Tasting Rome

Exclusive Experiences, Fresh Flavors and Forgotten Recipes from an Ancient City

“I dare you to get more than 10 pages into this book without attempting to purchase a plane ticket to Rome. With verve and honesty, Katie Parla and Kristina Gill have painted a culinary portrait of a beautifully complicated city forever at the crossroads of past and future. Impeccably researched and beautifully designed, Tasting Rome is essential reading for anyone who has ever twirled pasta around a fork.”

Talia Baiocchi, editor-in-chief of Punch




Receive a first-edition copy of Tasting Rome, signed by authors Katie Parla and Kristina Gill.

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Customized one-day Roman eating and drinking itinerary


Enjoy a full-day “eatinerary” customized to your tastes by Rome expert and Tasting Rome coauthor Katie Parla, plus a signed and personalized copy of the cookbook. Please allow up to two weeks to receive your itinerary.

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Half-day “Tasting Rome” culinary tour for two with Katie Parla


Take a private culinary tour of Rome, offering an in-depth look at the cucina romana, as seen in Tasting Rome. On this exclusive tour you will visit the markets, street food stalls, bakeries, cafés, artisanal gelato shops, and pizza-by-the-slice joints that have become bastions of great food and drink. Visitors who are looking for an authentic culinary experience will come away with an understanding of how Rome’s residents eat, drink, and shop in their own neighborhoods. This offer includes lunch with Katie Parla at one of her favorite trattorias and a signed and personalized copy of the cookbook. Dates are subject to availability

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Full-day “Tasting Rome” culinary tour for two with Katie Parla


For the extra-curious (and hungry) traveler, this full-day walking tour takes you to the graffiti-clad neighborhoods, patrician districts, archaeological parks, neighborhood bakeries, artisanal gelato shops, bustling markets, and innovative restaurants featured in Tasting Rome. This offer includes a midday lunch with Katie Parla, dinner reservations at a Roman classic, and a signed and personalized copy of the cookbook. Dates are subject to availability

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About the Authors

Katie Parla is a Rome-based food and beverage educator and journalist, and coauthor of the critically acclaimed cookbook Tasting Rome. Originally from New Jersey, she has an art history degree from Yale, a master’s degree in Italian Gastronomic Culture from the Università degli Studi di Roma “Tor Vergata,” a sommelier certificate from the Federazione Italiana Sommelier Albergatori Ristoratori, and an archaeological speleology certification from the city of Rome.

After more than 13 years in the Italian food, wine, and culture scene, Katie’s mission is to highlight great food and beverages, praise the people dedicated to feeding us well, and to get readers talking about what they are eating and drinking.

Kristina Gill is the food and drinks editor at DesignSponge.com, a home and lifestyle site with over 1.2 million readers per month. Her original recipes, and those she hand-selects from celebrated authors, chefs, and readers, have appeared weekly as the “In the Kitchen with” column since 2007. She is also a food and travel photographer. Kristina transferred to Rome in 1999 after earning her BA from Stanford and her MA from Johns Hopkins SAIS.

“Katie Parla, my dear friend and expert on all things Rome—particularly food, wine, and beer—has distilled the local culture as only the most informed and devoted observer could and shows how traditions are ever evolving.”

—Mario Batali, from the foreword of Tasting Rome

About the Book

Even 150 years after unification, Italy is still a divided nation where individual regions are defined by their local cuisine—mirrors of their culture, history, and geography. But the cucina romana is the country’s greatest standout. Speakeasies, ten-table restaurants, and street food stalls may not be the first things that come to mind when you think of Rome, but these new realities have joined the traditional bars and trattorias of the Italian capital as bastions of great food and drink. In Tasting Rome, journalist Katie Parla and photographer Kristina Gill capture Rome's unique character and truly evolved food culture—a culmination of two thousand years of history. 

The recipes here, each selected for the story it tells, acknowledge the foundations of the cuisine and demonstrate how it has transitioned to the variations found today, ranging from genuine classics to fascinating but largely undocumented Libyan Jewish fare to centuries-old offal preparations, and so much more. Part cookbook, part travel memoir, this book transports all the flavors of Rome to your kitchen.

Try a recipe

cacio e pepe di leonardo vignoli

Cacio is the local Roman dialect word for Pecorino Romano, a sheep’s-milk cheese made in the region since ancient times. Like carbonara, cacio e pepe is a relative newcomer to the Roman repertoire, first appearing in the mid-twentieth century. Pasta is tossed with an emulsified sauce of Pecorino Romano and black pepper that is bound by starchy pasta cooking water. Depending on the cook, the results range from dry to juicy. We love Leonardo Vignoli’s saucy version at Cesare al Casaletto. He uses ice in a hot pan to obtain a creamy sauce, but we have adapted his recipe to obtain more consistent results in a home kitchen. Finely grated Pecorino Romano and very hot water are essential to a smooth sauce, while fresh, coarsely ground black pepper gives flavor and texture. The most important component of a flawless cacio e pepe, however, is speed. If the water cools before melting the cheese, the sauce will clump.

Serves 4 to 6


  • Sea salt
  • 1 pound spaghetti or tonnarelli
  • 2 cups finely grated Pecorino Romano
  • 2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper, plus more to taste


  • Bring a large pot of water to a rolling boil over high heat. Salt the water. When the salt has dissolved, add the pasta and cook until al dente.
  • Meanwhile, in a large bowl, combine 1½ cups of the Pecorino Romano, the pepper, and a small ladle of pasta cooking water. Using the back of a large wooden spoon, mix vigorously and quickly to form a paste.
  • When the pasta is cooked, use a large strainer to remove it from the cooking water and quickly add it to the sauce in the bowl, keeping the cooking water boiling on the stove. Toss vigorously, adjusting with additional hot water a tablespoon or two at a time as necessary to melt the cheese and to obtain a juicy sauce that completely coats the pasta.
  • Plate and sprinkle each portion with some of the remaining Pecorino Romano and pepper to taste. Serve immediately.
The Crown Publishing Group