A typical Roman pasta dish: Spaghetti Cacio e Pepe

Commonly and simply called Cacio e Pepe, this is a pasta dish typical of the Roman cuisine. In this simple dish you can find the majesty of Rome but at the same time a city which doesn’t forget the simplicity of its districts. As its name suggests, the ingredients are very simple and include only black pepper, Roman pecorino cheese and pasta.  

Numerous are the versions, original or revisited, that you can find in the city but each of them have one thing in common: they are the best you can eat once in Rome. 

pasta cacio e pepe

pasta cacio e pepe

How to recreate the recipe at home? 

Follow this simple steps: 

Ingredients: 

  • 320g spaghetti  
  • Q.s. black pepper in grains 
  • 200gr Roman pecorino cheese (to grate) 
  • Q.s. salt 

Procedure: 

  1. First of all, grate the pecorino cheese and then boil water in a saucepan and finally add salt to it as much as you want. Now you can cook the spaghetti.  
  2. In the meantime, put the black pepper on a cutting board and squach them with a pestle or a grinder. In this way, the pepper emanate more its aroma.  
  3. Pour half of the black pepper into a nonstick and wide pan, toast them at low heat while kniding them, then blend with some of the cooking water used for the pasta.  

    A typical Roman pasta dish

    A typical Roman pasta dish

  4. Drip the spaghetti (keep aside the cooking water used), pour them into the pan and continue the cooking with the seasoning.  
  5. Move them continuously with pliers and add some water if needed to proceed with the cooking of the pasta.  
  6. While the pasta is finishing its cooking, pour half of the pecorino cheese in a bowl and add a wooden spoon of cooking water to the bowl. 
  7. Knid energetically with a whip. Add the remaining cheese, keeping a little part for the final seasoning. 
  8. If needed add some water in order to obtain a cream with the right consistency and without clumps. 
  9. Turn off the flame of the pan with pasta and pour the cheese cream while kniding continuously the spaghetti. Pour also the remaining cheese.  
  10. Now serve the spaghetti cacio e pepe and savour it with all its cream. 

Suggestion: it is suggested to consume the dish immediately and avoid any type of conservation. 

Cacio e Pepe

Cacio e Pepe

If you are pasta lover, you can’t miss to taste it at least once. This is the perfect occasion for you: join the Afternoon Food Tour with Beer Tasting in Rome 

A real example of the classic Italian pastries: Cannoncini

To not confuse with the Sicilian Cannolo, the Cannoncini are a real example of the classic Italian pastries in the world. They consist of tube-shaped shells of puff pastry filled with a sweet and creamy filling.

The cannoncini, called also as Cannoli Piemontesi are generally decorated with biscuit grains or with Nocciola Piemonte, a variety of nuts typical from this region of Italy.

The preparation of these pastries is very simple and few steps you obtain little delicious pastries to share with your lovers.

Cannoncini

Cannoncini

Here below how to create your homemade cannoncini: 

Ingredients for 13 cannoncini:

  • 230gr ready puff pastry
  • 1 egg
  • Sugar q.s.

Ingredients for the filling:

  • 250ml milk
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 25gr fine-ground flour
  • ½ vanilla pod
  • 75gr sugar

To garnish:

  • Nuts grain q.s.

Preparation of the wafers:

How to shape

How to shape

Take the roll of puff pastry and cut some strips (about 2,5-3cm wide and 30cm long) using a cooking wheel. Scramble the egg and use it to paint the puff pastry in all of its length without covering the edges. Use a stamp for cannoli to obtain the shape desired and paint the surface with the egg. Sprinkle the sugar on the cannoncini and lay them on a grill laid on the oven baking-pan. Bake the cannoncini for about 18-20 minutes at 200°. When ready let them completely cool down.

Preparation of the filling:

Heat up the milk and vanilla in a saucepan, in a bowl knid egg yolks and sugar and then add flour. With pliers take the vanilla from the milk and pour the liquid into the mixture and knid all together. Put the mixture on the flame and knid it until the cream will thicken. Transfer the cream in a bowl and let it cool down.

To finish:

Once the cream is cold, fill the cannoncini with the cream using a pastry cook pocket. Complete the dessert with the nuts and serve them.

