Last weekend I was lucky enough to escape the miserable weather in Leeds, and swap it for some Italian sunshine in Rome. Although the purpose of my trip was to see some art exhibitions, I couldn't pass up the opportunity to explore one of Rome's most famous food markets - Campo dei Fiori, which, as well as being one of the most busy and bustling markets in Rome, it is also one of the oldest, dating back to 1869. I spent a leisurely couple of hours browsing the many stalls which offered a huge selection of seasonal local vegetables, pastas and oils - all absolutely elements essential in simple, fresh Italian cooking.
For lunch we headed out of the tourist-laden main square and into the Jewish quarter, where, led by our Italian friend, we ate at an authentic, understated restaurant. To start we shared a selection of artichoke hearts (which we were told had been cooked under a brick), deep-fried courgette flowers and a platter of roasted aubergines - as we has seen in the market, fresh seasonal veg was the star of the show! We followed the vegetables with simple yet delicious pasta dishes - somehow the Italians manage to master the art of making simple ingredients such as pasta and pesto utterly delicious!
I came back from the weekend a couple of pounds heavier and with a new-found enthusiasm for Italian food - it is safe to say that I will definitely be back before long!
Z & C x