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The Cooking and Cuisine of Lazio


Kevin72
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I am feeling badly for all you cooks who are not able to procure fresh favas.  My city is lacking in many many ways, culinarily speaking, but I can usually find favas for 3 months of the year, and I buy them every time I see them.

It's odd, but your comment's just made me remember the buckloads of fresh lovely favas my grandmother (who lives in Halifax) always seems to have on hand. I've never lived anywhere where they seem that readily available - do you have any idea why favas are so available in Halifax? (I'm pretty certain my grandmother buys them at the farmer's market - perhaps there's a local farmer who specializes in them?)

Lexy, 'the farmer's market does carry them; as well, we have a great independent grocer who buys much of his produce from a wholesaler/grocer in Montreal which is the mecca for wonderful, fresh and exotic produce there (it's where my family always shopped growing up in Montreal). This grocer also grows his own baby artichokes so they are aplenty in the late summer and fall. Lucky me.

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Budino di ricotta tart:

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Ricotta mixed with eggs to set up while it bakes.  I topped it with some sour cherry jam.  I really need to remember to take the pic of the pie before I hit it with powdered sugar.

Slurppp!!! I love ricotta tarts, you can find it everywhere in Rome, here is another version: make the dough with half Kg of flour, 250 gr of soft butter, 225 gr of sugar, 3 eggs, grated lemon rind and a pinch of salt

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For the stuffing, mix 400 gr of goat ricotta, 200gr of sugar, chocolate drops, (or, as my grandmother used to do, a little bit of Alchermes or almonds) an egg plus a yolk; bake at 180 C for about 40 minutes.

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Calimero:  Your ravioli is inspiring.  It's wonderful to have someone contribute to the thread from Rome.  Would you be willing to indulge us with a few pictures of what's available at the Campo de' Fiori or your local market now?

Yes, but from my local market not from Campo de' Fiori (and on Wednesday because tomorrow is Festa della Liberazione) :smile:

This is what I will found (plus more I believe): agretti (or barba di frate - monk beard), fava beans, peas

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Broccoli at the end of the season, delicious with sausage

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Puntarelle, a roman classic:

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Use only the fake asparagus, cut lengthwise into thin strips and put them into a bowl of very cold water until they curl up then toss with a vinaigrette made with anchovies fillets, evoo and fresh lemon juice (not vinegar)

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Another classic Roman dish is broccoli soup in skate broth (skate in italian means Razza, in roman dialect we call the razza "Arzilla", so this is what you have to expect in a roman trattoria when you order "minestra di broccoli in brodo d'arzilla").

Making it at home, you'll need broccoli, skate, garlic, salted anchovies, tomatoes fillets, dry white wine, dried chili, evoo and fresh pasta dough

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First at all prapare the skate stock with the cleaned skate, water and a little bit of wine.

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In a saucepan pour evoo, garlic, cleaned anchovies and chili,

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add the broccoli and cover for 5-10 minutes

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add tomatoes,

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cover with the skate broth,

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cut some fresh pasta dough giving a little square shape (quadrucci)

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Add the quadrucci to the soup until done (4-5 minutes)

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Enjoy it with a fresh Bianco from Cerveteri :raz:

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Inspired by this thread, I made Veal Saltimbocca tonight, using the fold-over method, cheap prociutto, and sage from my garden. Very nice with risotto and broccoli.

~ Lori in PA

My blog: http://inmykitcheninmylife.blogspot.com/

My egullet blog: http://forums.egullet.org/index.php?showtopic=89647&hl=

"Cooking is not a chore, it is a joy."

- Julia Child

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Calimero-

Thank you for sharing these Roman specialties and produce with us. Very interesting soup! What happens to the skate? Do you discard it and just use the broth?

mrbigjas-

The fake asparagus I believe, is that piece in the picture he is peeling. It is part of the Puntarelle and it sort of looks like asparagus.

For the third Sunday in a row, we had a Roman meal:

Started off with the most wonderful Ricotta gnocchi from Molto Italiano. Made with homemade ricotta and tossed with tomato sauce, fennel, chillies, carrots, celery and romano cheese. The recipe in the book adds crumbled sausage as well, buit to make it more of a lighter primo I subbed sauteed mushrooms for the sausage. This dish easily was the star of the meal. The dumplings were very very fluffy, light and packed with flavor. I had to stop myself from eating the whole thing. This will make a great one dish meal with the sausage included.

