One of my most memorable meals in Rome was a Sunday’s lunch at a little trattoria called Settimio Al Pellgrino, located just off Campo dei Fiori. It can be quite challenging to find a restaurant open on a Sunday or Monday in Rome, but Settimio was the perfect choice. The place is small, you have to ring a bell and then get buzzed in. There are a few tables, each covered in white tablecloth embroidered with “Settimio Al Pellegrino”. The place is run by a woman and her husband. On the day I visited, there was just one woman cooking in the small kitchen in the back and of course all the food is cooked upon order. It was quite charming, filled with Italians enjoying a Sunday afternoon with family and friends. The menu changes daily based on what’s fresh, which is no surprise as this is common among most restaurants in Italy. Italians eat what’s in season, what’s fresh, and actually look forward to different seasons when they can eat different things.
We started out with their homemade egg pasta fettuccine and rigatoni corto with a simple pomodoro sauce topped with parmigiano. Next, we ordered the osso bucco, which was cooked perfectly, succulent, bone marrow and all. The meatballs are another speciality so we tried that as well. No need to order two, they will serve you just one if you just want a taste. They were soft, moist, bursting with flavor, and not overcomplicated with sauce. As a side we ordered chicory, prepared with olive oil and lemon. I could have had 3 more sides of that chicory. A simple green transformed into one of the most flavorful vegetables using only 2 other ingredients. These are the types of restaurants I look forward to when visiting Rome. The simple, family run trattorias, that honor the ingredients, and make it their own.