For me arriving in Roma I go directly to GUSTO! The perfect crossroads in Rome. Gage your hunger or your mood, you have a handful of choices that you know hands down will be good. This is a mosaic of food and drink where you can actually feel the passion. I call it “Planet Gusto”, whether it is for breakfast at the Cafeteria for a frothy cappuccino and warm cornetto or a panini later before lunch, The Rotisserie, Gusto Attica Trattoria, Pizzeria Roman-style, Osteria, Formaggeria, or Cocktail & Wine Bar. You can dine outdoors 12 months of the year at each hub. And its back drop is the Museo Nationale Romano with statues lite up in the evenings. How marvelous!
I am crazy for the Osteria, it is warm and welcoming. Everyday a 4:30 you get a glass of wine and a complimentary buffet of anti-pasta; they were one of the firsts to try their hand at Roman 10 Euro Happy Hour. But they also have their own Formaggerie and a cheese board from there is just heavenly. Or just a simple plate of Cacio e Pepe, one of the simplest traditional Roman dishes. The Rotisserie offers a huge wood burning fireplace cooking whole chickens, guinea fowl, piglets making the aromas whet your taste buds from afar. And then the Pizzeria, offering Roman style in a square pan or round it has a thicker crust edge. But where do you finds classics as well as those topped with garden fresh zucchini flowers or a whole oozing ricotta cheese from the strainer – top quality raw ingredients. Gusto also has a Sunday Brunch if you are not dining with the family. So whenever you land it’s a good time to head to Gusto!
A simple dinner of Cacio e Pepe has so much flavor and satisfaction that it is hard to believe it couldn’t be simpler to make, literally "cheese and pepper", this minimalist cacio e pepe recipe is like a stripped-down mac and cheese. Made with Tonnarelli from Lazio, a fresh egg pasta shaped something like spaghetti except that it's thicker, square and often has a rough surface that hangs on nicely to sauces. Since I don’t make fresh pasta at home with my chitarra, which I have. I love it made with Bucatini lots of strands to coat with the pecorino cheese. Use the Pecorino Romano DOP as it is the aromatic sheep’s cheese, savory and slightly spicy and freshly ground at home. There are several procedures, but the secret to making the real cheese and pepper is the same for everyone and is in the creaming. The right creaminess of the ingredients, in fact, can be achieved by choosing to mix the pasta with cold condiments. The important thing is to remember that the creaming must not take place on the fire to prevent the cheese from creating lumps thus removing creaminess. If I can do it you can easily achieve success.
La Carbonara, another traditional dish typical of Roman cuisine, is a relatively young recipe, but fully entered in tradition. To the guanciale and to the pecorino, the egg is added as an ingredient. Most Americans have probably heard of Pancetta, which is essentially pork belly that is salt and pepper cured. ... Guanciale is the pork jowl (cheek) cured in a mix of salt and spices. The differences are slight but they're definitely there. Try it Carbonara is another fast and delicious start to any Italian meal.
Cacio e Pepe INGREDIENTS
· Kosher salt
· 6 oz. pasta (such as egg Tonnarellii or bucatini,)
· 3 Tbsp. unsalted butter, cubed, divided
· 1 tsp. freshly cracked black pepper
· 1.4 cup finely grated Grana Padano or Parmesan
· 1 full cup finely grated Pecorino