12 Authentic Roman Pasta Recipes.

12 Pasta Recipes from Rome.

In the world of Italian pasta, some of the most well-known and popular pasta recipes come from Rome and Lazio. You may well have already heard of and even love some of these 12 authentic Roman pasta recipes. But, I’m sure there are others you will really enjoy discovering for the first time.

Roman pasta recipes

Pasta is a mainstay of the Roman diet. Many of the traditional recipes are hearty and  based on ingredients that have been produced in the surrounding countryside for centuries. However, there are also lighter vegetarian and seafood recipes originating from times when meatless days were a religious tradition. Today, of course, these dishes are popular because they are healthier and many people no longer eat meat.

Click the recipe name to go to the recipe post.

12 Roman pasta recipes: meat pasta.

sausage rigatoni alla zozzona

Sausage Rigatoni alla Zozzona.

There are many sausage ragu pasta recipes in Italy. This recipe from Rome is one of the latest I have posted on the Pasta Project. It’s also one of the heartiest  and most substantial! The sauce includes pancetta or guanciale (pork cheek), tomatoes, Pecorino and eggs, all very typical Roman pasta ingredients. 

spaghetti alla carbonara pasta recipe from Rome

Spaghetti alla Carbonara.

Carbonara is probably the most well-known of these 12 authentic Roman pasta recipes. There are a number of theories about its origin. But, most probably it was invented towards the end of the Second World War to satisfy the tastes of American soldiers stationed in Rome after the city’s liberation in 1944. There are many versions of carbonara outside Italy. However, this is the authentic Roman recipe. It calls for just guanciale/pancetta, eggs and Pecorino.

pasta alla Gricia recipe from Rome

Pasta alla Gricia.

Alla Gricia is one of the oldest authentic Roman pasta recipes, said to date back to around 400AD! Italians often call it white Amatriciana! This is a super simple recipe made with just guanciale, Pecorino and freshly ground black pepper. Traditionally, the pasta for this recipe is either spaghetti or rigatoni.

Fettuccine alla Papalina.

Alla Papalina is a creamy pasta recipe from Rome named after Pope Pius XII, who was the inspiration behind its invention. Romans usually make this dish with fettuccine. It is super simple to make and a great way to use up leftover ham! Like carbonara, alla Papalina calls for eggs. This version includes peas.

12 Roman pasta recipes: pasta with fish

spaghetti alla Puttanesca

Spaghetti alla Puttanesca.

If you cook your Puttanesca with anchovies, then you are actually making the version from Rome. Yes, there are two versions of this popular Italian recipe. The original comes from Naples, but they don’t add anchovies, whereas in Rome they do!

Romanesco broccoli pasta soup.

I think Romanesco broccoli, also called Roman cauliflower, is one of the most incredible looking veggies on the planet! And, this fabulous chartreuse coloured natural masterpiece is the main ingredient in this Roman pasta soup.   

calamarata with stewed cuttlefish and peas

Calamarata with stewed cuttlefish and peas.

There are a number of versions of stewed cuttlefish and peas in Southern and Central Italy. In fact, this is both a popular main course (without pasta) and a pasta dish. Apart from the cuttlefish and peas, this version from Rome has tomatoes, onions, white wine, stock and parsley.  I used calamarata pasta. But, you can use other large pasta tubes.

puntarelle pasta with burrata

Puntarelle pasta with burrata.

The Romans are crazy about puntarelle, the flower shoots of Catalonian chicory. And, you will be too after you have tried this delicious puntarelle pasta with burrata. I made this dish with cavatelli pasta but in Rome spaghetti is more traditional!

12 authentic Roman pasta recipes: vegetarian

spaghetti alla checca pasta recipe from Rome

Spaghetti alla Checca.

Alla Checca is a great summer or weeknight Roman pasta recipe that dates back to the 60s and 70s. This dish is super simple and can be ready in just 30 minutes. The sauce ingredients are olives, tomatoes, fennel seeds, fresh parsley and fresh basil. I also added burrata but you can leave that out to keep it dairy free or vegan.

gnocchi alla Romana

Gnocchi alla Romana.

These Roman gnocchi are different to most other kinds of gnocchi as they are made with semolina, rather than potatoes or bread. As a result, they are lighter than other gnocchi. In fact, you can serve them as a starter! Traditionally, gnocchi alla Romana are shaped in circles. But, the dough can also be cut into squares or other shapes! So, if you’re making these with the kids, you can have some fun and cut them in different shapes!

bucatini all'arrabbiata

Bucatini all’Arrabbiata.

There are two very well-known spicy pasta dishes in Italy. One is pasta with nduja from Calabria, made with a soft spicy salami. The other is this vegetarian Roman pasta recipe called all’arrabbiata or just arrabbiata. The word ‘arrabbiata’ means angry and the name refers to the fact that eating this spicy dish can make your face turn red, like someone who’s very angry!  Of course, the amount of chili pepper you add depends on how hot you like it!

cacio e pepe pasta recipe from Rome

Cacio e Pepe.

