Roman cooking is generally identified with that of Lazio. It is not excessively sophisticated but is among the most flavored of Italy.
The most authentic dishes are prepared with simple ingredients: pasta, tripe, chicken giblets, baccalà (salted fish), beans, artichokes, brain, beef tail ("coda di manzo") - although there is no lack of richer dishes like lamb, goat's meat, pork, and various types of seafood.
The meal usually begins with an antipasto: cold meats, raw vegetables soaked in olive oil or vinegar, olives, "bruschetta" (toasted bread with olive oil and garlic and various toppings such as tomatoes), and seafood.
The real main dish is the first: spaghetti carbonara style, bucatini (a type of pasta) alla matriciana (tomato, bacon and onion), penna all'arrabbiata (tomato, parsley, and peppers), gnocchi alla romana, spaghetti with garlic and oil, fettucini with butter or tomato sauce.
Also traditional are country soups like pasta with beans, or with chickpeas or lentils, or potato gnocchi with tomato sauce.
The second dish can be meat or fish: beef stew, oven-baked lamb or goat, chicken with peppers, lamb alla cacciatora (hunter's style, with rosemary, garlic, peppers, white wine, sage), tripe with tomato and mentuccia romana (a local herb), beef tail "alla vaccinara","baccalà in guazzetto" (white wine, garlic, and parsley) or with "pastella" (fine pasta of water and flour, fried), "ciriole" (bread) "alla fiumarola" and cuttlefish with peas.
Among the fresh cheeses, ricottas and mozzarellas.
As dessert, fruit in season or fruit cocktail, ice cream, "maritozzi" (horn-shaped pastry filled with cream), "mostaccioli," "pangiallo" (a type of fruitcake that contains peanuts above all), "cavallucci" (cookies) and ricotta cake.
Among the wines the Castelli Romani whites are outstanding: Frascati, Monteporzio, Marino, Albano, Lanuvio, Genzano, Velletri. Of particular esteem is the Malvasia of Grottaferrata. Among the reds, the Cesanese of Olevano produced in the Castelli region, the Baccanale of Campagnano, Torre Ercolana, Colle Picchioni and Velletri rosso Riserva.