Rome is the capital of Italy, the capital of Lazio, and the principal town of the Province of Rome. With 2.8 million residents, it is also the country’s largest and most populated commune. Between 3.2 and 3.7 million people live in the Rome metropolitan area.
Much of its countryside remains as it must have been in the days of the Empire: quiet, dotted with sheep, the domain of farmers and shepherds who make a living in its hills and valleys. In Lazio, lamb and pork are standard fare, and sheep’s milk cheese is produced abundantly in small dairies and large cooperatives. Simple pastas made of flour and water and a wealth of vegetables round out the Roman larder.
Pasta dishes based on the use of guanciale are often found in Lazio, such as pasta alla carbonara, and pasta all’amatriciana. Another pasta dish of the region is arrabbiata with spicy tomato sauce. The regional cuisine widely uses offal, resulting in dishes like the entrail-based rigatoni with pajata sauce and coda alla vaccinara. Iconic of Lazio are also cheese made from ewes’ milk (Pecorino Romano), porchetta, and Frascati white wine.