This 2 ingredient Roman pasta recipe is probably the simplest of all Italian pasta dishes. And, like many traditional recipes cacio e pepe originated in the countryside among the peasants and farmers.  However, despite its humble origins, it has become a very trendy dish!

If you do try any of these 12 authentic Roman pasta recipes, I’d love to hear what you think. Please, write a comment here on the blog or post a comment on the Pasta Project Facebook page.

Your feedback means a lot to me!

Buon Appetito!

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59 Comments

  • Avatar
    Genevieve
    April 28, 2020 12:36 am

    Well isn’t this a delightful pasta list? These all look SO delicious!

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    Anindya Sundar Basu
    April 26, 2020 5:29 pm

    Hi Jacqui , Hope things are better in Italy now . Atleast its improving. My prayers and best wishes for you and your family members. This is a great collection and will love to try all of them out. Stay safe and prayers for all of you

    • Avatar
      The Pasta Project
      April 27, 2020 4:43 am

      Thank you so much for your kind words, Aninda. We are starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel. I hope that you and your family are safe and well.

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    Nart | Cooking with Nart
    April 26, 2020 10:58 am

    These pasta recipes all look so good it’s so hard to choose what to try first Jacqui! I think I’m probably gonna go with the Puntarelle pasta with burrata though, hehe.

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      The Pasta Project
      April 27, 2020 4:44 am

      Good choice! I hope you enjoy!

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    Patrice
    April 25, 2020 6:32 am

    Yum! I love pasta and I love Rome. So many delicious options here. Thanks for this roundup of favorites.

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      The Pasta Project
      April 27, 2020 4:44 am

      Thank you, Patrice. We are certainly spoilt for choice!

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    sambo
    April 24, 2020 8:28 pm

    oh wow, Pasta with clam is my favourite. I miss visiting Venice. Also anywhere in Italy has a very nice pasta. Love this roman pasta recipe.

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      The Pasta Project
      April 27, 2020 4:45 am

      Thank you!

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    Michelle
    April 24, 2020 4:49 pm

    I love Carbonara and so does my family! Thanks for the recipe!

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      The Pasta Project
      April 27, 2020 4:46 am

      Thank you, Michelle. I hope you get to try it!

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    Yvette Munro
    April 24, 2020 1:11 pm

    I am definitely a fan of creamy pasta dishes, but you have some wonderful new pasta dishes here that I hadn’t thought of . I see myself trying out a few of these recipes when Winter rolls around.

    • Avatar
      The Pasta Project
      April 27, 2020 4:46 am

      Winter is a great time for comforting dishes, although I love them all year round!

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    Rochelle
    April 24, 2020 11:57 am

    The cacio e pepe looks so good. I will definitely have to try this at home. Thank you for sharing. Every recipe you post looks absolutely amazing!

    • Avatar
      The Pasta Project
      April 27, 2020 4:47 am

      Thank you, Rochelle. That is very kind of you to say!

  • Avatar
    Emily
    April 18, 2020 2:46 am

    All of these pastas look amazing!! I’m totally craving carbonara! Thanks for this round-up!

    • Avatar
      The Pasta Project
      April 27, 2020 4:47 am

      Thank you, Emily. It’s great to have lots of recipes to choose from!

  • Avatar
    Stephanie
    April 13, 2020 8:28 pm

    These pasta recipes all look incredible – I don’t even know where to start!! The Bucatini all’Arrabbiata jumped out at me – I’ve never had it before but I can’t wait to try it!

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      The Pasta Project
      April 27, 2020 4:48 am

      Hopefully you get to try them all! The Bucatini is a great place to start!

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    Alexis
    April 13, 2020 7:34 pm

    Oh I can’t wait to try these recipes. I love traditional pasta recipes like these.

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      The Pasta Project
      April 27, 2020 4:49 am

      Thank you, Alexis. I hope you get to make them!

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    Jacque Hastert
    April 13, 2020 4:06 pm

    My family loves all things pasta! I will have to give a few of these a try soon.

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      The Pasta Project
      April 27, 2020 4:49 am

      I would love to hear about it when you do!

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    Veronika
    April 12, 2020 11:08 pm

    Yes, please! I can eat pasta any day of the week! Got a couple of great ideas what to make next week!

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      The Pasta Project
      April 27, 2020 4:49 am

      Me too, Veronika!

  • Avatar
    Sondra Barker
    April 12, 2020 8:23 am

    Wow thanks for sharing this! I love making different pasta dishes and these sound amazing.

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      The Pasta Project
      April 12, 2020 9:51 pm

      Thank you, Sondra. If you try them all or try a few, let me know!

  • Avatar
    Amy Liu Dong
    April 12, 2020 5:02 am

    Nice lists of pasta recipes and I would love to make one recipe each day for my husband as he loves having pasta on his every meal. Delicious!

    • Avatar
      The Pasta Project
      April 12, 2020 9:49 pm

      Thank you, Amy. One recipe each day is a great plan!

  • Avatar
    Abigail Raines
    April 11, 2020 8:04 pm

    Where do I begin? So many yummy recipes to try though I’ve got my eye on this delectable – Puntarelle pasta with burrata!!!

