Cesare al Casaletto, Rome

Tonarelli with baccala

Tonarelli with baccala at Cesare al Casaletto

If I lived in the Monteverde neighborhood of Rome I would eat at Cesare al Casaletto or L’Osteria di Monteverde once a week.  Cesare al Casaletto is another unassuming restaurant that delivers amazing food at a moderate price.  The other diners were families with kids, couples, young people, but no tourists!

During our trip bf’s mother joined us for three days which is advantageous come dinner time.  More people means more food can be tried!  We were ambitious with the appetizers: fried gnocchi with a cacio e pepe fonduta, fried squid and fried, boiled beef balls (I know this sounds weird but they were good, so good.  Maybe it’s better in Italian: polpette di bollito con pesto di basilico).

Fried gnocchi with cacio e pepe fonduta

Fried gnocchi with cacio e pepe fonduta

Fried gnocchi already sound indulgent but put them over a smooth, cheesy sauce, try one and you want eat them all.

Fried squid

Fried squid

Another fried item!  Usually we moderate the fried food intake but how can you resist these?  With just a little squeeze of lemon?  Ohhh yum!

Polpette di bollito con pesto di basilico (Fried balls of beef)

Polpette di bollito con pesto di basilico (Fried balls of beef)

Mmm…a fried, crispy orb of roasted beef with a basil pesto.  Cesare al Casaletto has a magic touch with fried food items.  These were every bit as tasty as the squid and gnocchi.  Thank goodness there were only three, one for each of us.  It didn’t matter though because we had stuffed ourselves with the other fritti.  When our entrees arrived I wanted to hide under the table.  Looking at my plate of tonarelli with baccala though I couldn’t resist trying it which led to me eating almost all of it.  My parents never forced me to be a member of the Clean Plate Club.  It was more like take what you can eat but if you can’t eat all of it we won’t be mad.  I wanted to eat all of my tonarelli to show how appreciative I was of the chef and restaurant but I had a feeling they knew.

Spaghetti with anchovy, garlic and oil

Spaghetti with anchovy, garlic and oil

Bf had the same problem eating his pasta.

Baccala Roman style with tomatoes, raisins and pine nuts

Baccala Roman style with tomatoes, raisins and pine nuts

This looked wonderful.  I didn’t want to ask bf’s mom for a bite.  We’re not close enough for that.  She loved it though.  This reminds me that as much as I love fish and seafood I didn’t have it in Rome.  There were plenty of opportunities but whenever I heard or read about the pasta dishes I couldn’t resist.  I haven’t had any pasta since I’ve been back, not because I’m afraid of it not being the same, but because my body needs a break from the carb fest.

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