Different toppings - Sicilian Cannoli

Different toppings – Sicilian Cannoli

Suggestion: fill the cannoncini only before serving them in order to not lose their characteristic crunchiness and it is not suggested to freeze them.

Nowadays the cannoncini might not be known as the Sicilian cannoli but that every food lover should taste them once in Italy.

Where can you taste them? Come to Milan and join our incredible Food Tour!

Meet your local guide in Milan: Veronica

Here we go again with another interesting interview! This time we go back to Milan and meet the local guide Veronica. Enthusiastic to meet new people coming all over the world, during the tour Veronica will make you feel at home!

So continue to read and learn more about her!

Hi! I'm Veronica

Hi! I’m Veronica

Name:  Veronica

Nationality and Hometown? Italian, I was born and live in Busto Arsizio, a little country not far from Milan.

Name of tour you lead and where: I lead all the tours available in Milan, in the specific: Food tours, Segway tours, the Duomo tour and the street art and tasting tour.

If you are not from the city you are based in for tours, what originally brought you there? I studied at the university in Milan and fell in love with the city!

Your favorite part of the tour: Interacting with people coming all over the world

Favorite Local Restaurant in your city: The Osteria dei Vecchi Sapori in Isola district.

One thing visitors to your city can’t miss: Duomo and its magnificent architecture, details and history

Favorite Travel Quote?  Travel, eat, chill, repeat!

What’s next on your travel bucket list? Messico

What is your favorite Italian city to travel to?  The Eternal City of Rome

What’s your best travel tip for those coming to visit Italy? Try to leave the city not only like a tourist but also like a local and breathe the different atmosphere you find everywhere

Risotto alla Milanese

Risotto alla Milanese

What’s the food that someone must try in your city before leaving? Milanese risotto

What’s the most memorable experience you’ve had on one of your tours? One of the clients recently was so impressed by the Duomo that started crying in front of its beauty.

What do you like most about leading tours? Getting in contact with many different cultures and stories

What makes your tour unique? I always try to let clients feel like at home among friends

During the Milan Food Walking Tour

During the Milan Food Walking Tour

If Milan is your next destination and you are interested in some Italian tasting experience, book with us your Milan Food Tour and ask for Veronica! Promise, you won’t regret it!

A typical Tuscan pastry: Budino di Riso

A typical Tuscan pastry: Budino di Riso

Named after its principal ingredient for the filling, the Budino di riso is a typical Tuscan pastry, specifically coming from Siena.

This little pastry, eaten mostly during breakfast and accompanied by a cup of cappuccino, makes everyone droll not only for its cute appearance but also for its flavour. If you are travelling in Italy, you will surely encounter this dessert all over Florence, so come and try it!

A typical Tuscan pastry: Budino di riso

A typical Tuscan pastry: Budino di riso

There is a good news! It’s easy to bake! Here’s below its recipe.

Ingredients:

For the shortcrust pastry:

  • 200gr superfine flour
  • 100gr butter
  • 100gr sugar
  • 2 egg yolks
  • grated lemon peel

For the filling:

  • 1/2 lt milk
  • 150gr rice
  • 4 spoons sugar
  • 4gr baking powder
  • aroma (lemon or vanilla)
  • powdered sugar
Budino di Riso

Budino di Riso

Procedure:

Suggestions before the start: the shortcrust pastry must rest for about 30 minutes in the refrigerator and the boiled rice must cool down. Calculate the needed time for the preparation of this dessert.

  1. Shortcrust pastry: Knead the cold butter with the flour. Add the other ingredients kneading all together quickly. When you obtain a compact mass, roll it up with the plastic wrap and let it rest in the refrigerator.
  2. Filling: In a pot pour the milk. When it boils add the rice and the aroma (as you prefer grated lemon peel or vanilla). Mix continuously until the rice is totally cooked and there is no trace of milk. After obtaining a mass, add two spoons of sugar and let it cool down. Attention: If you don’t mix the rice, it will stick to the bottom of the pot and it has a burned flavour.
  3. Cream: Whip the egg white until stiff. Add the egg yolks, a pinch of salt, two spoons of sugar, baking powder and the stiff egg white into the mass of rice. Mix all together lightly.
  4. Roll the shortcrust pastry and form little circles using a cake tin. Put them in muffin stamps. Pour the mixture of rice and put the stamps into the oven at 170°C for about 30 minutes.
  5. When the little budino di riso are cooked, take them out of the oven and sprinkle the powdered sugar on the top!