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Main course from Marcella Hazan's Essentials was "Beef Alla Cacciatora"(sp?). I used flat iron steaks for this and I was amazed how tender, beefy and flavorful this quick-cooking inexpensive cut is! I will be buying it more often.

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Contorno was also from the same Hazan book, "Gratin of zucchini with tomatoes". Simple and a good match with the beef.

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Dolci, this I was very proud of, "Fresh strawberry Crostada". The crust is from Alton Brown's third book about baking. It has cornmeal in it (polenta :smile:) and make for a crumbly crunchy crust. The filling is my own invention, and to account for the extreme juiciness of strawberries which might make the crust too soggy, I spread toasted sliced almonds and a little breadcrumbs on the bottom. It worked perfectly and the crostada was awsome with homemade vanilla gelato and a drizzle of honey.

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E. Nassar
Houston, TX

My Blog
contact: enassar(AT)gmail(DOT)com

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Last night (Monday) I fried up some:

Carciofi Alla Guidia- I have to say I much prefer the braised Romanna artichokes. Though very tasty, I felt like the "artichokiness" is lost. Maybe Mario us right and in this application only virgin olive oil should be used to fry them up....

fried zuchinni rounds using Marcella Hazan's simple water/flour batter

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Fried polenta sandwiches stuffed with anchovies and capers. Following mrbigjas advice, I avoided the plain egg coating and isntead used the batter from the zuchinni recipe. It worked great, the outside was crispy and the inside fluffy salty and tangy.

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We also had some leftovers from Sunday, including the crostada :smile: .

E. Nassar
Houston, TX

My Blog
contact: enassar(AT)gmail(DOT)com

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Elie, beautiful food you have been making. I have been wanting to try those gnocchis for some time now - which recipe do you use to make the ricotta? I know there has been some discussion on other threads on recipes that use the curd versus those that use the whey (which is the traditional method I believe).

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Great looking pics and meals, Foodman and Calimero. Calimero, I'm so glad you're sharing some of your wonderful city with us, thank you!

While I agree that the chokes lose some of their "artichokeness" flavor when made alla guidea, I like the potato-chip like quality they pick up and that lingering sweetness to them.

Argh, I forgot I had wanted to make those polenta sandwiches!

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Elie, beautiful food you have been making.  I have been wanting to try those gnocchis for some time now  - which recipe do you use to make the ricotta?  I know there has been some discussion on other threads on recipes that use the curd versus those that use the whey (which is the traditional method I believe).

This recipe of course :smile:

E. Nassar
Houston, TX

My Blog
contact: enassar(AT)gmail(DOT)com

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Great looking pics and meals, Foodman and Calimero.  Calimero, I'm so glad you're sharing some of your wonderful city with us, thank you!

While I agree that the chokes lose some of their "artichokeness" flavor when made alla guidea, I like the potato-chip like quality they pick up and that lingering sweetness to them. 

Argh, I forgot I had wanted to make those polenta sandwiches!

Kevin, did you ever try frying them in EVOO like Mario says? Does it make much of a difference?

I do appreciate the different texture, but for 1.90 or so a choke, the lovely braised ones are so much more worth it.

I followed his advise once and fried some sardine fritters in EVOO. They were good but I felt the oil was certainly wasted.

Man, you have to try those addictive salty polenta sandwiches. Make only half the filling amount though. I had a lot of that leftover.

E. Nassar
Houston, TX

My Blog
contact: enassar(AT)gmail(DOT)com

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I think I did once and my leaden pallete couldn't discern much a difference. The only time I really taste the difference in using EVOO (sorry) as a frying medium is when I'm using dough, it really seems to absorb the flavors. But otherwise I'm of the mind that the high temps do break down the more complex flavors of olive oil. I used pure Olive oil and a healthy bulk of vegetable oil.

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What a wealth of wonderful posts! It's 3 in the afternoon and it's hard to look at these after skipping lunch.

