Rome Then & Now: The Truth about Fettuccine Alfredo

The original fettuccine Alfredo, made with just Parmesan cheese, pepper and butter.

This blog post was originally posted on September 27, 2019 and was updated on January 29, 2021. Fettuccine Alfredo—the real thing, anyway—is served at just two restaurants in Italy, but its popularity has exploded abroad. Everyone has heard of fettuccine Alfredo, sometimes called “Alfredo pasta” abroad. It’s so popular outside Italy that when I lived […]

Behind the Bite: Roman Pasta

Carbonara pasta with red wine

This blog post was originally posted on March 18, 2019 and was updated on January 26, 2021. There’s something comforting about the dependable, the quotidian, the downright normal. Roman pasta is just that. Amatriciana, carbonara, gricia and cacio e pepe are the main pastas of Rome, and most restaurants have at least two of them on the […]

Best-Ever Traditional Roman Carbonara Recipe

Carbonara pasta with red wine

Forget everything you think you know about carbonara. Outside of Italy, carbonara pastas are often unrecognizable. Drenched in a thick cream sauce and studded with peas and bacon, these international adaptations are a far cry from the traditional carbonara recipe used in Rome. But here in the Eternal City, real carbonara is one of the […]

The 10 Best Pasta Dishes to Eat in Rome Before You Die

Pasta alla gricia

This blog post was originally posted on March 28, 2019 and was updated on September 29, 2020. Pasta is the gorgeous yellow ribbon that binds Italian cuisine together, and no trip to Rome would be complete without it. Every region of Italy has at least one traditional pasta dish to its name. And with a […]

7 Unknown Restaurants Where the Locals Eat in Rome

Bucatini all'amatriciana is one of the quintessential Roman pasta dishes you need to try.

This blog post was originally posted on March 4, 2019 and was updated on September 23, 2020. As famous as its sights and museums are, Rome is a city of millions of ordinary people, most of whom have a favorite local restaurant “Eating like a local” is a phrase thrown around a lot in travel […]

The Top 5 Spots for Cacio e Pepe in Rome You Need to Try ASAP

Cacio e pepe pasta

This blog post was originally posted on February 2, 2019 and was updated on September 8, 2020. Cacio e pepe is the classic flavor of Rome, and one of its best and most beloved dishes. Cacio is Roman dialect for “cheese”—in this case, assertive sheep’s-milk pecorino romano—and pepe is black pepper. Put it all together, […]

How to Read an Italian Menu (And Order Like a Local)

Plate of carbonara pasta

One of the best parts of traveling is experiencing the culture through food, and in many cases, eating out can be the highlight of your trip.  But how are you supposed to eat like a local if you don’t understand how to order off the menu? While understanding how to read an Italian menu can […]

Classic Roman Cacio e Pepe Recipe

Cacio e pepe pasta

Forget bolognese, and cast carbonara aside. When you’re in Rome, the first pasta you need to try is cacio e pepe. This is Roman cooking at its best. Just take a handful of ingredients, cook them with love, and you get one delicious dish. Cacio e pepe means “cheese and pepper” in Italian, and that’s […]

How Italians Do Christmas: The Foods You’ll Find on Every Table

Italian Antipasti platter

Christmas week in Italy means one thing: feasting.  Like any other country, Italy has its own Christmas traditions. Italian Christmas foods are predictably distinguished by their variety and richness, though.  Christmas is a time for abbondanza, literally, “abundance.” Italians sit down for long (we’re talking six or seven hours) feasts of many courses, even more […]