Sagne e Lenticchie (Lentils and Noodles) It’s technically a soup, but you can make it as dense as you like. Legumes are a natural partner of pasta. Here the lentils are spiced up with only tomato purée assisted by a little onion, garlic, chile, and a bay leaf. You’ll realize you never appreciated the true flavor of lentils before.
Umido di Cipolla (Onions and Tomato) The richness and depth of this slow-cooked sauce consisting of a lot of onions and a little tomato purée make it the perfect preliminary to roasted or grilled meat. My guests always purr. But it’s also great just to pull out of the freezer and heat when you need comforting.
Ragù di Carne (Meat Sauce) You didn’t think all meat sauces were made with ground meat, did you? This one gets its meat flavor from a pot roast, which is then served as a separate course or even at a different meal.
Coauthor of "Sauces & Shapes: Pasta the Italian Way," "Dictionary of Italian Cuisine," and "Women’s Life in Greece and Rome." Author of "Eat like the Romans: the Visitor's Food Guide," Trattorias of Rome, Florence, and Venice," and Williams-Sonoma Foods of the World "Rome." Translator of "Encyclopedia of Pasta" and "Popes, Peasants, and Shepherds: Recipes and Lore from Rome and Lazio." I came to Rome because of my studies of classics and archaeology and stayed for other reasons.