Trattoria Al Moro Serves Roman Classics Near the Trevi Fountain
Katie Parla Blog
by Katie Parla
4d ago
In most cases, a Roman menu featuring over a hundred items is a big old bandiera rossa signaling that you’ve landed in a tourist trap. Trattoria menus in particular tend to be focused, featuring a handful of local dishes under each heading, often reflecting the season or the day of the week (giovedì gnocchi, venerdì pesce, sabato trippa, for example). At Trattoria al Moro near the Trevi Fountain, however, the two-page menu is not a bad thing at all–it packs in scores of classic and seasonal items, as well as signature dishes developed during the place’s nearly century-long history. Helmed by ..read more
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Recipe: Polpette di Pesce Spada (Swordfish Balls)
Katie Parla
by Katie Parla
2M ago
Swordfish meatballs, polpette di pesce spada, are a Sicilian classic. The fish is shredded, then mixed with breadcrumbs, eggs, and aromatics. Next, the mixture is formed into a ball and fried in oil before being finished in tomato sauce. Oh, and in typical Sicilian style, the polpette are studded with pine nuts and raisins! Check out the video on YouTube and follow the recipe below to recreate it in your own kitchen. In the video, I discuss the complex endeavour of sourcing tomatoes, an industry rife with corruption and problematic labor practices. Get the real deal by seeking out Italian bra ..read more
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Tips for Tipping in Italy
Katie Parla
by Katie Parla
3M ago
If I had a euro for every time I overheard a server at a tourist trap drop a check and warn clients that “Service isn’t included,” I would be a wealthy woman. The truth is, service is included, but some businesses are always going to try to squeeze a little extra cash from their customers.  There are several schools of thought regarding tipping in Rome, but only some of these reflect the local culture. For a long time, the generally accepted rule has been that you do not have to tip in Rome (or Italy for that matter). Don’t believe me? Let’s have my illustrious colleague Eugenio Signoron ..read more
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Recipe: Abbacchio alla Romana | Roman-style Suckling Lamb
Katie Parla
by Katie Parla
4M ago
Abbacchio—a suckling lamb that is about a month old and weighs no more than fifteen pounds— is a springtime fixture on Rome’s tables. In the days leading up to Easter, I place a special order with one of my favorite Roman butchers (Sartor, Liberati, or Mariani) for a whole abbacchio, then marinate it and roast it the with salted anchovies, garlic, herbs, and vinegar—the Roman way. The exquisitely tender meat is the protagonist of huge Easter feasts, which typically include no fewer than fifteen friends and family, but I have scaled the recipe down to just the shoulder for more accessible dail ..read more
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Review: Tavernaccia Da Bruno in Trastevere
Katie Parla
by Katie Parla
4M ago
[UPDATED] In Italian, “accia” is a pejorative suffix used to denote something terrible or nasty. Think: “Today was a giornataccia (a bad day). I had yet another crap meal in Trastevere!” In the case of La Tavernaccia Da Bruno, the “accia” is hardly fitting. This friendly, family run trattoria isn’t some nasty tavern, as the name jokingly suggests, rather simple and straight-forward trattoria that has everything going for it: really nice servers, 5 decades of family ownership, a well above average wine list (bonus points for being adorably handwritten on yellow legal paper and for listing a ha ..read more
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Recipe: Polpettone (Italian-Style Meatloaf)
Katie Parla
by Katie Parla
5M ago
I grew up eating a pretty run-of-the-mill meatloaf. It was basically the family meatball mixture shaped into a log with ketchup on top. Imagine my amusement when I first encountered Italian-style meatloaf. It was 2003 and I was living with students from Abruzzo. They were absolutely lovely people but definitely the best thing about them was that their mothers would send packages of food to them on the train from Avezzano to Stazione Prenestina in Rome. God forbid they be distracted from studying by cooking! Mind you, these care packages boarded the train, oil-stained and fragrant, unattended ..read more
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Recipe: Gattò di Patate (Neapolitan Potato, Cheese, and Ham Pie)
Katie Parla
by Katie Parla
5M ago
Popular in the Bay of Naples, this mashed potato pie is serious fuel for a winter hike. At cafés and rosticcerie, creamy potatoes are layered with little bits of cheese and ham, then sold by the slice and stuffed into aluminum containers for taking away. It’s a great way for those businesses to use up scraps, and you can, too, if you’ve got odds and ends in your cheese and cold cuts stash. Vegetarians can substitute sautéed vegetables for the ham. It’s all about using up leftovers, so anything goes, really. I love this recipe so much it was the subject of the premier episode of my new YouTube ..read more
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Recipes for the Feast of Seven Fishes
Katie Parla
by Katie Parla
7M ago
I grew up in an Italian American family in New Jersey, where’s it’s practically the law to celebrate Christmas Eve with the so-called “Feast of Seven Fishes.” No one knows why we eat seven kinds of seafood (though the repetition of 7 in the Bible could be a motive), though it is clearly a Catholic custom to abstain from meat on sacred days. I often joke that if you only served 7 types of fish on December 24 in Italy no one would accept an encore visit to your paltry spread. The truth is, no one here is actually counting, but if you’re dining in the south you can bet your baccalà there’s gonna ..read more
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Recipe: Pasta con Pesto di Pistacchi (Pasta with Sicilian Pistachio Pesto)
Katie Parla
by Katie Parla
11M ago
It’s still really freaking hot in Rome. While my weather app clearly shows the temperatures have dropped considerably since the hottest Roman summer on record, I simply cannot conjure the fortitude to turn on my gas stovetop to cook a multi-course meal. Enter pesto and its uncooked elements in its many forms–tomato-enriched sauce from Linosa, another from Trapani, and this pistachio pesto that conjures Sicily’s Mount Etna. The region around this dynamic, often-erupting volcano is known for its pistachios and wild herbs, and this recipe puts both front and center. Unlike pesto from Genova, pes ..read more
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Recipe: Pasta con Pesto di Pistacchi (Pistachio Pesto Pasta)
Katie Parla
by Katie Parla
11M ago
It’s still really freaking hot in Rome. While my weather app clearly shows the temperatures have dropped considerably since the hottest Roman summer on record, I simply cannot conjure the fortitude to turn on my gas stovetop to cook a multi-course meal. Enter pesto and its uncooked elements in its many forms–tomato-enriched sauce from Linosa, another from Trapani, and this pistachio pesto that conjures Sicily’s Mount Etna. The region around this dynamic, often-erupting volcano is known for its pistachios and wild herbs, and this recipe puts both front and center. Unlike pesto from Genova, pes ..read more
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