Eating Rome.

I eat a lot. I LIKE eating a lot. I’ve tried diets, I’ve tried the no-gluten-no-sugar-no-alcohol thing.

What a fucking waste. Listen, I will eat “clean” in the sense that I try to limit Junk Food down to hangover breakfast sandwiches, and leave potato chips and candies aside, but there is no way I can stop eating the things that I love to eat.

I have come to realize that, alongside travelling, food makes me happy. Cooking is my zen, my stress relief when I need to escape from my crazy stressful job. I go home and I make delicious food, whether it be slow roasted beef stews or miso gravy with sweet potato.

Eating and Travelling go hand in hand. At least they should go hand in in hand, if you travel properly. Whenever people ask me what my plans are for visiting a place, I start listing off meals.

The Coliseum
The Coliseum

While in Rome this year, I had two things that I was not leaving without having (again.) Well, maybe 3 things. Ok, 4 or 5 things.

First was a deep, rich pasta with Amatriciana sauce. Amatriciana is a classic roman dish: tomato, slight spice, guanciale, pecorino. It is tangy & bright while simultaneously being warm & rich. The chunks of guanciale give it a heartiness that one would expect from a colder climate, but the vivid tomato taste marks it down as wholly Italian.

A healthy, meaty, rich plate of Rigatoni All'amatriciana
A healthy, meaty, rich plate of Rigatoni All’amatriciana

Ok. Not a great photo. But the flavour was unreal. We had an incredible dinner at an empty restaurant in Trastevere. The entire staff was comprised of the waiter (and owner) and the cook (his wife). The antipasti could have been a whole meal: grilled zucchini, battered eggplant, fried zucchini flowers stuffed with mozzarella, roasted peppers with garlic oil – I didn’t think I could eat anything else, until the Amatriciana arrived.

Perfect. It had the tang, the zip, the warmth: everything you want from a good Amatriciana. I just wish I could remember the name of the restaurant! I was so busy eating that I forgot to take the name down. EDIT: My friend told me the name! Checco il Carrettiere

Second on my list was Spaghetti alle Vongole – Spaghetti with clams. Another classic Italian dish. It is more common in the south, but I was craving it.

Spaghetti Alle Vongole
Spaghetti Alle Vongole

On our last night in Rome we went to another restaurant in Trastevere, Zi’mberto. The Spaghetti was creamy, despite not having any cream. The clams themselves become the main flavour of the dish, but so delicately offset by garlic, white wine and parsley.

My other MUST haves were a little more flexible

Gelato:

Lemon & Cantelope Gelato
Lemon & Cantelope Gelato

Grigliata Mista:

Mixed Grilled vegetables. An awesome afternoon snack.
Mixed Grilled vegetables. An awesome afternoon snack.

And, of course, Aperol Spritz with some side snacks:

Aperol Spritz with sides
Aperol Spritz with snacks

They have a sort of “happy hour” where you pay a set amount for drinks and they bring you a plate of food. The sandwiches were as unappetizing as they look, but the arancini and deep-fried Mozzerella were quite good.

And now I want to make all of this for dinner. What’s your favourite Italian meal? What’s your favourite travel meal?

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