Antique Roman Dishes - Collection

From: (Micaela Pantke)
Date: Thu, 22 Jul 93 11:12:07 +0200


The following recipes are taken from an old Roman cookbook


The book I have is edited and translated from Latin by Robert Maier. My humble person only translated the German translations into English. I hope the recipes are still rather near to the originals...


First I have to introduce you to some native Roman ingredients, such as:

-- Caroenum: Boiled must (you have to boil the new wine or grape juice until it is only half the amount you started with).

-- Defritum: Either thick fIg syrup, or must that's boiled until you have only a third of the amount with which you started.

-- Liebstoeckl: I didn't find an English translation. In Latin it's called 'levisticum officinale'. It's an umbelliferous plant with yellowish flowers. Its dried roots are used as spice. It seems to be a kind of celery.

-- Liquamen: a salty fish sauce. Most of the time you can replace it by salt.

-- Passum: Very sweet wine sauce, made by boiling the must (new wine or grape juice) to thicken it. (maybe add honey? - just my guess)

-- Poleiminze: A kind of mint that's growing in inundated areas. Just replace it by ordinary mint.

-- Saturei: I didn't find an English translation. In Latin it's called 'satureia hortensis'. It's a violet or white flowered kind of labiate plants which grows mainly in Southern Europe. It's used as a spice plant, especially for bean dishes.

-- Silphium: Its other names are 'Laser' or 'ferula asa foetida'. I've noticed that it's also called 'hing' in the Indian cuisine. It is an onion and garlic substitute and should be used rather sparingly because of its very strong taste and smell.


And here are some useful conversions, taken from the FAQ maintained by (great job!)

5ml        =  1 tsp
15ml       =  1 tblsp
28.3g      =  1 ounce ( ==> 100g = 3.5 ounces )  
454g       =  1 pound ( ==> 1kg = 2.2 pound )
250ml      =  1 cup
1 l        =  4 cups
180 deg C  =  350 deg F 
220 deg C  =  425 deg F 

And now let's come to the meals. All of those are calculated for 4 servings!

Unfortunately the exact cooking temperatures and times haven't been handed down in all cases. You have to rely on your gut feeling. But I hope you enjoy all of it nonetheless!

ISICIA OMENTATA (a kind of Roman Burgers)

(Apic. 2, 1, 7)

500g  minced meat
1     french roll, soaked in white wine
1/2   tsp freshly ground pepper
50ml  Liquamen (can be replaced by 1/2 tsp salt + a little white wine)
some stone-pine kernels and green peppercorns
a little Caroenum
Baking foil

Mix minced meat with the soaked french roll. Ground spices and mix into
the meat. Form small burgers and put pine kernels and peppercorns into
them. Put them into baking foil and grill them together with Caroenum.

PEPONES ET MELONES (Water and Honey Melons)

(Apic. 3, 7)

1/2       honey melon \       both peeled, diced 
1/2       water melon /       and stoned
500ml     Passum
a little bit of honey (or Passum)
1 tblsp   minced parsley
1/2 tsp   freshly ground pepper
a little bit of Liquamen, or a dash of salt
Poleiminze, Silphium, vinegar, if wanted

Cook diced melons in a pan together with spices and herbs until done.
Sometimes Silphium is added.

PATINA DE PISCICULIS (Soufflee of Small Fishes)

(Apic. 4, 2, 30)

500g      boiled fillet of small fishes or whole sardelles
150g      dried raisins (sultanas)
1/2 tsp   freshly ground pepper
1 tblsp   Liebstoeckl
1 tblsp   oregano
2         small diced onions
200ml     oil
50ml      Liquamen, or 1/2 tsp salt
some cornstarch

Mix raisins, pepper, Liebstoeckl, oregano, onion, wine, Liquamen and oil
together and put in a casserole. Cook until done. Then put small boiled
fish fillets or boiled small whole fishes into it. Thicken with a bit of
cornstarch and serve.

PATINA DE PIRIS (Pear Soufflee)

(Apic. 4, 2, 35)

1kg       pears (peeled and without core)
6         eggs
4 tblsp   honey
100ml     Passum
a little bit oil
50ml      Liquamen, or 1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp   ground cumin
ground pepper to taste

Mesh cooked and peeled pears (without core) together with pepper,cumin,
honey, Passum, Liquamen and a bit of oil. Add eggs and put into a
casserole. Cook approximately 30 minutes on small to moderate heat.
Serve with a bitt of pepper sprinkled on the soufflee.

MINUTAL MARINUM (Seafood Fricassee)

(Apic. 4, 3, 1)

500g   fish fillet (e.g. salmon)
250ml  white wine
500ml  beef broth
3      leek branches (I hope branch is the correct expression...)
100ml  oil
Liquamen or salt, coriander, pepper, Liebstoeckl, Oregano to taste
a little bit of starch or flour to thicken the sauce

Put the fish in a pan, add Liquamen, oil, wine and broth. Chop leek
branches and coriander. Chop fillets into a kind of fish goulash.bszRC
Cook approximately 30 minutes on small to moderate heat. When well done
ground coriander, Liebstoeckl and oregano and add to the fish fricassee. 
Boil again shortly. Then thicken sauce with starch, sprinkle pepper on
the fricasse and serve.

