Spaghetti alla Gricia

The Italian region of Lazio (which is the region around Rome) has some of the best simple pasta dishes: Spaghetti alla Carbonara, Spaghetti Cacio e Pepe, Spaghetti all’Amatriciana, and Spaghetti alla Gricia. The ingredients that all of them have in common are spaghetti, pecorino romano cheese, and freshly ground black pepper. Three of them have guanciale, two of them use the pasta cooking water, one has eggs, and one has tomatoes.

I had not blogged about alla Gricia yet, which is also known as Amatriciana ‘in Bianco’ because it is the same as Amatriciana but without the tomatoes. The recipe for alla Gricia is very simple: spaghetti, guanciale, pecorino romano, salt, and black pepper. It is not only very simple but also very tasty! Continue reading “Spaghetti alla Gricia”

Penne all’Arrabbiata

When I did a riff on a combination of Sugo alla Napoletana and Penne all’Arrabbiata to meet Richard’s Chilehead Challenge, I realised that I had not blogged about Penne all’Arrabbiata before. This is a classic dish from Lazio, the region around Rome, of pasta with a spicy tomato sauce. “Arrabbiata” means angry, referring to the spiciness of the sauce. Like all Italian classics, it is a simple dish with a limited number of ingredients, but a lot of flavor. It doesn’t take more time to prepare this than it takes to boil the pasta. Continue reading “Penne all’Arrabbiata”

Lamb with Lemon-Egg Sauce (Abbacchio Brodettato)

As I mentioned in my earlier posts this week, Easter is celebrated in Italy by eating egg and lamb. So it was a given that the main course for our Easter dinner would be lamb. To make it even more appropriate for Easter, the sauce of this lamb dish is made with an egg yolk. Abbacchio Brodettato is a lamb dish from Lazio, the region around Rome. Abbacchio is suckling lamb, but any young lamb will do to make this dish. This dish has a very original taste, as lamb is not often combined with prosciutto, lemon, and egg yolk. It works very well and the lamb is very tender. It is almost like eating white meat, and therefore it can be no surprise that a full-bodied oaked white wine is a better pairing for this than red wine. Continue reading “Lamb with Lemon-Egg Sauce (Abbacchio Brodettato)”

Lamb a Scottadito

Easter is the celebration of spring, and in Italy this means eating eggs and lamb. Even though it is snowing and Easter is colder than Christmas this year and therefore there is no suckling lamb available yet, I am following that tradition by preparing Abbacchio a Scottadito. This is a piatto tipico from Lazio, the region of Rome. Abbacchio means suckling lamb, and although the dish is still called abbacchio it is more usually prepared with regular lamb. The lamb should be as young as you can find; the lamb I used was 4 months old. Continue reading “Lamb a Scottadito”

Coda alla Vaccinara (Oxtail Stewed in Tomato Sauce)

All regions of Italy have their own traditional dishes, referred to as piatti tipici. I like to cook my way through Italy by trying piatti tipici  from different regions. Coda alla Vaccinara is a typical dish from the cucina povera (poor man’s kitchen) of Rome (Lazio). Oxtail is part of what is called the quinto quarto (the fifth quarter), the less desirable parts of an animal that remain when all the nice parts have been taken. As often with traditional Italian dishes, there are many different versions. I made an elaborate version with  raisins, pine nuts, and cocoa powder in the sauce. The sauce can be served over penne rigate or rigatoni, which is called Rigatoni al Sugo di Coda. Continue reading “Coda alla Vaccinara (Oxtail Stewed in Tomato Sauce)”