Zia Rilla Restaurant and Fresh Pasta Workshop in Rome, Italy

There's something about Zia Rilla that quickly made me feel at home as soon as I sat down. It's the wooden furniture, the old cooking paraphernalia on the walls and shelves, the fruits in the baskets, the cookies in the cookie jars or perhaps it's the assemblage of different kinds of plates and cutlery. The whole scenario made me walk back to memory lane. It's a nudge to the past, a reminder of my mother-in-law's kitchen and dining room where Italian-style elegance intermingles with the homey climate of a warm home where scents penetrate every single crack of the house. Yes, it's a snug little place alright for people like me who are looking for that special kind of place right in the heart of Rome.

Zia Rilla is a newly-opened fresh pasta workshop and restaurant in the Prati area created by Enrica Sutrini. It was born from the old culinary traditions of her family when her grandparents moved to Rome in the 1920s. They came from Castelli Romani, in the outskirt of the city, where they cultivated their land for wine and oil then they started their first restaurant, followed by a second, third and then a fourth.

Zia Rilla is dedicated to making fresh artisan pasta which respects the important facets of Enrica's grandparents: genuineness, simplicity and keeping the flavors of the traditional cooking. All the ingredients are sourced from a selected number of artisan producers to keep the quality of the pasta at its best. The eggs for instance, which are very important in making the pasta, come from a small poultry farm where the hens are free on the ground and eat only the crops of the farm which are soy, oats, barley and corn.

At Zia Rilla, it is possible to buy fresh pasta that are prepared daily in the kitchen-workshop while being a restaurant, you can have the cooked pasta in the dining area for a relaxing lunch. Dinners can also be done if the book reaches the minimum of 8 persons. 

In the kitchen is Chef Ruggero Wolleb, Swiss in origin and a graduate of Le Cordon Bleu Culinary School. His cooking follows the concept of Zia Rilla of familiar flavors in home-style cooking but with a dash of his own inventive interpretation using modern techniques of cooking.

A day at the restaurant starts early in the morning when you can have two choices of full breakfasts, the Continental with bread, butter, jam, plum cake, pie, yogurt with honey, and biscuits (€5) or the Americana with toast, scrambled eggs, pancakes, bacon, orange juice and American coffee (€8.50).

For lunch, the menu changes frequently depending on the season of the ingredients. There is no fixed menu but every day, different types of fresh pasta (between long and filled) are proposed. The cooked pasta dishes are all priced at €14. The menu is not limited to the traditional fresh pasta because there are also different regional plates such as spatlze (short egg pasta typical of South Tyrol), pansoti (similar to ravioli that's typical of the Ligurian region), casunzei (filled pasta shaped like half-moon typical of South Tyrol),  and tortellini (ring-shaped filled pasta from the region of Emilia-Romagna).

On my lunch visit there, I had three tastings of pasta dishes. They were all very good especially the quality of the pasta. What I liked the most are the consistency of the tonnarelli and the fresh flavors of the ravioli with squash, hazelnuts, pistachios and bits of dried prosciutto. After the pasta, do make room for a slice of their pies which changes too according to the ingredients that they have.

Zia Rilla is the perfect spot to have a quick Italian lunch with reasonable prices. It's just a stone's throw away from the Vatican Walls, near via Cola Di Rienzi and Mercato Trionfale. Forget about those tourist traps that lure you in eating genuine Italian food. At this restaurant, I guarantee you that you will have authentic pasta dishes cooked with quality ingredients that you can pair with a glass of wine. Don't leave without having a slice of pie for dessert! That is just like how a nice Italian lunch is at any Italian home.

Zia Rilla

Via Famagosta, 18
00192 Rome, Italy
Tel: +39 06 94890418

Opening Times:
Mondays to Saturdays, 8:00 to 20:00 
(open only for dinner on reservations, minimum 8 persons)
Closed on Sundays and Saturday afternoons

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