Wine and Food

Vicovaro Wine and food traditions have ancient roots and are characterized by peasant connotations tied to the local products used. Simple, natural and genuine products.

Traditional dishes:

The traditional dishes of Vicovaro are made with fresh ingredients: simple recipes prepared with excellent quality food. Discover the typical recipes to bring to your table good taste and culinary tradition.

Polenta con le lumache

Polenta con le lumache

The socalled "Pulenta co' le ciammarughe" (Cornmeal mush with snails) is a staple dish of the peasant diet. It has to be eaten sitting around a pastry board with the other diners.

  • cornmeal mush
  • snails
  • tomato
  • rosemary
  • garlic
  • salt
  • oil
The cornmeal mush can be prepared in two ways: 1. Liquid cornmeal mush: Roll out the dough on a wet wooden pastry board and enlarge it until mixture thickens of about 3 cm. Finally season with a snail sauce or pork ribs and/or sausages. Sprinkle grated cheese on your dish (pecorino is better if you put snails in your cornmeal mush) 2. Solid cornmeal mush: Reversing quickly the pot content on a pastry board, the cornmeal will remain compact into a round shape. Cool it for a few minutes and proceed to cut, with the help of a taut wire, in small blocks. Roasted on the grill, they are accompanied with vegetables, cheese and sauces.


The meringues (also known in Vicovaro as "Sputacci delle moniche") are a very simple dessert that can be eaten alone or be used to decorate cakes or ice-creams.

  • 1 egg white
  • 100g of sugar
Beat the egg whites and the sugar till stiff. With the help of a spoon or a pastry bag, form small rosettes on a pan lined with baking paper. Bake at 100 degrees for about an hour.


The typical dishes of the culinary tradition of Vicovaro are still made with simple ingredients, suitable for any occasion. Typical products from Vicovaro can be purchased in the village shops.

Pagnotta Vicovarese

Among the various products of the culinary tradition of Vicovaro, the most important is the white loaf prepared according to the original recipe.

Among the various products of the culinary tradition of Vicovaro the most important is the bread. Still produced in the village, it has helped to make Vicovaro famous not only in Rome and in its province but throughout the whole Latium region. The birth of its production is due precisely to the severe economic conditions lived by the families of Vicovaro in the period between the wars that involved many people to work as bakers, so that after World War II in Vicovaro there were more than 18 active ovens. The produced bread was rigorously kneaded by hand in home by women and, once rised, it was brought to the ovens with the "spinatore" - the wooden boards - on the head, placed on a wrapped cloth serving as leveling suspension, called "spara". The ovens were heated with bundles of broom, which gave the bread the characteristic aromas. The loaves were then engraved with a mark of recognition, baked and once cooked they were slightly cooled down. Later they were placed in backpacks or jute bags and brought in the morning for sale in Rome and in the province, with the first train of 5 a.m. Villagers to Rome traveled on the last car of each train and reached areas called "poste" where they sold their loaves door-to-door. The sale of loaves took often place during the way to reach Rome because the smell of the bread was so intense that tempted people to buy it. Since this job was considered as illegal, the sellers were constantly chased by the so-called "pizzardoni" - i.e. the police - called to intervene by the roman bakers and by the oil ovens sellers who complained about the unfair competition and the unhygienic cooking condition of the bread in wood ovens. Among the popular rumors, it is said that the sale of bread in Rome was promoted by a citizen of Vicovaro who had moved to Rome and had built in his house an oven to beak the typical loaf of Vicovaro. Still produced in the village ovens and also sold in the groceries of Vicovaro, the loaf has a thin and light crust outside and it is soft and light inside. As a whole it is not very high, soft and quite compact.

Pizza Pane

The Pizza pane (litt. Bread pizza) is the typical product consumed in each home of Vicovaro, especially on Sundays.

It is a custom - when you forget to buy bread on Saturdays or you realize that it will not be enough for the next day - to go on a Sunday morning in the village pizzeria (usually open all day long) and buy the pizza pane: elongated, flattened in the centre and thicker towards the ends, this kind of bread is golden, soft and slightly oily. Cut into small strips, it is used to accompany various dishes and it reaches its "apotheosis" if stuffed with mortadella, roasted pork and raw ham and figs.


The Frascarelli is a typical savory dish of Vicovaro. You can enjoy it either hot or cold.

