Puntarelle alla romana | Turismo Roma
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Roman-style puntarelle

Puntarelle con ingredienti: pepe, aglio, olio EVO, sale, acciughe e aceto

Crunchy, fresh, and aromatic, puntarelle are the protagonists of one of the most popular recipes of Roman traditional cuisine, which, in an explosion of taste, is a true journey into the most authentic gastronomic soul of the Eternal City. 

Chicory Catalogna gems: a triumph of flavour

Included in the Lazio PAT list (Prodotti Agroalimentari Tradizionali - Traditional Food Products), puntarelle are the sprouts of Catalogna, a variant of chicory, a typically elongated vegetable from Gaeta, Formia and Fondi areas, locally known as 'cicorione'. Cultivated using techniques already employed by ancient farmers, it is exposed so that its leaves, curved towards the centre, repair the stems, which, curling up, give life to the delicious and fragrant vegetable.

An authentic, ancient journey into taste

According to tradition, these delicious green 'curls' boast a very ancient origin. Mentioned by the Latin writer Pliny the Elder in his Naturalis Historia and celebrated by the famous Greek physician Galen for its beneficial effects, the planting of Catalogna chicory dates back to Roman times. They particularly appreciated its taste and loved to season it with garum, a much-loved fish sauce of the time. 

The lively queens of the table

With their distinctive taste, puntarelle are a hymn to the most genuine flavours and bonds with the countryside. They are synonymous with the warm atmosphere of a convivial meal with family and friends or in a typical Roman trattoria. Each crunchy bite tells the story of a city where gastronomic tradition merges with memories of popular life scenes and ancient crafts among the alleys of the rioni and the squares of the colourful local markets.

Ideal for refreshing the palate after a hearty meal, they are the perfect and unmissable side dish on Roman tables, especially on festivities, during the traditional dinner of 24 December, Christmas and New Year's Day lunches, to accompany a delicious fish-based, baked or a 'scottadito' lamb main course, together with an excellent Castelli Romani wine.

Appealing to the eye, delicious to the taste, low in calories, but rich in essential nutrients, the delicately bitter and slightly spicy flavour and herbaceous notes are an irresistible combination that captivates you from the first bite.

To prepare a delicious Roman-style puntarelle salad, you need a few simple, high-quality ingredients and a little patience to clean this magnificent vegetable.   


  • 2 bunches of puntarelle 
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • 4 fillets of anchovies in oil
  • 10 grams of white vinegar
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • Salt 
  • Pepper

Carefully clean the catalogna, possibly with the dedicated tool, removing the harder, fibrous leaves. Once you have reached the heart of the vegetable, the sprouts, cut them into thin fillets. Wash them and soak them in cold water, adding ice if necessary, for about an hour so that the puntarelle take their characteristic 'curl' shape. Then, drain the puntarelle and dab them with kitchen paper.
Cut the garlic in half, remove the core and crush it well with a knife. Place the anchovy fillets in a bowl, add the garlic, extra virgin olive oil, vinegar, salt and pepper. Mix, mashing the anchovies with a fork to melt them and create the delicious emulsion with which you will dress your puntarelle.

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