Life has been crazy busy, more than I can even share in one post, but this week I had to make time for a book I promised I would review. I began this lovely book on vacation and finished this week. It was a wonderful escape, engrossing and transporting which I really need right now.
The book is Eating Rome by Elizabeth Minchilli, and it’s a memoir/cookbook/guidebook to Rome. I knew of Elizabeth through her beautiful blog so I immediately accepted the offer to read and share this book. I have been to Italy and Rome was undeniably my favorite. Something about walking among the ruins, the vespas, fountains and beautiful Italians- the whole mix is so glamorous and magical. Given a chance to relive it just a little sounded fun and it was!
Elizabeth, an American, grew up much like myself in the 60s and 70s, but in Saint Louis. She came home from camp in 1972, to find her parents planning to move the family to Italy. Thus began a unique adventure and a lifelong passion for Italy. After her family moved back home to states, she later did graduate studies in Florence and eventually fell in love with an Italian and moved to Rome where she lives today. There she and raised two daughters, and began her blog of Italian life and food.
Her style of writing is so enjoyable. I loved Elizabeth’s personal stories of food and experiences that guide you through the chapters. In this book you’ll learn how to order coffee like a Roman, and yes there is a proper way to! We also learn how Italians eat cookies for breakfast, pasta everyday and full fat everything and yet are not overweight.
I especially loved the chapter on artichokes! Being a Californian I didn’t know there were so many ways to enjoy them. Friend and breaded artichokes are on my list of things to try next.
You learn a lot of food and Italian life here too like Roman children are introduced to mini versions of regular adult foods and are not given the mushy bland things American babies get. Italians also consider vegetables one of the main parts of the meal and meats are used a a flavoring much of the time, and not a course in itself. That said they also eat offals which are internal meats, in sandwiches and other foods.
The recipes are sprinkled throughout the book, but with detailed instructions for making this simple food taste fabulous. There are tips on stocking a pantry, shopping for pasta-fresh vs. dried, and many wonderful cooking tips and secrets shared here. Let me just say this is not a book to read while hungry. I found myself craving everything and so far have made two of the pasta dishes which I will now add to my regular repertoire…
My photo here and below.
For a lunch I made the Italian version of buttered noodles, pasta con burro, which every Roman child grows up eating. The secret to making a rich sauce is adding in the reserved pasta water and unsalted butter. It was the best buttered noodles I have ever had.
This week I made my family cacao e pepe, or a Roman version of mac n’ cheese with pecorino cheese. A huge hit and I added arugula and tomatoes which made it seem a little bit healthier, though no less delicious.
At the end of each chapter is a guide to Rome’s best, from coffee spots to bakeries, trattorias and even the rooftop cafes! The photos are gorgeous and had me planning and dreaming about another trip to Italy as well as trying to recreate that simple elegance here at home.
A few of the gorgeous photos in the book.
I have never read any of my cookbooks cover to cover, but this I did. If you have a love of Italy, good food and want to take in a little more la dolce vita, you will love Elizabeth’s book. Check out her blog too for inspiration and restaurant recommendation, and general loveliness! Elizabeth also conducts day tours as well as a week in Rome trips, which are found on the blog.
Please pop over a visit the fun Lifestyle Linkup I am joining today with Jennifer at A Well Styled Life and Heather Of StyleMindChic! Lot’s of inspiration there today!
photos via Eating Rome and also Northerncalstyle
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I’m a native Northern Californian who lives for travel, books, fashion, and design. Exploring the joys of a greener life and showing the natural beauty of Northern California and it’s fabulous destinations are a few of my passions.