The best of Eternal City classic cuisine is deceptively simple. Made with just a handful of ingredients. But they are all in pristine condition. It’s very similar to other regional Italian dishes. When I first returned to New York from Rome, my first Italian editor said that if a dish contained more than four or he five ingredients, it wasn’t real Italian food. . They are words for living.
Thankfully, Rome is a pretty cosmopolitan city when it comes to wine. Most other Italian regions focus more on their own prizes, so options are more limited. Even the major wines are not well known.
Delve into Roman Cuisine
So many Roman dishes focus on the savory and elemental intersection of pecorino, parmigiano and select pork fat. The umami is at the heart of the savory cheese and just the right amount of pork fat.
Think cacio e pepe, a pile of spaghetti dressed in a blizzard of pecorino, parmigiano and black pepper. Carbonara is a step up with eggs and pancetta.
These dishes are rich, comfort foods that need a refreshing glass of wine to cut through the fat and make them palatable. Think frothy, acidic wines like Prosecco or Franciacorta. There are also high-acid, elegant wines made from rare grapes such as Kerner, such as those produced by Abbazia di Novacella.
Campania’s refreshing white wines, such as Fiano and Greco di Tufo, are excellent accompaniments to these dishes, as are Sicilian Grillo and Catarratto blends. Neither region probably indulges in cheese as much as the Romans, but their wine does its job.
big red sauce challenge
Amatricana is a typical Roman dish with pancetta and red sugar. Most tomato-based sauces deserve red wine to complete the tomato astringency. If you want to take a notch in a similar vein, perhaps a little Chinon from the Loire Valley (don’t tell me Italians hate me).
Two other staple dishes in Roman slang are angelo scottadit (roasted lamb chops) and oxtail stew. Both are gods and require a greater combination. So here’s the potential to step up to supertuscans like Tentuta Sette Ponti’s Oreno, Douro Valley reds like Quinta do Crust, and Niepoorto’s affordable Twisted Label. The Portuguese were familiar with suckling pigs, among other meats, and these meaty red wines do the job.
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