by Sybil PrattFebruary, 2003
All roads lead to Rome
Savannah-born Jo Bettoja came down one of those roads when she was a young Vogue model. She fell in love with a Roman, with Rome and with the fabulous food that Romans cook and care about so intensely. With the zeal and joy of a convert, Signora Bettoja mastered the intricacies of la cucina Romana and then shared her culinary passion with the patrons of Lo Scaldovivende, the renowned Roman cooking school she established in 1976. Now, In A Roman Kitchen: Timeless Recipes from the Eternal City brings us into the kitchen of the Bettojas' 14th century palazzo, right near the Fontana di Trevi, and into the heart of Roman cooking. Some of the 200 recipes included here come from venerated cookbooks, but most come from Roman households, traditional and modern, where classic Roman specialties play starring roles everyday. Among these classics are Fava Beans with Pecorino, different, super-easy and the most Roman of all antipasti; Spaghetti alla Carbonara, considered almost sacred; Pollo alla Romana, a Roman take on stove-top chicken that's unique to the eternal city; and the world-famous Saltimboca alla Romana, Roman-style Artichokes with Mint and Roman Ricotta Pie. Signora Bettoja also takes us on a cook's tour of her beloved city, pointing out where to buy the best mozzarella, the best chocolate and the best antique lace, where to find the finest gelato and granita and where to stop for coffee addresses provided. It's a Roman holiday all the way.