Recipes from the market


In almost every market you can find a special product or a recipe or simply an advice. Throughout the years, we had the chance to get to know many vendors and some of them shared some of their secrets with me. This is our personal top ten.

1 Chickpeas and salted codfish from Valmelaina Market

Fry in a pan some onion, carrot and celery, finely chopped, add chickpeas and some warm water and let them cook for 15-20 minutes checking the chickpeas consistency with a fork every now and then. Ten minutes before the end, add the salted codfish previously soaked with tomatoes, olive oil and rosemary. Remember not to add salt.

2 Gnocchi from Testaccio Market 

Alessandro, chef at Le mani in pasta (literally hands in the pie), makes gnocchi every Thursday. He uses Viterbo potatoes only (1Kg boiled), bought at the market, one egg, 300 g of 00 flour and 200 g of wheat flour, some salt. You can follow the instructions in the video below. Alessandro suggests to eat them “alla cacio e pepe” (typical pecorino cheese and pepper) but also with tomatoes sauce, meat ragout or whatever else your creativity comes up with. Just as an example, a good sauce can be prepared with asparagus and speck.

3 Spelt tagliatelle from Garbatella Farmers Market 09

At Aminternum stall, farmer Giulio Pace’s company from Aquila, you can buy fresh tagliatelle or the flour to make them on your own. This is his recipe.
For six people: sift 200g of spelt flour and 200g of white flour, arrange it as a ‘vulcan’ on a cutting board and leave a hole in the middle. Put in the hole 4 eggs, 2 spoons of olive oil and two spoons of warm water, then knead until the dough becomes smooth and soft. To stretch and cut the tagliatelle, you can use a rolling pin and a knife or, if you have it, the pasta making machine. Sauce suggested by season: asparagus cream in spring, zucchini cream in summer, pumpkin cream in autumn/winter.

4 Tenerume soup from Celio Market

If you find leaves and tops of this long zucchini variety, you can prepare a very good soup (hot in winter, just warm in summer). This is the recipe by Maurizio and his wife Anna for a delicious Tenerume soup.01
Clean and wash the zucchini tops and leaves and boil them in salted water for approximately ten minutes. Fry a clove of garlic in a pan, add some (peeled) tomatoes and basil and let the sauce cook. When the tenerume has become soft, take it out with a skimmer, cut it in pieces and put it back in its water, pouring also the tomato sauce (take out the garlic before). When it starts boiling again, throw some small size pasta such as ditalini or broken spaghetti. If you want to cook it without pasta, you can then eat it with some toasts.

5 Battered Borrage from Tor Pignattara Market 

Simonetta, vendor from Tor Pignattara Market who simonetta copertinahas a son who is a chef, suggested us to use nice borage leaves instead of courgette flowers to make them filled. Wash and dry borage leaves, cut some mozzarella in small cubes and let it drain for a few minutes. Make a sort of sandwhich with a borage leaf, a couple of mozzarella cubes, an anchovy and another borage leaf. Prepare the batter with flour, salt and iced sparkling water. Dip the borage leaves & co. in the batter and fry them in olive oil.

6 Butternut pumpkin cream from Circo Massimo Farmer Market 

7Our pumpkin expert suggests to use a ‘butternut’ pumpkin, also known as ‘violin’ due to its shape, with a ‘suede’ color pulp. Take half a kilogram of pumpkin pulp cut in cubes and brown it in a pan with some olive oil and a thin sliced leek. When browned, add some salt and vegetable broth (that you can prepare boiling few carrots, celery and fennels). When the pumpkin is soft enough, blend it with 100 ml of liquid cream. You can serve it in Martini glasses and decorate with a ‘tempura’ pumpkin flower.

7 Small artichokes pickled in oil from Macao Market 

Mr Elio sells fresh artichokes already clean, in case you want to do it yourself, make sure you clean them well and keep only the heart, which is the softest part. Cook the small artichokes in a pan with half white wine and half vinegar (it helps to 01prevent botulinum but it also gives a sour flavor which is usually well liked) and a pinch of salt. Let them boil 5 or 6 minutes, drain and let them cool off. Then take some pasteurized cans and fill them up with little artichokes, cover them with extra-virgin olive oil, leaving at list two ‘fingers’ of oil on top of the artichokes. Leave the cans with their cover on top but not fully closed for a couple of days, so that the artichokes can absorb some of the oil. If needed, top up to cover them again and then close the cans.

8 Puntarelle from Trevi Market 

1  Puntarelle salad is a typical Roman dish, easy to prepare… except for cleaning the puntarelle! If you don’t want to struggle, you can buy them ready to make at Trevi Market. Otherwise, follow the steps suggested by Mr. Amato (and watch the video). Puntarelle are literally the sprouts of a kind of chicory which can be easily found in Roman markets.
First of all, remove the sprouts in the inner part of the chicory head. Cut the end of the stems, too hard to be eaten raw, and split the sprout in two along its length, and then keep on cutting thin vertical stripes. Put them in a bowl with cold water (you can add some ice ) and lemon, and they will curl up as puntarelle.
To dress the salad, you can prepare a sort of vinaigrette with extra-virgin olive oil, white vinegar, garlic (leave the full clove and remove it later if you don’t want to eat it) and two or three anchovy filets. 


9 Artichokes stems sauce from Ponte Milvio Market 

copertina silvanaMrs Silvana gave us the recipe of a sauce to use the artichokes stems, if not used with the artichokes themselves. You should proceed as for ‘romana’ artichokes and therefore cook the stems with olive oil, minced parsley, garlic and wild mint (if you like it) and some water. When they seem well cooked, blend them in a mixer and the sauce can be used directly on your pasta or put on a layer of lasagne, together with some béchamel sauce or cheese.

10 Crostata di visciole e ricotta from Monti Market 

Filippo, aka Pippo Tortellino, has a fresh pasta and pastry lab at via Baccina market in Monti, he proposed us a dessert which is typical of the Roman ghetto: sour cherries and ricotta pie. 03
For the shortcut pastry: 750 grams of flour, 300 grams of butter, 350 grams of sug ar, a packet of baking powder (approximately 16 grams), 4 eggs and 3 yolks. Mix flour, sugar, butter in small pieces, baking powder and the 4 eggs first, then add the 3 yolks. Once your pastry seems homogeneous both in color and texture, wrap it in a plastic sheet and let it rest in the fridge for about an hour. Lay out the shortcut pastry in a cake pan and make sure you make a little border all around the pan, the spread out a layer of sour cherry jam and, on top of it, a mix of 500 grams of sheep ricotta and 200 grams of sugar. Make a circle with the remaining pastry and put it over the mixture to close the pie. Let it cook in a fanned oven for 40 mins at 160 degrees.

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