Being in Rome, we have been tempted to eat out. Restaurants are ubiquitous, and pizza features prominently in many restaurant windows. Roman style pizza is ultra thin crust and simple in its toppings. The crust simply cannot support the weight of any but the thinnest sliced toppings. The problem with eating out, of course, is two-fold: price and health. Restaurant food is salty and does not offer enough vegetables. Yesterday, we had a constant day of light rain. We did not go out and spent the day as a school day. This also
meant that our pantry was low as we did not want to walk to the market, and we had no food for dinner. We wanted to go to a pizza restaurant called Da Remo, considered on several blogs have the best roman-style pizza. However, it was far away, and with the rain we just didn’t want to be outside for long. We ended up at a fish restaurant on the other side of the Piazza Barberini, we walked under the piazza using the metro corridors and stayed out of the rain. Gigi had salmon, and I had a John Dory, split down the middle and grilled. It was delicious and we were happy with the meal. However, it cost 130 euros, which can buy almost 5 days of groceries for us. The price of eating out whammy.
Today, we went to the Campo di Fiori where there is a daily morning outdoor market. The sun was back out and it was a beautiful blue-sky day. Considering that it is the end of January, we were impressed with the fresh quality and variety of fruits and veggies for sale. We bought 2 purple hued artichokes (they must be in season, restaurants are displaying them) and a chopped vegetable medley ready for minestrone soup. Justin got a large fruit cup, and surprisingly his favorite item was a chunk of fresh coconut. The Campo is lined with restaurants. We patronized Forno Campo de’ Fiori for slices of thin pizza rossa that we ate outside sitting on the fountain. Mine was topped with zucchini flowers and anchovies! This was great, and cheap, street food to snack on to fortify us for our wander through city.
Tonight, we cooked in and had another great meal, healthier and for a fraction of the cost of last night’s meal. And with local ingredients, we felt we were eating Italian. For the antipasti, I used the chopped veggies and made a vegetable soup with chicken bullion stock and tomato paste. For the primo, we had fresh linguine pasta from the store that we dressed with truffle infused olive oil (Justin’s choice) or pesto (Jordan’s choice). Both the soup and pasta were topped with fresh grated parmesano reggiano. Secondo was scaloppini-style slice chicken breast sautéed in olive oil, garlic, salt and lemon with steamed green beans and the artichokes, steamed with a clove of garlic stuffed in them and drizzled with olive oil. When we can eat in like this using open-air market ingredients, we are totally happy with our meals and feel we really are eating the local food. We are also eating healthier.