Inspired by Saveur‘s April edition where Roman food was key, I decided to host my own empire styled meal using recipes from Anya Von Bremzen’s article. The results were fantastic, and not nearly as complicated as I thought.
The menu for my feast: Spaghetti alla carbonara, fagioli e tonno (white beans with tuna), finocchio con latte al forno (fennel baked in milk), and broccoli strascinati (broccoli with garlic and hot peppers).
Because I was serving 6 people, I doubled the recipes, which was more then enough (in fact still eating leftovers and not complaining). I started with the fennel, which took the most time since it needs to be cooked in milk and butter for about 30-45 minutes. While that simmered I cooked the pancetta for the carbonara sauce, which need time to cool. Next up, steaming the broccoli. Once I popped the fennel into the oven, I started water for the pasta, and presto, it all came together in perfect harmony. As long as you follow that order, you can time all these dishes to finish at about the same time.
The simplest, and cheapest, dish to make was the white bean and tuna salad. Forgoing the recipe’s want of dried beans, I just stuck to the canned version and whipped it up in the end, though it can also be made the day before. Honestly, I would give more pointers here, but if you follow the recipes pretty religiously, everything will turn out perfect. My meal sure did.