How Amatriciana came to Rome

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Amy, my heroine of If You Loved Me has her first date with the mysterious Davide for dinner. They eat pasta all'amatriciana. Although a favourite in Rome the histry of this ancient dish s elsewhere.

Amatriciana is one of Italy’s most famous pasta dishes, but its original name isn’t amatriciana, it’s actually gricia, or, even more precisely, griscia, a word that seems to derive from the village of Grisciano, near Accumoli, where, in the ancient culinary traditions of shepherds, pasta was tossed with guanciale (cured pork jowl) and pecorino cheese. Nearby Amatrice, a town in the province of Rieti, added tomato sauce to this practice and gave the name to the dish.

So Amatriciana isn’t originally from Rome, as many assume, but the tradition was adopted with enthusiasm by Roman restaurateurs who helped make it the popular pasta dish it is today. The sauce arrived in Rome with shepherds who traveled to the capital and surrounding countryside to sell their dairy products, as well as sheep and beef meat. The recipe became so popular in Rome that it’s now associated with Roman cuisine.

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