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Women’s Day Menu

“From women’s eyes this doctrine I derive: they sparkle still the right Promethean fire; they are the books, the arts, the academes, that show, contain and nourish all the world.”

(William Shakespeare)

Are you looking for a modern and elegant location to spend the Women’s Day in Rome? At the Piccolo Mondo you can relive the atmosphere of the “dolce vita”, celebrating in a beautiful restaurant near Via Veneto, Piazza di Spagna, Fontana di Trevi. Our special Women’s Day menu, in perfect harmony between tradition and innovation, is waiting for you!

 

WOMEN’S DAY MENU

 

Appetizer

Sea bass carpaccio with strawberry “panzanella” and yellow “datterini” tomatoes

Pasta

Tagliolini with squid, zucchini and pumpkin flowers

Main course

Turbot with asparagus tips and saffron velvety

Dessert

Mimosa cake with Tribago chocolate and berries

 

Price: € 45,00 per person (beverages not included)

Reservations: info@ristorantepiccolomondo.it, tel +39 06 42016034.

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Fellini: sixty year of dolce vita

A film, an icon, the profile of an Italy exploding between cultural rigidity and frantic change. Sixty years ago, La dolce vita by Federico Fellini appeared in cinemas, and in popular culture. Just on the night between 2 and 3 February 1960 at the “Cinema Fiamma di Roma”, today closed, there was the premiere.

 

The Film

We are in the glamorous Rome of the ’60s, where Marcello Rubini (Marcello Mastroianni), a scandal journalist, spends his life through a purely Hegelian drama, that is: between having to be a scandal journalist and wanting to be a novelist.

Through the character of Marcello, Fellini unveils to us lights and shadows of the Capitoline society of the time, such as: the arrival of a Statue of Christ headed to the Vatican aboard a helicopter; Marcello’s continuous betrayals that lead his girlfriend Emma (Yvonne Furneaux) to the attempted suicide and the will of a man who, after the escaped tragedy, decides to throw himself headlong into his job accepting to follow the famous Hollywood star Sylvia (Anita Ekberg). Through her, Fellini takes the protagonist and the spectator into the complex meanders of a society that changes, rebeling quietly and finding itself devoted to beauty as if it were sunken, festive and luxuriant in the Trevi Fountain. And, in an instant, it is as if that “Marcello come here” was an invitation addressed to all that ” dolce” Italy.

 

“A Small World” in Via Veneto

Like a current that crosses a river from Porta Pinciana to Piazza Barberini, Via Veneto is the place where Italy changes, Neorealism flakes and is tinged with a golden filigree, a new light.

Located in the beating heart of Rome, a stone’s throw from Via Veneto, the visceral soul of the freshness of the style known as “dolce vita”, the Il Piccolo Mondo restaurant is a witness to an inexorable change of the guard, becoming a cradle of change and home to the likes of Federico Fellini.

 

Federico Fellini and the evenings in via Veneto

Federico Fellini walked along Via Veneto like an ante litteram flux of Roman sociology. Born in Rimini and moved to Rome to study, he made the city his second home, so much so as to make it the inspiring muse of his greatest films from Roma to La dolce vita. The capital took on new facets for Fellini: a protagonist with a thousand faces, told in a prosaic way as one does of a woman one admires and loves so much.

In an interview Fellini said: “In the evening we went to Via Veneto”. And it was precisely this little glimpse of Rome that became a corner of home for the director, a place to live, made up of nineteenth-century facades, crowded hotels and beauties immortalized by a flash. Here, the “painter” Fellini admires his masterpiece that moves and turns from “dolce vita” into “daily life”. Via Veneto could not, therefore, fail to thank that great master. Crossing the Aurelian arches we arrive in largo Federico Fellini, dedicated to the man who made Via Veneto “the theatre of the Dolce Vita”.