However, I wanted to express delight in seeing the "friars's beards"--something I don't ever recall seeing in Tuscany. After being so pleased about the tender green fava beans I found within less than perfect pods, I felt green with envy while looking at the supply purchased at Calimero's market.

And Elie, your crostada is exquisite :wub: !

I didn't realize that Mario's ricotta gnocchi are considered a Roman specialty. They were the first thing I prepared from his cookbook and the reason I returned the copy from my library to buy my own. I use the Zuni Cafe cookbook to prepare the gnocchi, but did follow MB's instructions for everything else faithfully even though the dish seemed excessive. I loved it! It's one of those things that represents all the basic food groups so well that with a little bread on the side and a glass of wine, you don't have to feel guilty about being too lazy to prepare a salad or anything else.

"Viciousness in the kitchen.

The potatoes hiss." --Sylvia Plath

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It's one of those things that represents all the basic food groups so well that with a little bread on the side and a glass of wine, you don't have to feel guilty about being too lazy to prepare a salad or anything else.

That is so true :biggrin:

Something in the intro to that recipe made me conclude that it is Roman. I don't have the book at work (Occasionally I actually do), so I am not sure what it was.

I know we've mentioned this before, but I sooooo wish books like Marcella Hazan's Essentials for example listed the region for each recipe as a small subtitle or in the index.

E. Nassar
Houston, TX

My Blog
contact: enassar(AT)gmail(DOT)com

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I did the ricotta gnocchi last year with sausage and they were a one dish meal then, as well. Very satisfying and I also recall fondly that light texture they have. They were part of Mario's Roman shows, as well.

Normally Marcella's pretty good about what dish comes from what region, though now that I think of it, it's more when she's dealing with "foreign" regions to her, i.e., the South.

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Oooooooo!

By the end of April, we should have a few more carbonaras, don't you think? :wink:

*****

Elie & Kevin:

I was wondering if using ricotta made with goat's milk really made a difference in the Batali recipe? I just was looking for something to do with all the ricotta I picked up on sale, so did not replicate his gnocchi.

******

Finally, I realize it is not as good as gelato (which is supposed to have been eaten in one form or another in Ancient Rome), but after finishing up my free Ben & Jerry's cone, I popped into a bookstore and saw de Blasi's fairly new complement to her book on Northern Italian cooking which I know Kevin likes. Her treatment of Southern Italy includes Lazio and both the islands of Sicily and Sardigna. It looks really good.

"Viciousness in the kitchen.

The potatoes hiss." --Sylvia Plath

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is anyone gonna cook this one?

pizza stuffed with crackling fried scraps of pork fat

ok really i just like the translation of the title.

edited yet again to say that while a lot of the mario recipes on the food network site give you a 'recipe expired' link, a lot of the roman themed molto marios are still there. look for episodes starting with MB2C.... some interesting stuff there.

Edited by mrbigjas (log)
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Oooooooo!

By the end of April, we should have a few more carbonaras, don't you think?  :wink:

*****

Elie & Kevin:

I was wondering if using ricotta made with goat's milk really made a difference in the Batali recipe?  I just was looking for something to do with all the ricotta I picked up on sale, so did not replicate his gnocchi.

I did not use goat milk ricotta, I made my ricotta with whole cow's milk. I would think the goat one will have more of a pungent goat-cheese taste.

E. Nassar
Houston, TX

My Blog
contact: enassar(AT)gmail(DOT)com

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My own regional aberrations should make Natasha feel better.

Kevin, thanks for the validation! I just wasn't sure...

By the end of April, we should have a few more carbonaras, don't you think?  :wink:

Most definitely. I have been meaning to join everyone several times last but the boy at home wants tacos or some other dinner. Hopefully, sometime this week. All the pics look delicious!

Saturday, I had Pasta all'Amatriciana for lunch. My tomatoes were not the best but it was still pretty good.

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I picked up some baby artichokes the other day but I am undecided what to do with them. Right now I am leaning to a shrimp, baby artichoke and asparagus risotto.

N.

edited to add picture

Edited by natasha1270 (log)
"The main thing to remember about Italian food is that when you put your groceries in the car, the quality of your dinner has already been decided." – Mario Batali
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Mr. BJ--that recipe for stuffed pizza, while not as clear as it could be, does indeed respond to quite a few pork and fat-loving eGullet members.