Has this little pastry taken your attention? Are you an Italian food lover? Are you coming to Florence? Join our Florence Food Walking Tour and prepare your palate to a journey into the authentic and typical savours of Tuscany!

Meet your local guide in Rome: Alessia

Come to Rome and choose now a food tour! Your Roman, local and knowledgeable guide Alessia is impatient to meet you and show you the Italian culinary traditions! After the tour with Alessia, you’ll love more the Eternal city!

Read on and start to know better your local guide, she has something to share with you!

Meet your local guide: Alessia

Meet your local guide: Alessia

Name:  Hi! My name’s Alessia

Nationality and Hometown? I’m Italian and I live in Rome

Name of tour you lead and where: I lead the Food Pizza & Colosseum Tour and the Easy Entrance Colosseum & Vittoriano tour  😉 )

If you are not from the city you are based in for tours, what originally brought you there? I’m from Rome

Your favorite part of the tour:  The end, when our travellers tell me how fun and interesting the tour was. This makes me very happy.

Selfie during the tour

Selfie during the tour

Favorite Local Restaurant in your city: My neighbour’s, she is a great cooker! I also love the little trattorias in Trastevere district.

One thing visitors to your city can’t miss: The 360 degree view from the terrace of the VittorianoSomething that takes you breath away!

Favorite Travel Quote? The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes. – Marcel Proust

What’s next on your travel bucket list? I’ll take a flight and go oversea to see the beautiful Australia & New Zeland.

What is your favorite Italian city to travel to? Don’t have only one. I love Burano, Elba Island and Sicily… but one of my favourite places in Italy is Matera, magical and without time.

What’s your best travel tip for those coming to visit Italy? Be careful when crossing the street!! 😀 And wear comfortable shoes for an amazing discovery of our beautiful cities through our bike, segway and walking tour! 🙂

Montanara pizza

Montanara pizza

What’s the food that someone must try in your city before leaving? Gelato and the montanara pizza! Both of them are in our pizza tour 😉 )

What’s the most memorable experience you’ve had on one of your tours? Difficult question! Every tour is a very special experience for me but for sure I will never forget the face of the travellers when they taste the delicious food and drinks during the tour! It’s so satisfying to see that they are enjoying the Italian food as well as Italian do.

What do you like most about leading tours? Meeting people from all over the world and have the opportunity to share my knowledge and my passion for my beautiful country.

What makes your tour unique? The love that I have for my job… I always try to make them fun & educational at the same time.

Are you a food-lover? Then come to Rome and book now a Rome Food Pizza and Colosseum Tour with Italy city tours and ask for Alessia 😉

Meet your local guide in Rome: Renato

During a pizza tour

During a pizza tour

Planning your vacation to Rome? Then you have to check which tour to book and who’s the best guide in town!
Renato is an energetic, passioned Italian guide who fell in love with Rome at a young age and his passion for the Eternal city is still burning greatly! If you’re a foodie and want to try something different that takes you our of the beaten paths, Renato and his food tours, are perfect for you: a great mix of culture, italian delicacies, humor and lots of smiles!

Name:  My name is Renato and it’s hard for people to get it right so don’t worry if you mispell it or misunderstand, at the end of the day, I’m just glad if you can remember me and our experience together 😉

Nationality and Hometown? Italian. Southern Italian to be exact. I’m originally from a small town of the Campania region. but i’ve been living in Rome since 1999.

Name of tour you lead and where: I’m leading Food Tours, Bike&food tours and segway tour too!

Hi, this is Renato!

If you are not from the city you are based in for tours, what originally brought you there? I moved to Rome to study, at least that’s what I told my parents to convice them, but I did graduate. Above all, I was eager for life and that you can really get in a big town such as Rome 🙂

Your favorite part of the tour: The orange trees park on the Aventine Hill. I could stay there for hours, looking at the city from that perspective.

Orange Garden at Aventino

Orange Garden at Aventino

Favorite Local Restaurant in your city: Restaurant “Maccheroni”, near the Pantheon. The carbonara they make is to die for!!

