Take a vacation to the sophisticated Italian city for just one night—at your own table and surrounded by your best friends. We tapped N.Y.C. superchef Mario Batali to create a delectable menu with his favorite Roman dishes—his Greenwich Village restaurant Lupa is solely devoted to the city's cuisine, and it's a culinary vocabulary that continues to fascinate him.
From stems of roasted asparagus wrapped in salty prosciutto to a feather-light cheesecake flecked with candied orange peel, Batali's parade of dinner delights evokes the typical aromas and flavors of a magical night in the Eternal City as clever styling ideas inspire la dolce vita from the moment your feast begins.
1. Send an Elegant Invite
A digital or paper note with a scarlet border (free/digital invite; paperlesspost.com/instyle)—the color favored by Roman Empire commanders— conjures the rich hue often linked with Italy's capital city.
2. Set the Scene
To help take your fête to the next level, our lifestyle editors dreamed up easy-to-execute styling ideas to kick off your Roman holiday from the moment you have your first forkful of pasta. Get the how-to here.
3. Mix a Refreshing Spritz
Thanks to Batali's go-to peach spritz, there's no need to wander Rome's cobbled streets to find an authentic Italian aperitivo. With a dash of amaro liqueur and Frascati, a crisp and light white wine produced in Rome's countryside, this beverage is best when served with fresh peach slices. Get the recipe here.
4. Fire up the grill
Summer may be slowly coming to an end, but there’s still plenty of time to fire up the grill for one last hurrah. These yummy stems of roasted asparagus wrapped in salty prosciutto may be the perfect app to kick off your meal, not least because the recipe only requires five ingredients. Get the recipe here.
5. Prepare a Delicious Pasta Dish
If you weren't able to book an Italian getaway this summer, consider Batali's cacio e pepe your one-way ticket to the Eternal City. In lieu of traditional spaghetti noodles, Batali opts for rigatoni, which are perfect for soaking up the thick, creamy sauce. Whip up a bowl (or four) in 30 minutes or less. Get the recipe here.
6. Whip up a Tasty Classic
While it doesn't roll off the tongue quite as easily as pizza or pasta, his favorite Roman dish is a slightly lesser known—but equally delicious—Italian classic: chicken cacciatore, in which the meat, vegetables (onions, mushrooms, and celery, in this case), and herbs slowly simmer in a single pot. Get the recipe here.
7. Serve a Sweet Dessert
This is one of Batali's favorite desserts from the region: ricotta pudding cake. The subtle sweetness of the ricotta pairs perfectly with the candied orange zest, which adds pleasing hints of citrus. Best of all, this rich and creamy taste is surprisingly light, so feel free to help yourself to a second slice. Get the recipe here.
8. Send 'em home with a yummy treat
Send friends on their way with a decadent treat from one of Rome's epicurean treasures, SAID, a chocolate factory established in 1923. Tie each bar (from $8; at Di Palo's, 212-226-1033) with a tag bidding your guests buona notte.