Friday, 4 September 2009

Spagehtti Carbonara, Watermelon and When In Rome...

So...last time, I took you on a short trip around Belem, on the outskirts of Lisbon.

This time, I decided to take you on another trip around Rome!

Now I could post pics of all the famous sites that everyone visits-I did see them too!-but I wanted You to see Rome through my eyes!
The little bits here and there that tickled my funny bone and made the visit all the more special.

Also, these pictures were taken with you in mind.
I knew I wanted to share them with you, so they have that extra special something-I know lol, I need to get a life, working on that, slowly but surely. Honest! lol

So where to start? Well let's begin at the hotel.
It was more like a very sweet and welcoming B&B, a 5 minute walk from the coliseum which happened to look like this on a very warm night:And the view, from the bedroom window on a very hot August Italian morning:Yes, folks, Italy is incredibly hot in August. I still have the scars from the mosquito bites to remind me!

So, we got up early and went from a strong espresso and pastry breakfast at the local cafe. On the way there, I was taken a-back by this house:The colours are amazing, wouldn't you agree?

Rome is full of little treasures. I also fell in love with this old Roman bridge:That was until I came across this hotel, I just love the terrace!Anyway, I digress, and I do apologise!

So yes, Rome is incredibly hot in the summer and the shops know it, too! 3 Euros for a small bottle of mineral water!

But if you're wise and not squeamish, you will find these little water fountains hidden here, there, and everywhere!
Trust me, the water is heavenly! Really cold and I didn't die from any foreign-strange-water-bug-related-disease. And believe me, I drank from them whenever I could!But if you ARE a bit squeamish, why not grab yourself some nice watermelon sold at various street stalls?
I found this so cute too lolSo, by now you will be hungry!
If you're not quite sure about what to eat, just order yourself a selection of mini pizzas with all sorts of amazing toppings:But if you do want something a bit more filling, then...when in just so need to try the local, world famous Spaghetti Carbonara!!This recipe is from Frank at Memorie di Angelina.
I found his recipe to be the one closest to the original.

And remember, most of all, NO CREAM.
You don't need it, and if you don't use it, oh boy you... will love it so much more!

Here's Frank's take on the original recipe:

At its most basic, carbonara is basically bacon and eggs with pasta. In most recipes, including that offered by the venerable Ada Boni, who was Roman and surely knew what she was doing, the eggs are cooked only by the heat of the spaghetti that is poured and mixed with them fresh from the pasta pot. But the operation can be tricky--if the pasta is not hot enough, or if too much pasta water clings to the pasta, the result can be a runny, unappetizing mess. And, of course, concerns about egg contamination make this way of making carbonara a bit risky. So, after years of experimenting with different methods, I've come up with my own technique.

While you are cooking your spaghetti, whisk egg with grated pecorino and romano cheeses or just pecorino if you want a stronger taste (about 100g) and lots of freshly ground pepper. (For most palates, if you salt the pasta water sufficiently and given that pecorino and pancetta are already quite salty, you need not season the sauce with salt.)

Separately, in a skillet, saute cubed pancetta and a lightly crushed garlic clove in olive oil (or, if you really want to be authentic, lard) over moderate heat until the pancetta fat is translucent and just beginning to brown a bit. You do not want the pancetta (or bacon, if you're using that) to become crispy. Remove the garlic clove as soon as it begins to color.

Once the spaghetti are cooked al dente, drain them (but not too well) and pour them into the skillet over very low heat. Make sure there is a bit of pasta water clinging to the pasta; if not, add a ladleful from the pasta pot. Mix well and then add your egg mixture and mix again. Keep mixing until the eggs just being to thicken and form a creamy sauce that clings to the pasta. If you prefer (and these days I tend to like my carbonara this way) or if you are worried about contamination, you can continue a bit longer until the eggs actually set. In either case, remove from the heat as soon as it just bit less done than you want, as the eggs will continue to cook from the residual heat of the pasta. Serve immediately in warm pasta plates with additional pecorino and ground pepper if you like.

Just before we end this trip, I would like to reassure some of you out there who may be a bit apprehensive about travelling to Rome without speaking a word of Italian.

Please, do not worry, they translate most things into English!
Such as this
I shall leave you with it, for your own amusement :)

Spaghetti Alla Carbonara on Foodista


  1. I do so love the colors in the buildings! Great photos!

  2. Oh my, looks like an incredible trip. I'd brave mosquito bits for this one. The pictures are fantastic. Thanks so mich for sharing.

  3. Thanks for the journey! I love the Rules!

  4. i i love Rome so much wish i could be there now great mini pizzas so pleased you had fun Ruth rebecca

  5. Yay for no cream in your cabornara! Love the stuff (sans cream!). I thoroughly enjoyed the photos - and the Roman bridge - wow. Makes me feel as if I am there. Our Italian friends say, "Don't come in August." But that's prime vacation time! Cheers for water fountains!

  6. You lucky lady! Rome is a fantastic city, isn't it? The recipe looks delicious.

  7. Thanks for sharing your pictures of Rome, I haven't been there yet and really looking forward to visiting. The spaghetti carbonara sounds wonderful!

  8. Love the pictures!! I want to be there!!!

  9. Wow! So glad I stopped in! Nice photos and food! You Brits get to the good stuff, that's for sure!

  10. Thank you for sharing all those beautiful photos. They are gorgeous! How I wish I can be there one day!

  11. Nice blog, I look this and I learn more about Italian food, there is to rare, because everybody eat it, but to many doesn't know how to make it. This blog is very special.

  12. Thank god you had more pictures because that spagetti looks disgusting haha

  13. Awesome pictures, thanks for sharing your experience with us, and by the way those spaghettis look delicious.

  14. I really like this information. Thnaks for sharing this post. Keep posting.

  15. I can't stand carbonara, but I must say I do like this one. It isn't heavy or cloying or smothered in cream. My daughter bought her friend home who doesn't like pasta and who now asks for this meal every time she's here so my husband is made up because its his favorite. Happiness all round.

  16. Hi
    Yes, i like mini pizzas very much just order yourself a selection of mini pizzas with all sorts of amazing toppings..