Whiling away an afternoon at Checchino

After visiting my father’s grave at the Protestant Cemetery, we went to Checchino Dal 1887, in Testaccio.  It’s an institution, but we just had never made it there before.

It was a sunny afternoon in early November, warm enough to sit outside and look at the piazza of the old slaughterhouse complex (now containing, among other things, a branch of the MACRO museum) across the way. People passed by walking their dogs or talking with friends. The butcher next door sent out a giant cut of something riding tall in the lap of the moped driver. A few people rode by on bikes. Birds were chirping. Everything was peaceful and calm — just what we needed.

Laura was up for lighter fare that day, and started with crostini with cheese and vegetable spreads, which she loved.

Crostini with cheese and vegetables

I, however, indulged myself in not one, but two plates of pasta. The first was a “Mediterranean” pasta with tomatoes, onions, and olives:

“Mediterranean” pasta

Laura moved on to Stracciatella alla romana, a soup consisting of meat broth and small “shreds” of an egg-based mixture.  Laura reported it was warm and hearty, perfect for an autumn day.

Stracciatella – warm and comforting

The Testaccio neighborhood, built around the enormous old slaughterhouse, is famous for its use of “fifth quarter” meats, and Checchino is as well. So, I had the pajata — pasta with the intestines of an unweaned calf.  Creamy, hearty, and delicious.

Pajata – this was my second round of pajata that week!

This will definitely not be our last visit to Checchino. It was everything we wanted that day — quiet, warm and comforting.