 

Federico Fellini and food

A table laid and a family reunited. Speaking of Fellini, one cannot help but think of one of Amarcord’s scenes, but it is also the scene that comes closest to his life experience in terms of food. Son of a parmesan representative, he tells of how he grew up “with that smell under his nose”, as he said as an adult. However, his favourite dish remained, without a shadow of a doubt, the English soup prepared by his grandmother and enriched with a very special meringue. At the time, in fact, since there were no piping bags, his grandmother used to put the mixture of egg white and sugar inside a cone made of newspaper. And it was precisely this detail that made that meringue so special, which took on an aftertaste of newsprint impossible to reproduce, because the newspaper in question was now out of print. He loved first courses, as not to mention one of his famous phrases: “life is a combination of pasta and magic”. In an interview he revealed that he loved to eat alone during filming. Voracious but too anxious to sit still, he said that having lunch with the film crew would distract him.

We, however, like to imagine him like this: sitting at one of the tables of the restaurant Il Piccolo Mondo, in front of a steaming pasta dish, watching life flowing outside and a new idea running through him.

 

Pasta and its many varieties

Pasta, like pizza, has made Italian cuisine famous throughout the world. In Italy there are many kinds of this product and they differ in ingredients, shapes, processes and methods of cooking. In addition, each recipe uses precise formats, so as to create a perfect combination of pasta and ingredients.
The types of pasta vary from one region to another, but also from one location to another in the same region, some over time have had a national spread, or international as spaghetti, while others have remained the exclusive heritage of their places of origin.
Among different processing methods and more or less bizarre names, the world of pasta is rich and varied, let’s discover some of its characteristics together.

Processing methods

A first fundamental difference concerns fresh and dry pasta. The first must be kept in the fridge and consumed within a few days, the second, the classic dry pasta, if stored at room temperature in the pantry, can last for several months.
Dry pasta can be stored for a long time because, thanks to the drying method, it is dehydrated during processing, thus preventing the proliferation of bacteria. Even if for convenience we tend to prefer dry pasta, we also allow ourselves the pleasure of eating fresh pasta sometimes, making sure, however, that it has been prepared and preserved with care.

There is an infinite number of shapes of pasta on the market with different costs, how to find your way around? Surely you should prefer products that are bronze drawn, a process carried out at low drying temperatures to preserve the nutritional properties of the ingredients.
The products made by artisan companies offer a higher quality both for the raw materials chosen, both for the attention they pay to the processing methods. The work of the pasta makers is based on an ancient art, which is handed down from generation to generation. Even if they continue to apply these consolidated techniques, some of them do not give up trying to distinguish themselves by combining traditional products with alternatives that capture the attention of consumers.

Each ingredient has its own pasta

Have you ever wondered why there are so many shapes and sizes of pasta? First of all to arouse the curiosity of consumers, small or large, and then because not all shapes are suitable for every ingredient. Let’s take a few examples:
1) Let’s say: Cacio e pepe, we are implying the use of long pasta, spaghetti or tonnarelli, because they blend better with the creamy sauce of this dish, typical of the Roman cuisine. A simple recipe, but extremely tasty, which includes only three ingredients: salt, black pepper and pecorino romano.
2) Spaghetti and clams are inseparable by tradition and to ensure the right creaminess to this dish with only few ingredients, long pasta is the best choice.
3) And what about the Amatriciana? Bucatini or spaghetti are the perfect shapes! This ancient recipe, born in Amatrice, was originally without tomato and had the name of Gricia (typical dish of Lazio cuisine, still very popular today). The addition of tomatoes to the other ingredients, peppery guanciale (cured pork cheek) and pecorino romano, is subsequent to their being imported from the Americas. For both the Amatriciana and the Gricia, rigatoni are a valid alternative to spaghetti and bucatini.
4) If we move to the south of the boot, in Puglia we find the orecchiette with turnip tops (also called “strascinati”). The recipe requires that the pasta is cooked with vegetables and sautéed with garlic, oil and anchovies, the orecchiette are perfect to ensure a good result.

