Italians believe that the tastiest dishes are those that use the freshest, in-season ingredients. So, if you’re in Rome this autumn, make sure to tuck into one, or more, of these delicious seasonal dishes.
Tortelli di Zucca
A vast array of brightly coloured pumpkins, of all shapes and sizes, starts making their appearance in Rome’s markets once the cooler temperatures arrive.
From September onwards this versatile vegetable is used in many different recipes, but the dish that really brings out the squash’s subtle, sweet flavor is tortelli di zucca. Pockets of ravioli filled with creamy pumpkin purée and topped with melted butter and fresh sage.
One of the best places in Rome to sample this melt-in-the mouth dish is at Colline Emiliane, a friendly trattoria just a few blocks away from the Trevi fountain. They’ve been serving mouth-watering dishes since 1931, and are well known for their tortelli di zucca.
Via Degli Avignonesi, 22
Tuesday – Sunday from 12.45pm – 2.45pm / 7.30pm – 10.45pm
Closed on Mondays
Autumn is synonyms with an abundance of chestnuts, and during the colder months of the year Rome is filled with the smell of them roasting on street vendors’ makeshift grills.
Some of Rome’s bakeries will also start selling chestnuts in the form of castagnaccio, a cake made with chestnut flour and flavoured with olive oil, raisins and pine nuts. This traditional not-too-sweet treat is said to have its origins in Tuscany, but it’s also made in other regions of Italy, where they often add sprigs of rosemary and orange rind.
If you’re lucky enough to be in Rome during chestnut season, then make sure to head over to Antico Forno Roscioli to taste a slice of their deliciously earthy castagnaccio.
Antico Forno Roscioli
Via dei Chiavari 34
Monday – Saturday from 7am – 7.30pm
Sunday from 8am – 6pm
Carciofi alla Giudia
Although restaurants in Rome serve traditional artichoke dishes all year round, if you’re not ordering in autumn or spring, then you’re most probably eating imported or frozen artichokes. Which would be a pity, as the tastiest artichokes are the ones that come into season locally from late October onwards, and then again from early spring.
Carciofo alla Giudia, a deep friend, whole artichoke, and specialty of Rome’s Jewish ghetto, must be one of the best way to enjoy Rome’s artichokes in autumn.
To get a true taste of one of these incredibly addictive Jewish style artichokes, head over to one of the oldest restaurants in the ghetto, Piperno. You can’t go wrong with their delectably crisp Carciofi alla Giudia.
Monte de’ Cenci, 9
Tuesday – Sunday from 12.45pm – 2.45pm / Tuesday – Saturday from 7.45pm – 10.30pm
Closed Sunday evening and all day Monday
Fettuccine con funghi porcini
Mushroom hunters start combing the countryside outside Rome for Italy’s most beloved mushroom, the rich and meaty Porcini, after the first rains in early autumn. There are countless ways to enjoy this popular funghi, as it’s delicate enough to perfectly enhance an elegant sauce or soup, and also vigorous enough to stand up to something as robust as a grilled steak.
In Rome, one of the most classic ways to enjoy these mushrooms is by sitting down to a hearty plate of fettucine con porcini at Armando al Pantheon. The thick ribbons of egg based pasta goes together perfectly with their creamy porcini mushroom sauce.
Armando al Pantheon
Salita dei Crescenzi, 31
Monday-Friday from 12.30pm-3pm / 7pm-11pm
Saturday from 12.30pm-3pm
Risotto al tartufo
Truffles must be one of the most treasured, and expensive, seasonal delicacies in the world, and Italians definitely make the most of their precious, local varieties.
In Rome you can find both black and white truffles. Most often the truffles are grated on a number of dishes, including pasta and eggs.
Osteria Barberini is especially famed for their black and white truffle menu. If you’re in the mood for the ultimate autumnal comfort food, you can’t go wrong with their risotto with white truffle and prosecco.
Via Della Purificazione, 21
Monday – Sunday from 12.30 – 2.30 / 6.30 – 10.30
Closed on Sundays