Oh, Gnocchi! Those soft, doughy dumplings

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Delicious gnocchi dinner and wine! The plate came out bubbling hot from the oven, but the smell of the fresh mozzarella and tomato sauce made it almost impossible for me to wait.  The pasta was perfectly “al dente” and the crispy, broiled mozzarella on top, mixed with the rich tomato sauce, made for a great combination of flavors.  Hopefully I will be back for this dish again before we leave! Jacquelyn O’Neill

Editor’s note: The wine is Castelli Romani from central Italy’s Lasio region. It is named after the 14 hillside and lakeside villages in the Colli Albani hills, which once played host to the nobility of ancient Rome. during the summer months. 

An Italian Treat: Gelato!

Photo by Marian Pantaleon

Photo by Marian Pantaleon

Ice cream is my vice. I literally have dreams about the rich and velvety taste of this frozen treat. So ever since we landed in Rome I have been craving to try ice cream’s European counterpart, gelato. Traveling back from the Spanish Steps our entire group was on the hunt for gelato. Tired, yet excited we stumbled into a little cafe filled with pastries, espresso and a multitude of gelato flavors. The smell of sugar was intoxicating and drew me straight to the gelato case. Continue reading

Pizza: Italian style

IMGP2753What first comes to mind when we think Italian food? Pizza! After sampling the margherita al prosciutto at both the Trattoria and Galilei’s Pizzeria, it is safe to say this creation is on a whole different level here. The pizza has thin, delightfully flaky crust, with the slimmest layers of tomato sauce and mozzarella cheese, all topped off with large slices of prosciutto. While it isn’t as fat as its American counterpart, this pizza will fill you up quick! The only thing that makes this mouthwatering treat better is enjoying it in the intimate, relaxed spaces of the pizzeria among friends. – Heather Marsh

Cucina de Italia

Photo by Jessie Bever

Photo by Jessie Bever

Pasta!

Our first lunch in Rome was at a restaurant called Clementina’s.  I ordered pasta with tomato sauce, cheese, and bacon. Though the large rigatoni was a little surprising, I could immediately smell the welcoming aroma of tomato when my plate arrived. The noodles were cooked al dente, so they were chewy and much less awkward to consume than long stringy strands. Unlike pasta as Americans think of it, this dish had incredible flavor without overwhelming amounts of sauce or toppings. It was obvious from the crunch of the bacon to the sweetness of the tomato sauce that every ingredient was fresh, and the substance of the meal didn’t suffer at all for its simplicity. – Rebecca Patterson