The weather is so mild in Rome that we’ve been walking around in t-shirts. Most of the fellow Romans seem believe the calendar more than the temperature and dress with super fashionable but extremely heavy coats for this weather .
Walking in Rome is always a fascinating experience. During the Christmas holidays even more. Piazza Navona is showing off its colorful market. Befana / Epifany– the old lady we celebrate on January 6 – seem to be the main character of the market this year. Kids love Befana. She fills their socks hanging from the fireplace with candies and gifts. She is also the one who takes the Christmas holidays away - Epifania che tutte le feste si porta via
On Christmas Eve, the Roman tradition calls for a seafood dinner light enough to leave room for all the desserts. This year we started with:
- Smoked salmon with mascarpone and tosted bread
- Fresh Anchovies en savor – a delicious recipe from Veneto where anchovies are cooked in vinegar or lemon and covered with marinated onions and raisins
- Bucatini with mussels and pecorino – Here the mussels are steamed in a pan with just a smashed clove of garlic and a dash of extra virgin olive oil. Mussels are taken out of the shell and put aside. The juice of the mussels is also set aside. In a separate pan with extra vergin olive oil, two cloves of garlic are let turn gold with some chilly flakes. The garlic is then taken out and the mussles juice is added in until it reduces its sized approximately to half the original. Turn off the fire under the pan and add the mussels. In the meantime, let the bucatini (aka Perniciatelli) cook in boiling salted water until very al dente. Drain and add to the pan with the mussles and ‘intingolo’ (the sauce we just prepared). Sprinkle with pecorino and fresh chopped parsley, toss up in the air until completely coated with the sauce and enjoy!
- Spigola al Sale / Baked Branzino coated with salt (which enhances the flavor and keeps it moist and delicious)
- Finocchi saltati in padella – Saute fennels
- Carciofi alla Romana – Artichokes with mint and garlic
With this meal, we paired Vermentino di Sardegna and Rosso di Montefalco.
Of course the any Christmas Eve dinner is not over without Panettone, Pandoro and any sort of torrone nougat imaginable: almond, chocolate hazelnut, gianduia hazelnut , pistachios and on and on…
By the way, according to us here are the very best of these delicious Christmas desserts:
Torrone has to be Piemonte by Caffarel,
Panettone nothing less than Tre Marie
Pandoro if it is not Bauli it's a sin
Thank God, we can pleasantly walk it off in Rome on our way to the midnight mass (which starts at 10:00pm).
And the wonderful exhibits that are waiting for us in Rome including this one: Caravaggio: La Bottega del Genio (Caravaggio: the atelier of the genius
). In this exhibit, the technique of this very secretive artist is revealed (or at least this is what the poster says). Will visit and let you know...