The gastronomic traditions in the Prenestina area are closely linked to local farming traditions. The typical produce grown in its fields is used as the basics for the cuisine to be found in Palestrina. The principle dish bar none is ‘pasta povera’ (sagna), namely “poor pasta” hand made using flour and water.
This is used to make tonnarelli, a kind of squarish spaghetti (gnocchetti a cò de soreca) served with bacon-based sauce (amatriciana) or meat sauce made with pork. Another classic dish is polenta con salcicce e spuntature (polenta with sausages and spare ribs). In addition, soups with beans, broccoli and chickpeas can also be prepared with “poor pasta”.
Another kind of pasta, fettuccine with meat sauce (with the pasta once again made by hand, this time with the addition of egg), can be turned into different smaller shapes and forms, tagliolini and quadrucci, which are excellent for using in soups. And we shouldn’t forget to mention rice with lentils.
Turning to meat dishes, and roast chicken, chicken with pine nuts and sultanas and chicken with peppers sit side by side with roast lamb, fried lamb along with hunter style lamb or rabbit.
Then there are the cheeses: caciotta and ricotta are produced only using sheep’s milk.
People with a sweet tooth can enjoy the all-seasons ‘re giglietto’, a biscuit made with flour, sugar and eggs, which has an unusual history, thanks to its Fleurs-de-lis shape ("giglio" in Italian), the symbol of the French monarchy in 1600. Christmas festivities have their own sweetmeat, the panpepato, and there is the Easter speciality called the ‘cavallo’ or the ‘pigna’.
Palestrina baking also features round biscuits with a hole in them made with wine.