One thing visitors to your city can’t miss: Trastevere area: it’s charming, intriguing and still medieval. A unique part of Rome.

Favorite Travel Quote? A Roma, non basta una vita (Silvio Negro) – For Rome, a lifetime is not enough.

What’s next on your travel bucket list?  New Orleans, Mississipi! I want to breath and leave the jazzy groove and try the cajun and creole specialty! Can’ wait!

What is your favorite Italian city to travel to?  Venice. It might sound a cliche but I can’t help it!

What’s your best travel tip for those coming to visit Italy? Come prepared and bring a lot of patience too 🙂

What’s the food that someone must try in your city before leaving? Jewish style artichoke

Carciofi alla Giudia

Carciofi alla Giudia

What’s the most memorable experience you’ve had on one of your tours? An elderly couple asked me to stop right in the spot where 30 years earlier they had taken a picture and they wanted to take the same picture.

What do you like most about leading tours? Good vibes from the people

Renato on tour!

Renato on tour!

What makes your tour unique? Enthusiasm. I get excited every time I tell people stories about Rome.

Italy Food Culture presents: “Meet your local guide: Daniele!”

Italy Food Culture presents: “Meet your local guide: Daniele from Milano!”

We’ve been away for awhile but are now back with new entries and new posts! This time we’re taking you to Milan to meet Daniele a witty and personable local guide, that is waiting just for you, to make the most of your visit!

"Hi, this is me!"

“Hi, this is me!”

Name:  Daniele Umberto Lampasona

Nationality and Hometown? I’m originally from Catania, but live in Milan.

Name of tour you lead and where:  I’m in charge of leading the food tours and beer tours. Yes, beer too, because Italian craft beers are terribly good and won’t disappoint any beer lover!

If you are not from the city you are based in for tours, what originally brought you there? As many other families, also mine moved for work reasons from south of Italy to Milan, the richest city of our country. I was 1 year old, so basically…I followed them.

Your favorite part of the tour:  My favourite part is the wine tasting at the enoteca (italian word for wine shop): it’s always a wonderful shop, with wonderful people… and certainly wonderful wine! 

Favorite Local Restaurant in your city:  Rather than a specific place, I prefer recommending neighbourghoods where to live an experience. So I like to suggest the Navigli area and Brera – my favourites – which are so full of restaurants and each focusing on different products, that you can just go there and literally follow your nose.

"The best part of the terraces is the view!"

“The best part of the terraces is the view!”

One thing visitors to your city can’t miss: Going up to the roof of the Duomo (here’s useful link to book a Duomo tour) and actually walking on its tiles. It’s hard to find a similar opportunity in the whole world, and the view from up there is amazing!

What’s next on your travel bucket list? Next week I’m going to Lithuania!

What is your favorite Italian city to travel to?   I’m totally in love with Rome: there are so many things to see and to do that. Although I’ve lived there for a while and I’ve visited it many other times, I always find something new around!

What’s your best travel tip for those coming to visit Italy? Clear your mind from stereotypes and relax.

"mmm...this is mouthwatering delicious"

“mmm…this is mouthwatering delicious”

What’s the food that someone must try in your city before leaving? The combo ossobuco with saffron risotto is a must!

What’s the most memorable experience you’ve had on one of your tours? Having a prosciutto tasting with some people from Australia who were prosciutto producers and we discussed about all the varieties and the differences between the Australians and Italians cured meet, most memorable!

What do you like most about leading tours? The possibility to learn from each person in my tour groups.

What makes your tour unique? A light and funny atmosphere, seasoned with deep knowledge of the tour. And of course, my hair! 😉

Best Restaurants in Brera – Milan

Brera, MilanIf Milan is the city from the many faces, Brera is the artistic one. In fact, this quite central neighborhood is dotted by small artisan’s workshops, art shops, antique shops and is surrounded by a vibrant atmosphere. Brera is also  home to the Accademia di Belle Arti (Fine Art Academy) and the Pinacoteca (Milan’s Art Gallery), the historic Biblioteca Nazionale Braidense, the Museo Astronomico and the Giardino Botanico (Botanical Gardens). Day and night, Brera is one of the most lively neighborhood of the city, with many interesting places to dine or have lunch. The district is particularly bustling during the Fuori Salone, one of the most important events in town: do not miss it! Our Milan Food Tours are great opportunities to have a taste of Brera’s energy and have an idea of the best restaurants you can visit in Brera!

