In Italy, Romans are artisans at taking just a few simple ingredients and combining them to make impactful, flavorful dishes. Chef and food stylist Anthony Contrino salutes the Eternal City by recreating his favorite Roman recipes. First, he's making a traditional pasta carbonara, full of crispy pancetta, in a velvety sauce. Next, he crafts a delicious five-ingredient side dish of roasted asparagus. Then he dishes up a gorgeous chicken saltimbocca in a rich wine sauce.
This traditional pasta dish is one of my favorites and, like many Roman dishes, only uses a handful of ingredients. Guanciale (cured pig cheek) is traditionally used, but I use pancetta because it’s easier to get my hands on, but a really good, thick-sliced bacon will work in a pinch, too!
Roasted asparagus is one of my favorite sides. When coated with a ton of pecorino and some freshly cracked black pepper, like in the traditional Roman cacio e pepe pasta, it's transformed into a beautiful, flavorful addition to any meal.
Chicken gets a Roman upgrade when smothered in a rich but simple white wine sauce. Saltimbocca is traditionally made with veal, but chicken cutlets are cheaper and easier to find. Dressed up with earthy sage and salty prosciutto di Parma, your weeknight chicken dinner gets a serious upgrade.