in the Abruzzi mountains where it originated. The sauce consists of tomatoes mixed with Italian bacon - guanciale (pork check) or Pancetta (pork belly) - laced with chilli papper and and liberally dusted with grated Pecorino romano cheese. The classic pasta accompaniment are bucatini (thick, hollow speghetti). The original amatriciana binaca version (before tomatoes, a New world food, entared Italian cuisine) adds parsley and butter.

Carciofi alla romana
Click to enlargeTender Italian artichokes, often laced with garlic and mint, are braised in a mixtur of olive oil and water.

Abbacchio scottaditto
Click to enlargeRoasted Roman spring lamd, so succulent the name claims you'll "burn your fingers" in your haste to eat it. When abbacchio (lamb) is unavailable, once the spring slaughter is over, they switch to less tender agnello (young mutton).

Spaghetti alla cabonara
Click to enlargeThe piping hot pasta is immediately mixed with a raw egg, grated Parmesan and black pepper so that the eggy mixtur cooks on to the strands of spaghetti themselves. It is then tossed with pieces of pancetta (bacon). There's a local legend that the recipe was born out of US army ration after World War II (powderd bacon and eggs mix), but no one seems to have proven or discarded the theory.

Carciofi alla giudia
Click to enlargeArtichokes, first flattened then fried. This Typical Roman Jewish dish is often accompanied by fried courgette (zucchini) flowers stuffed with muzzarella cheese and anchovies.

Click to enlargeIt may sound revolting but it's actually delicious: suckling calf intestines boiled with its mother's milk still clotted inside. Usually the intestines are chopped.

Coda alla baccinara
Click to enlargeOxtail braised in celery and tomato broth. Like pajata, this is a product of trying to make something out of the quinto quarto (the unusable "fifth fourth" of the day's butchering), which was part of the take-home pay of 19th-century slaughterhouse workers. Checchino dal 1887, the restaurant that came up with this delicacy, is one of Rome's finest.

Gnocchi alla romana
Click to enlargeThese tiny potato-and -flour dumplings, dense and chewy, originated in northern Italy, but Rome has since adopted then as her own - the city even has a traditional "gnocchi day" every thursday, when they are added to most restaurant menus. Gnocchi are best served with a fresh tomato sauce, although they're also good with a gorgonzola cheese sauce or simply with sage leaves and melted butter.

Cacio e Pepe
Click to enlargeSometime the simplest dishes are among the best. Perfectly al dente ("white a bite") spaghetti is toseed hot with cracked black pepper and grated Pecorino romano (a local sharp, aged sheep's milk cheese rather similar to Parmesan).