If you do pass by on your own, here are some suggestions on where to stop!

L’orto di Brera

Best Restaurants in Brera

Via S. Carpoforo, 6, 20121 Milano
The great place for healthy people! At first glance, it looks a grocery shop, but if you are curious enough to enter you’ll find a cozy and modern restaurant inside! The cuisine is all veggie based! But vegetarian food doesn’t mean boring! There will be plenty of surprising taste for everyone! Try the lasagne and the burrata! You can also take-away, which is rare in Italy if not in fast foods. At lunchtime there are interesting fixed price options.

Parma & Co

Best restaurants in brera

Via D. Tessa, 2 angolo Corso Garibaldi, 20121 Milano
This is the right place to taste authentic and original dishes from one of the best culinary traditions in Italy, Parmigiana’s one! Everything is so simple and yet so tasty…definitely a must! Founded by the Carmignani Father and Son, “it was born to offer in a special context, or perhaps just in an appropriate one, the best products of the Parma tradition” as they say. Parma&Co is also a typical Parma delicatessen shop, where it is possible to buy the products and taste them at home, or you can take a rest and eat them in the pleasant dining room surrounded by hung hams!

Vianson – La Focaccia al Formaggio

Best Restaurants in Brera

Via Mercato, 3, 20121 Milano
The best place in town to have quick lunch to or an early dinner (the place closes at 8 pm, apart from Tuesday and Saturday, when it closes at 10:30 pm). It is something like a pizzeria, where you can have many choices of “focaccia” (pizza-dough without cheese and stuffed with salami, cheese or vegetables). Giorgio Vianson, the owner, is from Liguria, which is the homeland of focaccia. After working many years in the States, he decided to come back to open his own brand, at it was indeed a successful idea: many come from all over the city because it is basically the best focaccia ever!

Ristorante Emilia e Carlo

Best restaurants in brera

Via Guiseppe Sacchi 8, Milan, Italy, +39 02 862100
Ristorante Emilia e Carlo is what you want to choose if you are looking for a place with an elegant and formal atmosphere, yet typical Italian. Everything you’ll try here is high quality and the menu rotates on a seasonal basis. Specialties from all around Italy can be tasted here: Tuscan salami with figs, Chianina beef and Cotoletta alla Milanese. Not to mention the great fish dish choices available. Ristorante Emilia e Carlo also features an excellent and rich selection of Italian wines and few but outstanding International ones. Useless to say that prices are definitely the ones of a high-range restaurant.

Pasta al pomodoro: easy pasta recipes for everyone!

Pasta al pomodoro: easy pasta recipes for everyone (but don’t spoil it please)!

pasta al pomodoro

Here is an Italian cooking lesson for real beginners and for all the ones who started off with the wrong foot…I don’t intend to sound harsh but some pasta cookers around the world are really messing it up, so it is always good to refresh the basis.

We’ll propose here one of the easiest pasta recipes ever: pasta al pomodoro! It is also one of the most common dishes you will find in touristic restaurants and sometimes not of the best quality. So don’t be fooled: have a real taste of pasta al pomodoro in Florence, Italy, next time you are around!

 

Before getting started let’s repeat some important rules of pasta cooking:

  1. Pasta has to be added to water only after it has started boiling

  2. Never overcook the pasta!!!! Or if you do, don’t call it pasta.

  3. Italians join pasta and sauce in a pan and “jump it” (saltare) for some minutes before serving (will come back to this later)

 

Ingredients for 4 people

  • Some leaves of fresh basil

  • 1 clove of garlic

  • 1 kg ripe tomatoes, or 2 x 400g tins of chopped tomatoes

  • Extra virgin olive oil

  • 480 g dried wholewheat spaghetti ( good quality, if possible)

