Roman Food: The Pasta Dishes You Need To Try

Heavy on the carbs. That’s the way to do Rome. You need the pasta really. How could you possibly dash around all those sites on anything less than a carbohydrate rush? 

Pasta in Rome is delightfully faff and fuss free. So simple, so delicious, so completely diet-destroying. 

Here are the big blockbuster dishes: 



Throw out all preconceptions of this dish formed by childhood memories of the carbonara your mum used to make you after school. A real Roman carbonara has no peas, no cream and no mushrooms. It’s a happy marriage of guanciale (cured meat from pig cheek), eggs and pecorino.

Roman Food. What to Eat in Rome. Carbonara

Cacio e pepe. 

Quintessentially Roman. Pasta tossed with a finely grated pecorino romano, coarsely ground pepper and a splash of pasta water. The starch from the water combined with the cheese forms a thick, creamy white sauce which essentially looks like cream. You can literally fool yourself into a lower waist circumference. 

Roman Food. What to Eat in Rome. Cacio e pepe pasta

All’ Amatricianna.

Sexy, smoky sauce made with guanciale, Pecorino Romana, black pepper, chilli and, most importantly, tomato. 

Roman Food. What to eat in Rome

Alla Gricia.

All'Amatriciana without the tomatoes. Equally smokey and delicious. 

Roman Food: Pasta in Rome 4

Gnocchi alla Romana.

Diminutive dumplings made with semolina flour, cooked much like polenta (by boiling with milk or water), and then baked once solid. Heavenly but extremely heavy. Make sure you set aside some siesta time post-pasta. 

Roman Food. Pasta pic 2. gnocchi alla romana

Rigatoni con Pajata.

For the more adventurous amongst you, try this classic ‘quarto quinto’ dish. Rigatoni is lovingly hewn with a tomato based sauce made with the intestines of suckling lamb. Tastes a lot more delicious than the description - the texture of the pajata brings a ricotta like consistency. Not as offal as it sounds

Roman Food. What to eat in Rome. Pasta. Rigatoni con pagata