A Classic Tomato Sauce From Rome, The Eternal City

The Eternal City: a cookbook and a love letter to Rome.
The Eternal City: a cookbook and a love letter to Rome.

If ever I’m fortunate enough to check into a pensione in Rome for a month, I want to take a copy of The Eternal City with me. Written by Australian-born, Rome-resident Maria Pasquale, The Eternal City is both a love letter to Rome and a collection of classic dishes close to the author’s heart – dishes that she eats in restaurants, at friends’ houses, on the street, or that she makes herself (often from recipes passed down through the family).

Pasquale was born in Melbourne to Italian parents. Having visited Rome dozens of times, she felt drawn to the city in a way that eventually became too profound to ignore. In 2011, she walked away from her life and career in Australia and moved there permanently.

She began a blog called HeartRome, began working in food tourism, and in her own words, “before I knew it, writing, eating and travelling had become my world”. In 2017, she produced a book called I Heart Rome, also published by Smith Street Books, followed by How To Be Italian in 2021.

The Eternal City by Maria Pasquale

In this latest book, she takes readers into the lives of modern-day Romans — the cheesemongers, bakers and butchers of her Trastevere neighbourhood, Michelin-star chefs and restaurants like Da Enzo and Roscioli, and others who make Rome one of the great food capitals of the world.

At the back of the book, there’s a useful guide listing Pasquale’s favourite markets, delicatessens, food stores, pizzerias, restaurants, bars and gelaterias. I’d be happy to work my way through them all.

Embrace la dolce vita and pull up a chair as you share in some wonderful stories, be inspired by snapshots of the Eternal City, and salivate over mouth-watering dishes.

This simple tomato sauce recipe was given to Pasquale by Carla Tomasi, who is renowned in Rome for her pasta-making skills. Quick and easy to prepare, it is the classic Italian accompaniment to home-made pasta.

Buy your copy of  The Eternal City from Australian-owned Booktopia.

Sugo Di Pomodoro (Quick Tomato Sauce), from The Eternal City.
Sugo Di Pomodoro (Quick Tomato Sauce), from The Eternal City.


Serves 4

90ml (3 fl oz) extra virgin olive oil
600g (1 lb 5 oz) cherry tomatoes, halved
10g (¼ oz) unsalted butter (optional)
3 tablespoons shredded basil leaves Heat the olive oil in a large, lidded frying pan over high heat. Add the tomatoes and quickly cover with the lid. Holding the lid in place, shake the pan back and forth to caramelise the sugar in the tomatoes. Remove the lid and cook for a further 1 to 2 minutes, then season with salt and freshly ground black pepper. To use, cook your chosen pasta until al dente, drain, then add to the tomatoes with 3 tablespoons of the pasta water and the butter, if using. Toss the pasta in the sauce, and once the butter has melted, add the basil and serve.

Recipe and image from The Eternal City by Maria Pasquale. Trattoria picture © Andrea Federici. Published by Smith Street Books and reproduced with the publisher’s permission.

This story originally appeared in PS News.

**Enjoy many more delicious recipes from our Food Wine Travel files here.**

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