  • 500g of flour
  • water for kneading
  • salt
  • grated cheese
For the seasoning prepare a sauce made of garlic and olive oil.
Spread the flour on the esplanade, add salt and water in small amounts. Rub the flour with yours hands, to create small lumps of dough that will be knead for several times until they reach the size of rice. In a large pot bring to boil salted water; when it boils, throw in frascarelli and cook for about 3 minutes. When cooked, use a ladle to remove some water to boil and add the garlic and oil sauce previously prepared. Mix everything until it reaches a dense appearance; then pour into bowls and add the grated cheese.


Typical Christmas sweet, made up of a walnuts and honey brittle, cut into small diamonds and covered with two bay leaves.

  • 1kg of honey
  • 1kg of walnuts
  • Bay leaves
Dissolve the honey in a saucepan over low heat; reached the boiling point, add the walnuts previously coarsely chopped on a wooden board with the aid of a knife. Allow to cook until the mixture has reached a golden color, and then spread it out on a previously wet wooden board; Give it a flat ad regular shape - about 1 cm high - with the help of a previously wet rolling pin. Carefully wash the bay leaves and before the mixture has cooled, cut it into small diamonds that will be placed between the two bay leaves.

Paste Antiche

Known as the "pastarelle di SantAntonio", they are eaten mainly during the festival dedicated to the Saint, on 17th January.

  • 2 eggs
  • 375g of sugar
  • 250 ml of olive oil
  • 330 ml of milk
  • 25g of ammonia
  • 1 packet of vanilla-flavoured baking powder
  • grated rind of a lemon
  • 825g of flour
Whisk the eggs in a bowl with sugar, add oil, milk, lemon rind, ammonia, baking powder and finally the flour. With the help of a spoon, pour the mixture in small amounts, in a baking pan lined with wax paper. Sprinkle it with sugar and bake at 180 degrees.

Pizze Fritte

Fried pizzas can be tasted sweet or savory. They were traditionally fried in what was called "the new oil", the freshly squeezed oil.

  • flour
  • milk
  • baking soda
  • salt
  • baking powder
Beat eggs and sugar in a container, add the grated rind of half a lemon and then the flour. The mixture should be very soft. Pour it into pans and bake at 140 degrees for an hour and 45 minutes. Make sure to open the oven only after the first half hour.

Pizza Cresciuta

Sweet pizza, quite high, typical of the Easter period. It is usually eaten on the Easter Sunday breakfast.

  • 10 eggs
  • 100g of sugar
  • 100g flour
  • grated rind of one lem
Beat eggs and sugar in a container, add the grated rind of half a lemon and then the flour. The mixture should be very soft. Pour it into pans and bake at 140 degrees for an hour and 45 minutes. Make sure to open the oven only after the first half hour.

Biscotti con le noci

Christmas cakes typical of Vicovaro, these cookies with walnuts are simple and light suitable for adults and children. Good to be enjoyed with a glass of wine.

  • 2 eggs
  • 1 kg of walnuts coarsely chopped
  • 1 kg of honey
  • 1 grated orange peel
  • Just enough flour
Break the eggs into the fountain of flour along with walnuts; add honey and orange peel. Mix until the mixture is compact and homogeneous. With a part of the mixture forming quite thick and long rectangles. Cut the rectangles into small parts. Place the cookies on a baking tray and bake at 180 degrees.

Pizza azzima con la verdura

This unleavened pizza with vegetables (also known as "Pizza somma co' l'erbe") is a typical dish and has a light kneading process because it is unleavened.

  • 800g of white flour
  • salt and baking soda
  • 1 and 1.2 kg of turnip greens or other vegetables
  • garlic
  • oil
  • chili pepper
Put the flour on the pastry board, mix it with water, salt and a pinch of baking soda, trying to get a firm dough. Then flatten with the palm of the hands in round shape, obtaining a thickness of about 2 cm. Place pizza on a grill and cook on the grill. Heat up a pot nearly full of water and just once boiling, throw in the vegetables and cook for about fifteen minutes. Then, put oil, garlic and red pepper in a pan and fry until golden brown. Pour in the vegetables with a pinch of salt, and cook for about half an hour.

Ciambellette al vino

The wine donuts (called in dialect: Ciammillitti de magru) are a typical dessert of the country tradition of Vicovaro.

  • half liter of wine
  • half a liter of olive oil
  • half kg of sugar
  • a pinch of anise
  • just enough flour
Put the flour on the pastry board, create a fountain with the flour and pour in all the ingredients. Mix well until dough is a bit hard. Shape small balls then create small circles with your fingers. Put them in a baking pan dusted with flour and place in hot oven for about 10 minutes.


