Food and Wine
The country traditions and the genuine peasant world have greatly influenced the traditional Frascati cuisine, one of the most tasty cuisine in Lazio. Colors and scents are mixed together to create ancient dishes, to be served together with the Frascati DOC Wine: rigatoni con la pajata, coda alla vaccinara (oxtail), coratella con i carciofi (with artichokes), trippa (tripe) alla romana, abbacchio (lamb) allo scottadito, fagioli (beans) con le cotiche , zuppa (soup) di arzilla con broccoli (with broccoli), zuppa (soup) di ventresca, porchetta (pork), corallina romana, and, last but not least, the most wanted coppiette, (slices of cured meet, very spicy, made of horse or pork). These are just examples of the most delicious dishes, in addition to the most traditional and most known dishes, like amatriciana, “cacio e pepe" (pasta with cheese and pepper), to be served together with the traditional percorino romano cheese. And if you have a passion for sweets, pupazze frascatane, the classical ciambelline (donuts) al vino (made with wine), maybe soaked with line. A real delicacy!
TOUR OF THE FOUR “OSTERIE"
In collaboration with the Frascati innkeepers, for a evening of your stay, the Hotel Colonna will be able to organize for you the Tour of the Four “Osterie". The tour, that is done necessarily on foot, (since, for obvious reasons, you will end up lifting your elbow a little), includes a dinner in four different osterie (old inns), and each one of them will serve different dishes: - the first one will serve a dish of spaghetti cacao e pepe (with cheese and pepper) or bucatini all'amatriciana, served together with a good glass of wine; - in the second one, porchetta, and different types of salami await you, served together with a good glass of wine; In the third one, you will be able to taste traditional cheese of our territory, served with usual glass of wine; - in the fourth and last osteria, you will find traditional sweets of our territory, like the ciambelle al vino (donuts made with wine), pepetti, the famous pupazza al miele (honey doll), etc. served together with the exclusive and original Cannellino wine (according to the season, and subject to availability).
«Fraschette» (or «osterie») are a tradition specific of Frascati. Many of these «fraschettte» have now changed into traditional restaurants, where you will be able to taste traditional food prepared in the old way, like starters with cheese, salami, fagioli (beans) with «cotiche», and tripe, coda alla vaccinara (oxtail), spaghetti «cacio e pepe» (with cheese and pepper), or «alla amtriciana» (with tomato sauce and bacon), and abbacchio (lamb) «allo scottadito», carciofi (artichokes) «alla giudia» or «alla romana». But many keep the tradition intact, and here you will be able eat in the «old-fashioned» way, like our fathers did.
Originally, in fact, when people went to eat in a «osteria», used to take with themselves food cooked at home. Or, instead, if you want to eat in a «real» osteria, you can also go to a baker's shop first, and buy some fragrant homemade bread, then go to a grocery store, to by genuine and traditional products like «coppa», cold cuts, olives, cheese, wine donuts, excellent to be soaked with wine, and, finally, after making a big bundle of what you bought, go do the «osteria», and enjoy the excellent wine, that the innkeepers will offer you.
Wine has always been a symbol of the italian culture and taste. The harmonious geography, and the fertility of the Castelli Romani territory, of volcanic origin, represent the best conditions for the production of quality wine, like the Frascati DOCG wine, exclusively white, produced in many types, and known all over the world, since Ancient Rome.
CACIO E PEPE
Cacio e pepe, literally “(pasta) with cheese and wine", is perhaps one of the most famous recipe of the roman tradition. This simple and peasant dish, may seem easy to make (but it's not) for the shortness of its ingredients list: pasta, pepper, and pecorino romano cheese.
Amatriciana (or “matriciana", in roman dialect) is named after Amatrice, a little town in the province of Rieti, where it was born. Its main ingredients are tomato sauce, jowl bacon, and pecorino romano cheese.
ABBACCHIO ALLA SCOTTADITO
Abbacchio (probably from the latin word “abecula"/"ovecula", diminutive of “ovis", lamb) is one of the most traditional dishes of the Roman cuisine. Oiled with lard, and cooked on the grill, these lamb chops must be eaten when they're still hot, with your hands. That's why they are called like that. (“Scottadito" liteally means “that burn your fingertips".)
Typical product of the food and wine tradition in Lazio, it consists in a whole, pork, emptied, deboned, and spiced with salt, pepper, and herbs, and roasted. It is a must for “old inns snacks", and is very common in areas that produce wine, like Frascati.
Coppiette, a typical product of the Roman country area, is a classic always present in the osterie menus of Rome and of the Roman Castles area. In ancient times, it was the main food of shepherds, that, being far from home for many months grazing their cattle, cured their meet in order to preserve it and eat it more comfortably. Later, coppiette became a delicacy, served in the many “fraschette" in Frascati, together with the famous Frascati wine. Originally, they were made of horse meat, but later this was substituted by pork, mainly the loin part, spiced with salt and a lot of chili pepper, and hanged inside a chimney to smoke it.
CARCIOFI ALLA GIUDIA
Artichokes “alla giudia" (literally “in the jewish way") is a typical side dish of the food and wine tradition in Lazio, particularly in Rome. But in the Big City you can't find any place that makes it anymore. But, at the Hotel Colonna, when in season, we can suggest you some places that dedicate themselves to prepare it in the old way. Artichokes “alla giudia" is a classical dish, very easy to prepare, but also capable of enhance the flavor of this vegetable.
