1) An incredible pasta made with pistachios and guanciale. Seriously intense, seriously delicious. I will be trying to recreate this dish once I return home. It will be a matter of rendering the fat from the guanciale which is the cured jowl of a wild boar, and adding ground pistachios and ground pecorino…something to that effect. When I get it right, I’ll write a blog post about it. Until then….it’s a lovely memory.
2) A lamb stew. My friend, who is of Italian descent, proclaims the dish just like the one her mother used to make. Hurray for authenticity!
3) And last, but not least, cicoria ripasatta. Cicoria is simply chicory. And I do mean simply. The beauty of Italian contorni or side dishes lies in their simplicity. The chicory has been boiled to tenderness, then cooked again on the stovetop. It is sautéed with garlic, a fair amount of olive oil and maybe a bit of red pepper flakes. Chicory can be bitter, but cooking it this way mellows it; the olive oil makes it tender; the garlic and red pepper flake give it a little kick. Simple genius.
And so ends Rome, Day 3. I have two weeks to go. More food, more wine, more beautiful sights on the horizon. Stay tuned......Day four is filled with art.