The pasta, as well as for its shape and production, also differs for the flours used in the dough. For example, Tacconi, originating in the Marche region, has wheat flour and broad bean flour in the dough; the gnocchi are prepared with potatoes, flour, eggs and salt.  Rice, buckwheat and corn flours are some of the flours used to produce gluten-free pasta.
The shapes and recipes that characterize this traditional dish of Italian cuisine are numerous. You are spoilt for choice between tradition and innovation!
If you are passionate about pasta, and in particular the typical dishes of Roman cuisine, il Piccolo Mondo is the restaurant for you, we are waiting for you!
For reservations please contact us at 06 42016034.

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Cacio e pepe: the four most common errors

Cacio e pepe (cheese and black pepper) embodies the true essence of Roman cuisine. In the capital, pasta is a religion: Roman cuisine is based on poor first courses, those made with few ingredients, but good and nutritious. Let’s talk about Carbonara, Amatriciana, of its tomato-less variant, the Gricia, and of the Cacio e Pepe. And it is precisely about the latter that we will talk about, giving you suggestions that will help you to prepare it as well as possible.

 

 How and when does Cacio e Pepe come into being?

This dish with ancient origins was born in the pastures during the period of the transhumance, i.e. the seasonal migration of flocks from pastures in the countryside Roman to the mountains. During these long journeys the shepherds brought with them caloric and long-life foods, including: dried spaghetti, pecorino cheese and black pepper grains. And it is precisely from the union of these three simple ingredients that Cacio e Pepe is born.

The choice of these foods was not random, but dictated by precise needs. Let’s see together such as:
– the pasta was used for its caloric and carbohydrate intake;
black pepper was used to counteract the cold, because it stimulates the heat receptors;
– the pecorino guaranteed the protein intake and having a long shelf life, it was not was never missing from supplies.
This traditional dish has continued to fascinate the Romans and over the years has also won over tourists visiting the Eternal City. Its fame over time became international.

Four mistakes to avoid

Although it is an institution in Roman cuisine and seems to be easy to prepare for its few ingredients, the Cacio e Pepe is not without risks at all: the mistake is always around the corner…

Here are collected the four most common errors which you can make during his preparation:

1) Using any type of pasta: the tradition dictates the use of the long pasta, spaghetti, or better yet, tonnarelli. Over the years other types of pasta have been used, such as rigatoni, tagliolini, etc. Let’s give space to alternatives, not forgetting, however, that you should not choose a type of pasta excessively porous, because it risks absorbing too much of the seasoning, which instead must maintain the creaminess that distinguishes it.

2) Cooking the pasta wrong: the pasta for the Cacio e Pepe must be drained very much al dente. The cooking must be completed over a low heat in a frying pan along with the previously roasted pepper. Once the cooking is complete, add the
creamy cheesy sauce, prepared separately in a bowl with pecorino cheese and pasta cooking water. Only now is the pasta ready to be put into the dishes. Draining the very al dente pasta will guarantee you doing all the steps without risking to
to overcook it.

3) Putting cream to give creaminess to the dish: the ingredients of this dish are three and that’s all! The secret to making the pasta creamy lies in preparing the creamy sauce by gradually pouring grated pecorino cheese and cooking water (rich in starch released from the pasta) in a bowl, stirring with a whisk to prevent lumps from forming. It’s wise to use
cooking water to make the dish creamy and not by adding others ingredients such as oil, butter or cream.

4) Having the wrong kind of cheese: the cacio of “Cacio e pepe” is nothing more than Roman pecorino cheese. Although it is a generic term that indicates any sheep’s milk cheese, in the Roman cuisine and tradition for cacio they mean Roman pecorino cheese.

Put these suggestions into practice and your Cacio e Pepe will be impeccable! If the dishes of the Roman cuisine are your passion, at restaurant Il Piccolo Mondo you can enjoy them prepared according to the dictates of tradition. We are waiting for you!

For reservations please contact us at 06 42016034.