Just reporting that I made something I am surprised no one else has documented by now: Stracciatella, as in the Roman version of egg-drop soup with lemon, the egg stirred quickly into rags, mixed with the ubiquitous combination of Parmigiano-Reggiano and Pecorino Romano cheeses, with lemon juice added at the end. Nothing exciting, actually rather blah despite good stock. Just good to have as a first course if you need something quick to tide you over until a main course is ready and the temperature's dropped. This, by the way, is traditional for Easter, too.

Edited by Pontormo (log)

"Viciousness in the kitchen.

The potatoes hiss." --Sylvia Plath

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Per request from Pontormo, tonight I made a dish from the Ancient Roman cookbook of Apicius* Pullum oxyzomum aka Chicken Sour. Here's the original "recipe":

Chicken sour: A good-sized glass of oil, a smaller glass of broth, and the smallest measure of vinegar, 6 scruples of pepper, parsley and a bunch of leeks.

And my Quick & Dirty modern recipe:

In an oven proof pot, brown 2 chicken thighs in 1/2 cup olive oil.

Then add in 1 small bunch diced ramps (@10 wild leeks)

Let cook for a moment then add:

1/3-1/2 c. chicken broth (liquamen**)

1/3 c. white wine vinegar

1/3 c. minced parsley

1/8 tsp white pepper

Transfer to the oven and bake at 350 for about 20 mins.

Remove from oven. Pull out chicken & set aside.

Boil sauce down for @ 5 minutes & serve over chicken...

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Served with Artichoke tortellini in a spinach-citrus sauce, and some extra ramp greens wilted with prosiciutto.

*For those who don't have a stack of Ancient roman cookbooks on their shelves a translation of Apicius can be found

here.

**For those who follow such things, I subscribe to the Vehling "heresy" re liquamen vs. garum...

Do you suffer from Acute Culinary Syndrome? Maybe it's time to get help...

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I know we've mentioned this before, but I sooooo wish books like Marcella Hazan's Essentials for example listed the region for each recipe as a small subtitle or in the index.

Couldn't agree with you more.

Pontormo, I just came across my notes on Stracciatella last night and was thinking the same thing - I have some fresh chicken stock so I think it will make it onto the menu before the month is out.

Oh, Kevin, my copy of Downie's book has arrived, I can't wait to sink my teeth into it. :biggrin:

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Mr. BJ--that recipe for stuffed pizza, while not as clear as it could be, does indeed respond to quite a few pork and fat-loving eGullet members.

oh i know--i'm one of them. i just loved the translation, is all.

tonight i used the frozen favas i got from the asian market to make a fava puree, which had some mint and parsley in it, and which we served with pecorino. these favas were significantly larger than the fresh ones i usually buy in the pod, probably 3/4 of an inch long, and they had a much more noticeable fava-y, bean-y odor. not sure i liked this as much, but on the other hand i'm usually buying them fresh right when they come out, when they're young enough that you practically don't have to do the second shelling, so maybe this is what people associate with fava bean flavor.

it's kinda like what we were talking about upthread with the limas, and the difference between baby limas and what most people think of as lima beans.

i also made uova in brodetto, which is a recipe i found on that food network site of molto mario shows. i don't actually know if this is a rome/lazio recipe--is it? it was in the midst of several shows that seemed roman in theme, but this show itself was called 'eggs eggs eggs'--it included a carbonara recipe as well. another show that the same recipe appeared on was called 'scrippelle mbusse' which from my minimal research makes me think the dish might be from abruzzo?

i also made a green bean salad, with lemon/oil dressing. this was based on a recipe i found on about.com's site about roman food, for green bean and tuna salad. but i didn't include the tuna, so yeah, tonight besides the favas, i guess it was my lamest night yet. the eggs were damn good though.

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That was indeed an Abruzzo show, but uova en brodetto is found in quite a few regions of the South, so I wouldn't sweat the authenticity.

Pontormo, I agree with Foodman on the goat milk ricotta used for gnocchi. I think it would actually fit in quite well, the tanginess against the fatty sausage ragu.

Gotta work fast and cook a meal out of the Downie book before the month is up, Shaya! Let us know what you think of the book.

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