    • Avatar
      The Pasta Project
      April 12, 2020 9:52 pm

      Thank you, Abigail! Hopefully, there are enough recipes here to keep us going for a little while!

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    Ben
    April 10, 2020 10:04 pm

    I am loving this list and LOVE my Italian food. I have been to Northern Italy a few times, but never southern and Rome is definitely on that list. I want to eat all of these.

    • Avatar
      The Pasta Project
      April 12, 2020 9:53 pm

      Thank you, Ben! There are so many beautiful parts of Italy, and of course amazing food to eat!

  • Avatar
    Lori | The Kitchen Whisperer
    April 10, 2020 9:49 pm

    Gosh, where’s a girl to start at which one to try first? These all look amazing! And I love that you give some history behind the dishes as well. Thank you so much for sharing!

    • Avatar
      The Pasta Project
      April 12, 2020 9:54 pm

      Thank you, Lori! You can’t go wrong with any of the recipes, I hope you get to try them all!

  • Avatar
    Tammy
    April 10, 2020 6:49 pm

    So many different varieties here but I always go for the creamier pasta dishes! Each one looks so good…being in lockdown, I’ve been enjoying a lot of pasta lately haha. Stay safe and be well. Have a blessed Easter!

    • Avatar
      The Pasta Project
      April 12, 2020 9:56 pm

      Thank you, Tammy. I hope you are having a peaceful Easter weekend. You can never have too much pasta, the Alla Papalina is a perfect dish for you to try!

  • Avatar
    Denise
    April 9, 2020 11:50 pm

    This is a wonderful collection of pasta recipes. Thank you for sharing delicious meals.

    • Avatar
      The Pasta Project
      April 12, 2020 9:57 pm

      Thank you, Denise.

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    Marta
    April 9, 2020 6:38 pm

    Carbonara and cacio e pepe are two of my favorite pasta dishes! I think I’ll make one of them for dinner tonight.

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      The Pasta Project
      April 12, 2020 9:57 pm

      Let me know how it turns out, Marta!

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    Jere Cassidy
    April 9, 2020 4:41 am

    This is a great source for your pasta dishes. I want to make them all. You are so creative and everything looks so delicious.

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      The Pasta Project
      April 12, 2020 9:58 pm

      Thank you, Jere! We have plenty of time for experimenting in the kitchen!

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    Paula Montenegro
    April 8, 2020 7:41 pm

    Beautiful pasta dishes! Especially the roman gnocchi! I grew up eating them but haven’t eaten them in years. This is the perfect time to make them again!

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      The Pasta Project
      April 12, 2020 9:58 pm

      Thank you, Paula! I love food that reminds me of childhood.

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    Anna
    April 8, 2020 3:51 pm

    I love them ALL! Luckily, I’ve got enough time on my hands at the moment to try them all too! I’m especially looking forward to trying that pasta alla gricia!

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      The Pasta Project
      April 12, 2020 10:00 pm

      Thank you, Anna. Yes, we have plenty of time at home to try new recipes out!

  • Avatar
    Kacey Perez
    April 8, 2020 2:26 pm

    This list of recipes is making me wish I would have I stocked up on more noodles before we started social distancing! Saving for later so we can give these a try!

    • Avatar
      The Pasta Project
      April 12, 2020 10:01 pm

      It’s a great time for using up what we have and getting a bit creative. Staying safe is what counts 🙂

  • Avatar
    Stine Mari
    April 8, 2020 10:39 am

    I’m a sucker for umaminess in meaty pasta, but I do love a good cacio e pepe too! So many delicious pasta dishes here, it’s hard to choose!

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      The Pasta Project
      April 12, 2020 10:04 pm

      Oh yes! The sausage rigatoni is great for a meaty flavour!

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    Lesli Schwartz
    April 8, 2020 1:27 am

    Seems like I’ve been living on pasta these days and I’m getting bored on the same-old-same-old recipes. Can’t wait to try some of these!

    • Avatar
      The Pasta Project
      April 12, 2020 10:05 pm

      It’s easy to get into the same routine at the minute, isn’t it? Hopefully these pasta help!

  • Avatar
    Amy
    April 7, 2020 8:08 pm

    Wow! I’ve been wanting to try making my own pasta for a while now, and this looks like a great place to start! Will definitely be trying some of these recipes. 🙂

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      The Pasta Project
      April 12, 2020 10:06 pm

      Making your own pasta can be very therapeutic. A great way to turn our minds off and fully concentrate on something creative for a little while!

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    Chef Dennis
    April 7, 2020 10:44 am

    These Pasta recipes all look sooo mouthwatering and definitely delicious. I am going to try them one by one and I will start with that Spaghetti alla Carbonara!

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      The Pasta Project
      April 12, 2020 10:07 pm

      That’s an excellent place to start, Dennis!

  • Avatar
    Gloria
    April 6, 2020 9:14 pm

    I love pasta. I could eat it every day. So many great recipes here. Now, which one should I try first?

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      The Pasta Project
      April 12, 2020 10:08 pm

      Me too, Gloria! They are all delicious, so you can’t go wrong!

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