Amore da Roma

Simple recipes for a romantic dinner for two.

Story and recipes by Sarah MacDonald 

 Photography and styling by Kate Rogan

Bruschetta on a Toasted Garlic Ciabatta

Spaghetti Carbonara with Crispy Sage

Affogato with Biscotti


Bruschetta on a Toasted Garlic Ciabatta


1/2 loaf of ciabatta bread

2 cloves of garlic, peeled

1/2 cup of olive oil

4 Roma tomatoes, diced small

Parmesan cheese, shaved

1/4 cup of basil

Balsamic glaze (optional)


[1] Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Mince 1 clove of garlic and mix in a small bowl with 1/4 cup of olive oil.

[2] Slice ciabatta in half and brush with garlic oil. Toast in the oven for 4-6 minutes or until golden brown.

 [3] Dice tomatoes and place in a bowl with remaining 1/4 cup of olive oil, 1 clove of minced garlic, salt and pepper to taste. Add basil and marinade for at least 30 minutes at room temperature.

[4] Cut ciabatta into 2 inch squares and top with marinated tomatoes and shaved parmesan. Drizzle with balsamic glaze.


Spaghetti Carbonara with Crispy Sage


8 ounces of spaghetti, dried

1/2 cup of Romano cheese, grated

1/3 cup parmesan cheese, grated

1 egg and 2 egg yolks

4 ounces of pancetta, diced

1 teaspoon of fresh cracked black pepper

4 Sage leaves

Olive oil


[1] Combine egg, egg yolks, grated cheeses and black pepper. Mix until it forms a paste. Let it come to room temperature while pasta boils.

[2] Add pancetta to a cold sauté pan. Turn the heat up to medium-low and cook until crisp, about 10 minutes. Add sage leaves and let crisp. Remove sage and set aside. Do not remove the rendered fat. Take the pan off the heat. 

[3] Boil spaghetti until it is “al dente.” Reserve 1 cup of the pasta water. Add the hot spaghetti to the pan with pancetta fat. Add egg and cheese pasta and stir quickly and constantly for 1-2 minutes or until sauce begins to form. Use pasta water to ¼ cup at a time to adjust the thickness of the sauce. You may only need 1/2 cup. Serve immediately and top with grated Romano cheese and crispy sage leaves.


Affogato with Biscotti



  • 1 stick plus 2 tablespoons of softened butter
  • 1 1/3 cups of sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 3 1/4 cup of all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons of vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon of salt
  • 1 cup of mix-ins of choice. Options: 
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips 1/2 cup of almonds 
  • 3/4 cup of dried cranberries and 1 tablespoon  of orange zest
  • 1/3 cup of white chocolate chips and 1 tablespoon of lemon zest


  • 1 pint of good Italian gelato (I prefer vanilla or chocolate)
  • 4 ounces of hot espresso or strong coffee


[1] Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper and set aside. In a large mixing bowl or stand mixer, beat sugar and butter together until they become airy and lighter in color, about 3-4 minutes.

[2] Add vanilla and eggs, one at a time, until combined. 

[3] In a separate bowl, mix the dry ingredients (flour, salt, baking powder and mix-ins). Then slowly add the dry mixture to the wet mixture until fully combined.

 [4] Remove dough from bowl and divide into two equal halves and place on opposite sides of the cookie sheet. Form loaf shapes with the two separate halves about 10 x 3 inches. Bake for 30 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from the oven and cool for 1 hour or up to overnight.  

[5] Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Slice the loaves diagonally so that slices are about 1 ½ inches thick, and lay slices on a lined cookie sheet. Bake again for 10 minutes on each side until golden brown. Allow time to cool before serving.

Assemble Affogato 

Right before serving, place 2 scoops of gelato into a mug and pour over the hot coffee or espresso. Top with biscotti for dipping.