The heart of the Roman Empire sat in Central Italy and is known as the Lazio region. Home to Rome, the capital of Italy, this wonderful region has endless amounts of culture, art and food flowing through its veins. Sitting along the Tyrrhenian coastline, Lazio is filled with ancient Roman ports that granted the area to flourish with trade and a variety of cultures coming together to form a civilization that would last for centuries. Green valleys are brought together by the Tiber River and Aniene that bring to life a huge agricultural cornucopia filled with bucolic landscapes that harvest many farms filled with sheep, cattle and wheat fields. This region is blessed with so much history you can’t step an inch in Rome without bumping into a relic left behind by time. The Coliseum, Pantheon and St. Peter’s Cathedral are just a couple masterpieces of human creation that are housed in the beautiful region. Notable people from the Lazio region are beautiful film star Sophia Loren, film maker Federico Fellini and Renaissance painter, Raphael.
Due to the fast-paced nature of the region, the food is reflected as such. Many of the dishes are simple and quick to make in order to capture the appetite of a quick moving culture. Extra virgin olive oil from Canino and Sabina are the essential cornerstone to most sauces and dishes. The traditional pasta sauce known as Armatriciana is made by sautéing onions in pork fat, adding tomatoes, basil, thyme and oregano and allowing the flavors to blend in together. Afterwards, the blend is added to long pasta noodles like fettucine or spaghetti. Short or broken pasta appears mainly in soups in the region and is combined with chickpeas, cabbage, broccoli, and beans with flavored with pounded lard, onions and herbs. If you see baseball-sized balls lying in a restaurant, you’re witnessing something magical. These are rice balls and usually stuffed with mozzarella cheese, chicken and other vegetables and cooked in a tomato-based sauce and giblets. If you’re looking for beef as a choice of the meat in the Lazio region, Coda alla Vaccinara or braised oxtail is very popular Roman dish. During the spring, lamb is a very popular dish cooked in an oven or roasted over a spit and prepared in a fricassee. If you’re looking for fish in the region, most of the fish comes from the Tiber River including freshwater eel. Pork makes it way on the menu in many different fashions in the Lazio region. Pork alla Romana is the most popular dish that combines a pork belly and rolled up herbs and spices and fried in olive oil. Sometimes a pecorino cheese is introduced into the recipe. The rich soil of the region produces some of the greatest artichokes on the planet as well as lentils, cauliflower and fava beans.
Since you’ve gotten a taste of the Lazio region, do as the Romans do and look for all Flora’s Tortelloni and Raviolini pastas in your grocery stores or online today!