Cooking and Feasting in Rome’s Jewish Kitchen with Leah Koenig

Leah Koenig’s recipes showcase the Roman Jewish kitchen’s elegantly understated vegetables, saucy braised meats and stews, rustic pastas, resplendent olive oil–fried foods, and never-too-sweet desserts. Home cooks can explore classics of the Roman Jewish repertoire with Stracotto di Manzo (a wine-braised beef stew), Pizza Ebraica (fruit-and-nut-studded bar cookies), and, of course, Carciofi alla Giudia, the quintessential Jewish-style fried artichokes.

Culinary Journey: Exploring Rome’s Jewish Kitchen with Leah Koenig

“On one visit to Rome, I witnessed a spirited argument break out between two Jewish community elders,” notes Koenig. “The source of the tension? Artichokes, naturally, and how best to trim away their tough outer leaves… Both sides made their cases with the precision of Talmudic scholars and the swagger of prizefighters. After all, to Roman Jews, artichokes are so much more than just food—the are central to ‘la dolce vita.’”


Every recipe is masterfully tailored to the home cook, while maintaining the flavor and integrity of tradition. A cookbook for anyone who wants to dive more deeply into Jewish foodways, or gain new insight into Rome, Portico features the makers and creators who are keeping Roman Jewish food alive today, transporting us to the bustling streets of the Eternal City while also making us feel—as we cook and eat—very much at home.



Leah Koenig is the author of six cookbooks, including The Jewish Cookbook and Modern Jewish Cooking. Her work has appeared in the New York TimesFood & WineEpicuriousFood52, and more. She lives in Brooklyn, New York, with her family.


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In case you have not seen them yet, here are a handful of cookbooks coming from Norton this fall: