Have a brainy happy birthday Roma! (Father Z’s Kitchen)

As if I needed any reminder, my Roman Curia calendar alerted me to the fact that today is the 2768th Birthday of Rome.

My friend the Great Roman Fabrizio™ decided, given the terrible news lately, to celebrate with a tasty plate of fried brains!  Yum.

I am debating what to make for supper. It should be in the Roman line. Perhaps spaghetti or bucatini alla gricia or all’amatriciana.



I decided on bucatini all’amatriciana

Yah yah.. I didn’t wind up using the salt, but I like the salt cellar.

I couldn’t get guanciale but I could get pancetta.  I didn’t have fresh tomatoes so I worked with the antepenultimate can of San Marzanos that you readers sent me.  Also, that’s the last package of bucatini that you readers sent me.  Also present are pepper, hot pepper, and pecorino.

Sauté the pork.

Remove to a dish and continue with the tomatoes.

Add some white wine.  Sorry about the shadow.

Put the pork in again.

Add the hot stuff.  I amped it up more after this.

I added a ladle of the pasta water and put in the pasta to finish cooking in the sauce.

With grated pecorino.

With ground pepper.  Like being in Rome.

Happy birthday Roma.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
This entry was posted in Fr. Z's Kitchen, SESSIUNCULA and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.


  1. Sid Cundiff in NC says:


  2. Grateful to be Catholic says:

    All’amatriciana, so quick and easy and yummy.

  3. Simon_GNR says:

    It’s also the 89th birthday of Queen Elizabeth II. Many happy returns to Her Majesty!

  4. Gerard Plourde says:

    I’ll cast a vote for saltimbocca alla Romana.

  5. Someone please be the Garrigue says:

    There was me thinking it only came in pints or multiples thereof.

  6. Charlie says:

    The Brains of the Rev. James is light to the taste and does not leave an after taste on the tongue

  7. Suburbanbanshee says:

    I don’t know if anyone would drink French champagne for Rome’s birthday, but I thought you’d want to see this story about some Veuve that’s been chilling for a long, long time!

  8. We celebrated with Cacio e Pepe. Sadly, we didn’t have any Frascati on hand.

  9. Atra Dicenda, Rubra Agenda says:

    I miss Fr. Z’s kitchen. It’s been too long.

  10. It’s harder these days.

  11. wanda says:

    Looks delicious. Nice to see your cooking post. Now all we need is a shot/news from the feeder feed!

  12. James C says:

    Father, I was in Norcia last October, and I bought a big hunk of guanciale and brought it back to my mother. She hung it up in her kitchen, and she’s still using it for sauces, etc. here in April!

    I’d suggest bringing one back with you this coming October! You can’t truly replace guanciale. Mmm.

  13. Quanah says:

    In seriousness, a friend asked me if the date is adjusted for calendar changes. Anyone?

  14. Ray says:

    The brains reminded me of my youth. Many of the bars and taverns in St. Louis had brain sandwiches on the menu. My grandfather, uncles and dad often ordered them. They were most commonly served on rye bread with thin slices of onion. Haven’t had one for over 30 years as the older ethnic bars that served them are no longer in business. If prepared correctly they are delicious.

  15. Fr. Pius, OP says:

    If you are ever near the Colosseum, La Hostaria da Nerone serves a wonderful brain with mushrooms. It is very, very light. They also serve a wonderful rigatoni con la pajata — one of my favorite classic Roman dishes.

  16. MikeM221 says:

    The turkey sandwich I am having for lunch as I write this is so disappointing, when I see Father’s delicious plate of bucatini all’amatriciana, which became my favorite pasta dish ever since I first tasted it in Rome over 30 years ago.

  17. Per Signum Crucis says:

    The one and only time (many years ago) that I’ve been to Rome, on the last day before flying back to the UK, I bought some street pizza and asked the kitchen staff in hthe religious house my pilgrimage group was staying in to chill it sufficiently overnight that it would survive the flight. Of course, in the business of departing the next morning, I completely forgot to retrieve it but I hope that someone enjoyed it!

  18. jkking says:

    We had our 2nd child yesterday, a girl. How weird is this: we named her Silvia (mother of Romulus and Remus) and she turned out to be born on Apr 21! Totally not planned!

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