The amaretti (in dialect: J'amaritti) are tasty pastries with delicate taste. They are a classic of the confectionery tradition.

  • 5 eggs
  • 7 grams of chopped sweet almond
  • 3 grams of almonds
  • 8 cups of sugar
Place all ingredients in a bowl and mix well until dough is smooth. Pinch the mixture, placing it on a baking pan, dusted with flour and bake in hot temperature, for about fifteen minutes.


Typical biscuits of Vicovaro, the Tisichelle are simple pastries made with natural ingredients; they are perfect to enjoy with a cup of tea.

  • 1 kg of sugar
  • 110 grams of flour
  • 2 eggs, a pinch of baking soda
  • enough milk for kneading
  • grated rind of one lemon
  • essence of anisette
  • anise
This dough should be mixed into a large bowl. Break the eggs into the fountain of flour; add sugar, a pinch of baking soda, lemon and milk in small amounts. Add the essence of anise and anisette. Stir the mixture well to combine the ingredients, taking into account that the mixture should become sticky. Use a spoon to place the tisichelle in a pan lined with baking paper. Bake at 180 degrees for about 30 minutes.


The Savoiardi are biscuits with a foamy mixture; they are very versatile for making desserts, especially the tiramisu.

  • 5 eggs
  • 650g flour
  • 100g butter
  • 25g of ammonia
  • one packet of vanilla
Break the eggs into the fountain of flour, add sugar, the butter melted in a double boiler and then ammonia and vanilla. Stir the mixture until very smooth. Prepare regular small blocks which will take an elongated and flattened shape. Cut into regular parts that will be sprinkled with sugar and placed on a baking sheet at a distance from each other. Bake at 180 degrees for about 30 minutes.

Ciambella Vicovarese

There are two versions of this donut: with or without eggs. The first one is more delicious, the second is often produced on demand.

Better known by the inhabitants as "Ciammella co l'anisu", this food was once eaten amongst good company and it was considered as a snack to eat while drinking wine. Each tablemate took a part of this salted donut by breaking it with his hands. The donut of Vicovaro is still very common in culinary habits of the Vicovaro inhabitants, both as a snack is in place of bread. On special occasions, such as the Feast of Forgiveness (2nd August) or the Festival of St. Anthony (17th January), this donut is produced and eaten in large quantities. It is a food that is present on the tables of the families in Vicovaro the whole year.


They are a typical oval sweet of Vicovaro unmistakable for the coating of icing sugar covering them and the chocolate flakes.

  • 1kg of flour
  • 3 eggs
  • 100 gr of baking powder (dissolved in 1 cup of warm milk)
  • one packet of vanilla
  • a glass of oil
  • 300g of sugar
  • grated rind of one lemon
  • milk for kneading
  • raisins or dark chocolate flakes to be joined to the dough
Break the eggs into the fountain of flour, add sugar, baking powder, vanilla, olive oil and lemon zest. Starting to knead, add slowly the milk, until mixture is smooth. Form small oval loaves, which will be left to rise for about 2 hours. Once rising is completed, bake at 180 degrees for about 30 minutes. After baking, sprinkle with icing sugar.


Typical Christmas sweets you can find on the tables of most families in Vicovaro. Simple, tasty biscuits with hazelnuts pieces added to the dough.

  • 5 eggs
  • flour for kneading
  • 600g hazelnuts
  • 600g dark chocolate
  • 800g of sugar
  • 150gr of lard
  • 1 packet of vanilla-flavoured
  • baking powder grated rind of one lemon
  • a pinch of cinnamon powder and half a glass of Marsala wine.
Break the eggs into the fountain of flour, add the hazelnuts, the dark chocolate in flakes, the lard melted in a double boiler, the sugar, lemon, the vanilla-flavoured baking powder, cinnamon and Marsala wine. Stir the dough until the mixture is smooth. Prepare small balls of regular size that will then take an elongated and flattened form, with a thickness of about 2 cm. Cut the sweets in regular parts of about 3 cm each one. Then, bake the sweets again for about 10 minutes. Place the sweets on a tray with a baking sheet and bake at 180 degrees for about 20 minutes. Once taken out of the oven, cut the sweets into regular parts of about 3 cm each one. Then, bake the sweets again for about 10 minutes.

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