Rome Italy Cooking
Rome Italy Cooking with Betty Evans is a completely unique collection of traditional and classic Roman recipes. The cuisine of Rome is healthy, lusty and uncomplicated. This book began during the author’s two year residence in Rome and recent extended visits. She has a special and personal knowledge of Roman food and spirit. Sketches of Rome by Gordon Evans and a separate section with information about visiting Rome add to the charm of this book.
PrefaceMy road to Rome began at an early age. I think about ten. Because it was the radio era, I listened to the Metropolitan opera on Saturdays. The Italian ones were always my favorites. My father had an Italian friend, Franco, who invited us for spaghetti Sundays. I dreamed of becoming an archaeologist and being invited to help in some Roman forum "dig”. Of course I wanted to visit Italy. Eventually I grew up married and went to Paris with my art student on the G. I. bill husband. Now there was two of us who were wild about ruins, opera and Italian food. Winters were very cold and grey in Paris. We visioned ourselves in sunny Italy. This voyage was simply not possible on our government check of $105.00 per month. When school finished we returned to our home state California with our Paris born baby son. It was possible to build a house in Hermosa Beach on the Cal-Vet bill. We added two daughters to our family and settled down-except the Italian idea never went away. Several years passed. We had the thought that if we sold our comfy house and belongings we could go live in Italy until the money ran out. Gordon could paint, we could visit the ruins, it could be a unique experience for the children and I could learn about Italian food. All the sales and disposing of odds and ends worked out and in the Summer of 1958 we found ourselves in Perugia. Our Italian language skills were meager. Perugia has a "University for strangers”. You can while living in this ancient Etruscan hill town go to the university and study Italian. We did this for the Summer taking turns caring for our three children. That Fall we all took the train down to Rome with suitcases and art materials. It was a Roman heat wave. The neighborhood around the Spanish steps was known as the artist's quarter. This seemed like a good location because of the art galleries and the Borghese park near by. We stayed in a hotel on the Via Sistina and searched for a place to live. Finding a spot to rent was difficult. In our quest a meeting with a local artist suggested we go see Irma. This lady lived in a tiny apartment on Via del Baubuino. She greeted us at her door in a lounging robe, cigarette in her mouth and a wine glass in her hand. "You are artists and I will help you,” she said. Irma had come to Rome from Finland on a bridge tournament. During the tournament she met Edwardo. He was kind and adored her even though he always spent Sundays with his mother. Irma did not want to return to the cold Finnish town and her cool husband and family. So she stayed in Rome and helped artists and Finnish visitors. It was with the help of Irma that we did find a bachelor from England, Timothy. He had to return to England and needed to sub-lease his tiny attic apartment. Though it was small it was well located on Via del Corso and had a balcony overlooking the villa Medici and Roman pine streets. We lived here for almost two years. It was because of Irma that we met Clare, an American widow living on her pension in Rome. She introduced us to Leonard Creo. Leonard was an American painter. He and his family wanted to explore the ruins and spend Sundays eating Roman food and sipping wine. We would all (4 adults and 6 children) pile in his small Fiat and head off for Roman adventure. The time in Rome went fast. I cooked and shopped. Gordon painted and had several exhibits. Slowly the money slipped away and with boat fare remaining we all came back to California. Luckily, we have been able to return to Rome for short interludes. In the Fall of 1987 we returned. I did more work on my recipes and completed my notes. Gordon did the sketches. We tossed some coins in the Trevi fountain so that we will return. Betty Evans Hermosa Beach 1988
SCAMPI ALL GRIGLIA(Broiled or grilled shrimp) Romans have a sensible attitude towards shell fish. It should be kept simple to bring out all the delicate sea flavor. This treatment of shrimp is a perfect example.
1 lb. jumbo shrimp (about 15 to a lb.) 1/4 cup lemon juice 1/4 cup olive oil 2 garlic cloves minced salt and pepper to taste 1/4 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes lemon wedges and parsley for garnishShell the shrimp. Mix the remaining ingredients and stir. Marinate the shrimp in this at least 1 hour or longer. Place in a flat. Drain shrimp reserving the marinade. Divide between 2 skewers. Place the skewers over a baking dish with at least 2 inch sides. This is to collect the marinade. Broil and turn a couple of times until the shrimp are cooked and rosy pink. Don't overcook. As you cook, baste them with the marinade which will collect in the pan. Use it all up. To serve remove shrimp from the skewers and arrange on a warm plate with the marinade poured over them. Garnish with parsley and lemon wedges. This will serve two.
SALMONE ALLA FORNO(Oven baked salmon) Pliny the elder, that famous Roman naturalist and writer wrote nearly 1,900 years ago that the salmon from Aquitane surpassed all fishes. It was carried to Rome from this French province and known as “King of the fish”. Salmon is still a special Roman treat.
2-3 lbs. of salmon steaks olive oil salt and pepper to taste 1 cup white wine juice from one medium sized lemon parsley and lemon wedges for garnishPlace the olive oil in the bottom of a baking dish. Put the salmon on top of the oil. Combine the remaining ingredients and pour over the salmon. Bake at 350 degrees about 30 minutes until the salmon is pink and cooked. Remove from the dish and dribble some of the baking juices on the top of each piece. Garnish with lemon wedges and parsley. This will serve four.