  • 15 g Parmesan cheese

  • Salt, pepper and a tiny pinch of sugar

Ingredients pasta al pomodoro

Start with peeling and slicing the garlic. Chop the tomatoes if you are using fresh ones. I suggest to choose this option only if you can get good quality organic tomatoes, otherwise just go for the tinned ones. Put a saucepan on a medium heat and add 1 tablespoon of olive oil and the garlic, then cook until soft and lightly golden. Add few leaves of basil and the tomatoes and start to stir. Add a bit of salt and pepper and a tiny pinch of sugar, then continue stirring for around 15 minutes. Meanwhile fill a large pot with water and put it on high heat and let it boil. Alternatively, boil some water with the boiler and then fill the pot (which is an option Italians do not even think of, but makes lots of sense). Add some salt to the boiling water and then add spaghetti and cook according to packet instructions or even a minute less: “al dente”. Literally this expression translates as to the tooth and means cooking the pasta just a little bit less than what you are supposed to so that it remains firm. Anyhow, it is always a good idea to try some. No other methods are allowed. Once the pasta is done, drain in a colander over the sink and tip the spaghetti back into the pot. Stir the spaghetti into the sauce, adding a splash of the pasta water to loosen, if needed. Serve with some fresh basil leaves sprinkled over the top and put a bowl of some grated Parmesan cheese on the table , in case some of your guests want to add some.

Easy pasta recipe

As I said, very easy pasta recipe… but very easy to spoil. Try following these instructions one by one and let me know how it tastes! We’ll be glad to invite you for a pasta taste in Florence at the wonderful traditional and yet contemporary Mercato Centrale!

#LasagnaForEveryone: an easy lasagna recipe

There is something about lasagnas that I really can’t tell. As if it could embody all the flavors and all that makes up Italian identity. Lasagnas  is home…

Now, lasagnas  is almost everywhere in the world, but please, please, please do stay away from bad imitations! That doesn’t mean it has to be complicated! You can prepare lasagnas yourself following this very easy lasagna recipe, without spoiling it with shortcuts.

Lasagna: the best of Italian Food

It won’t be like the one you can have in Italy, but it will get really close to it. Have you tasted the best lasagna in Milan? You will have the chance of trying the real authentic taste of this dish at Pastificio Moscova!

Ingredients

Extra virgin olive oil

1 pound lean ground beef

1 pound pork sausage

1  can tomato Sauce

1  can tomato Paste

1  canned chopped tomatoes

1 glass of red wine

1 celery stalck

1 carrot

2 garlic cloves, minced

1 middle-size onion

1 teaspoon of sugar

Salt and black pepper to taste

3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley

2/3 cups grated Parmesan cheese

9 lasagna noodles, cooked and drained

800 ml of béchamel sauce 

The best way of making lasagna is to cook the ragù sauce a day before. It is just a matter of fact: it tastes so much better the day after. To prepare the ragù heat some extra virgin olive oil in a large pan or a pot (where all of your sauce will fit in the end) and add diced garlic, onion, carrot, parsley and celery. This is the base for most of Italian sauces and the ingredients added are called odori all together. Let them fry for some minutes and then add the ground beef and the sausage over medium heat until browned. That’s where the wine comes in. Over high heat, add a generous glass of red wine until completely absorbed. Add tomato sauce, tomato paste, diced tomatoes, sugar, salt and black pepper. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to simmer and cook uncovered for 45 minutes, stirring occasionally. Now if you have time, the longer your ragù cooks, the better it will taste. So if you have some time, let it cook even for few hours over low heat. You can add water any time you see that it is necessary for the sauce to remain of the right texture: not too dry and not too liquid.

easy lasagna recipe

Once the ragù is ready, let it cool for some minutes (or wait the day after if you can). Preheat the oven at around 180 °/ 356 F. Your lasagnas is almost ready! Start with a layer of lasagna noodles in an ungreased 9 X 13 inch baking dish, then spread the first layer of meat sauce,  few generous spoons of béchamel and parmesan. Repeat layers and top with last 3 noodles and the remaining sauce. Sprinkle with remaining béchamel sauce and cover everything with a nice layer of grated  parmesan. Bake for around 50 minutes. Let stand 15 minutes before serving. And here you are!

easy lasagna recipe

 Enjoy and do not add anything on it!!!! It will taste just wonderful the way it is! ;).  An easy lasagna recipe that will help us spreading the right lasagnas taste all around the world!!!! And if you pass by Milan, to join us and taste the best lasagna in Milan!