CARCIOFI ALLA ROMANA
Carciofi alla romana ("artichokes in the roman way") are a typical side dish of the culinary tradition of Latium. Its origins, like other dishes of the tradition of this territory, date back to ancient tames, when peasants, in order to feed themselves, used what the soil put at their disposal.
Unlike carciofi alla giudìa ("artichokes in the jewish way"), that are prepared frying them in olive oil for eight minutes, carciofi alla romana are stuffed with garlic, parcel, mentuccia, bread crumbs, oil and salt, and are cooked in a pot, with water and oil, for about thirty minutes.
TRIPPA ALLA ROMANA WITH MENTUCCIA
Trippa (tripe) alla romana (literally “in the roman way") is a simple, but also very filling, dish of the peasant tradition. In Italy, many regions have their own recipe. The roman cuisine is for sure the most appreciated one. The ingredients that characterize trippa alla romana are pecorino romano cheese, and mentuccia (pennyroyal). The roman tradition, and the tradition of Lazio in general, suggests to add these two ingredients on the initial stage of the cooking, whereas a more modern version of the same recipe says that these two ingredients should be added in the end of the preparation.
Abbacchio (dairy lamb) has always been one of the most “beloved" dish of the roman tradition. Its meat is especially eaten on Christmas (its fried chops are always present on the tables of the “true" Frascatani), and on Easter (when, usually, they are served together with potatos). Also coratella, according to the tradition, is part of the classical Easter breakfast. But this delicious dish, coratella with artichokes (or its variation with onions), can be prepared in different ways, according to the period of the year. It is a very tasty dish, but infinitely simple, and also very quick to prepare. And the simplicity of the ingredients is the secret of the Frascati cuisine, at least for the common people. In fact, once the “noble" parts of the beef, or the lamb, were taken, the rest, the “waste", like the rind, or the offal, were defined “the fourth cut". And this was destined to feed the people. Rich people, and the noble class, in fact, didn't know dishes like coda alla vaccinara (oxtail), coratella, or pajata, since they were prepared using the waste of these animals. In fact, this was nothing but offal: tripe, rognoni (kidneys) , heart, liver, spleen, animelle (pancreas, thymus gland, and salivary gland), brain, and tounge. From bovines, also coratella (liver, lungs, rognone, and heart) was taken, and this is what I use to prepare this recipe.
CODA ALLA VACCINARA
Coda alla vaccinara (oxtail) is a delicious dish of the peasant roman tradition: it origins from the osterie (old inns) of the old roman neighbourhood, in which Vaccinari, the people who slaughtered bovines, lived. Coda alla vaccinara is prepared with oxtail, but, as an alternative, also the tail of the calf can be use, whose meat is more tender and needs a shorter cooking. The tail, cut in pieces, is stewed for a very long time, over low heat, covered, and spiced with crushed tomatoes and vegetables. The long cooking allows the sauce to get a better taste, and it is tradition to use it for the preparation of rigatoni (a type of pasta), in order to make a first dish and a second dish at the same time.
RIGATONI CON LA PAJATA
Pajata (in roman dialect), or pagliata (in standard italian), is a term that is used to identify the small intestine of the dairy calf, or ox, that is mainly used to prepare a traditional dish, using rigatoni (a type of pasta). This is a traditional roman dish. According to the original recipe, the intestine must be washed, but not deprived of its chyme, in order that, when cooked, it can be used to make an acrid sauce, that is prepared with tomato. In the last years, regulations drastically reduced the commerce of this dish. Now, there are a very few people, in Frascati, that prepare this dish, but, at the Hotel Colonna, we are able to point them out to you. Pajata is not only a recipe that is served together with rigatoni al sugo (with tomato sauce), a traditional dish or the roman cuisine, but is also a interesting choice as a second dish. Interesting results have been obtained baking this dish, together with potatoes, spiced with grilled rosemary, very common in the countryside.
WOOD FIRED BREAD AND PIZZA
Frascati bakeries certainly are an important part of the food and wine tradition of the Roman Castles. Their bread, baked in a wood-fired oven, prepared in the old fashion, and slowly risen with the aid of sourdough that skilled bakers have preserved through generations, represent a patrimony of art and traditions that everybody has the right to know and appreciate. Pizza, white or "red" (with tomato sauce), as a big round pizza or as pan pizza, thin like the local tradition commands, delicately pinched and brushed with oil, perhaps stuffed with porchetta, represents, together with the artisan bread of Frascati, a perfect combination, to fully know the secrets of the culinary art of the Roman Castles.
Pupazza Frascatana (literally, “Frascati Doll"), is a traditional sweet, made with honey, that normally has the shape of a woman with three breasts. According to the tradition, it represents a nurse that, in order to calm the most lively children, used to feed them using a fake breast, filled with wine. Ciambelline al Vino and Ciambelline al Mosto (donuts made with wine and donuts made with must), prepared with the traditional Frascati wine (always white), are better enjoyed if soaked with wine, to be eaten preferably after a filling meal. Pepetti, typical sweet, prepared with honey, cacao, and flour, and pampepato, a round sweet (with the shape of a “pepita", a nugget), made, according to the tradition, with almonds, are another example of the food and wine richness of Frascati, for those who love sweets.