A Roman sine qua non: la pajata

No stay in Rome is complete without a serving of rigatoni con la pajata: rigatoni tossed in a tomato sauce made with the small intestines of an unweaned calf, in other words, a calf that has been fed exclusively with its mother’s milk (today, in the post-mad-cow world, it is made with lamb intestines, as in the photo above). When the animal is slaughtered, the intestines are tied at either end. As the intestines cook, the rennet in the walls of the organ coagulates the milk and makes cheese. The resulting sauce has an inimitable creamy consistency… simply delicious. Last night at Perilli in Testaccio, I paired with a 1999 Taurasi Radici, which was showing beautifully. Ben had taglioni cacio e pepe and the owner also gave us some carbonara, which he makes with rigatoni instead of long noodles.

Running to catch my plane back to Berlin but wanted also to share this image of a 1992 Gambero Rosso Guide to the Wines of Italy being recycled, snapped in Testaccio. It’s good to know that the guide is being put to good use.

In other news…

The father of Brunello di Montalcino, Franco Biondi-Santi, has proposed a change in the Rosso di Montalcino DOC that would allow for other grapes besides Sangiovese. Read about it here.