GUSTUM DE PRAECOQUIS (Starter with Apricots)

(Apic. 4, 5, 4)

1kg    firm ripe apricots or nectarines
200ml  white wine
250ml  Passum
1      peppermint tea bag (portion for one cup)
pepper, Liquamen or salt, cornstarch, a little vinegar and honey
Wash, cut and stone apricots. Put them with a little cold water in a pan.
Ground pepper and dried mint (that's where the tea bag comes handy...),
add Liquamen, honey, Passum, wine and vinegar. Pour into the pan with a
little oil. Cook approximately 20 minutes on small to moderate heat.
After it boiled add a bit of cornstarch to thicken the sauce, sprinkle
with pepper and serve.


(Apic. 5, 6, 1)

500g       soybeans with pod, or green beans
50ml       Liquamen, or 1/2 tsp salt with 50ml wine
1-2 tblsp  oil
1 tblsp    minced coriander leaves (or 1/2 tblsp ground coriander seed)
1 tsp      cumin seeds
1/2        minced branch of leek

Cook beans with Liquamen, oil, leek and spices. Serve.

PULLUM FRONTONIANUM (Chicken a la Fronto)

(Apic. 6, 9, 13)

1      fresh chicken (approx. 1-1.5kg)
100ml  oil
200ml  Liquamen, or 200ml wine + 2 tsp salt
1      branch of leek
fresh dill, Saturei, coriander, pepper to taste
a little bit of Defritum

Start to fry chicken and season with a mixture of Liquamen and oil,
together with bunches of dill, leek, Saturei and fresh coriander.  Then
cook approximately 1 hour with 220 deg C in the oven. When the chicken
is done, moisten a plate with Defritum, put chicken on it, sprinkle
pepper on it, and serve.  

PULLUS FUSILIS (Chicken With Liquid Filling)

(Apic. 6, 9, 15)

1        fresh chicken (approx. 1-1.5kg)
300g     minced meat (half beef, half pork)
100g     groats (of oat)
2        eggs
250ml    white wine
1 tblsp  oil
1 tblsp  Liebstoeckl
1/4 tsp  ground ginger
1/4 tsp  ground pepper
1 tsp    green peppercorns
50g      stone-pine kernels
Liquamen or salt to taste

Ground pepper, Liebstoeckl, ginger, minced meat and cooked groats. Add
eggs and mix until you have a smooth mass. Season with Liquamen, add oil,
whole peppercorns and stone-pine kernels. Fill this dough into the
chicken. Cook approximately 1 hour with 220 deg C in the oven.

DULCIA DOMESTICA (Housemade Dessert)

(Apic. 7, 13, 1)

200g    fresh or dried dates
50g     coarsely ground nuts or stone-pine kernels 
a little bit salt
honey, or red wine with honey (to stew)

Take the stones out of the dates and fill them with nuts or stone-pine
kernels.  Sprinkle a bit of salt on the filled dates and stew them in
honey or honey-sweetened red wine.  The dates have to be cooked in on
low heat until their paring starts to come off (approximately 5-10

You may also fill some dates with ground pepper. (I wonder how this
might taste - but that's a suggestion made in the original recipe.)

ALITER DULCIA (Another Kind of Dessert)

(Apic. 7, 13, 5)

250g        coarsely ground nuts
100g        coarsely ground stone-pine kernels
3-4 tblsp   honey
1 tsp       minced rue
50ml        Passum
50ml        milk
2           eggs
honey to drip on afterwards
a small amound of ground pepper

Mesh pepper, pine kernels, honey, rue and Passum with milk and eggs, and
boil the dough. Serve topped with honey and sprinkle with pepper.

TIROPATINAM (A Kind of Soufflee)

(Apic. 7, 13, 7)

500ml     milk
6         eggs
3 tblsp   honey
a little bit of ground pepper

Sweeten milk with honey, add eggs and mix together until smooth. Cook
on low heat until stiff, sprinkle pepper on it and serve.

OVA SFONGIA EX LACTE (Pancakes with Milk)

(Apic. 7, 13, 8)

8      eggs
600ml  milk
100ml  oil
a little bit honey
a little bit ground pepper

Mix eggs, milk and oil until you have a pancake dough. Fry in a pan
and serve topped with honey and a little pepper.

IN OVIS APALIS (Boiled Eggs)

(Apic. 7, 19, 3)

8    hard boiled eggs (not too well done - boil ca. 4 minutes)
50g  stone-pine kernels
honey, pepper, vinegar, Liebstoeckl, Liquamen (or salt) to taste

Dressing for boiled eggs:  Mix together pepper, Liebstoeckl, soaked pine
kernels. Add honey and vinegar and season with Liquamen. Serve together
with the eggs. 


(Apic. 8, 5, 1)

800g - 1kg  veal
300g        dried raisins (sultanas)
1 tblsp     honey
2 tblsp     vinegar
200ml       wine
100ml       oil
100ml       Defritum
100ml       Liquamen (or 1tsp salt)
pepper, celery seeds, Liebstoeckl, cumin, oregano, dried onion to taste

Fry veal in olive oil until well done.  Mix raisins, wine, vinegar,
honey, oil, Liquamen and spices together in an extra pan, shortly boil
the sauce.  Pour over the veal, then leave the meat for 10 minutes in
the sauce and cook on low heat. Serve.


(Apic. 8, 5, 3)

800g - 1kg  veal
pepper, Liebstoeckl, cumin, celery seeds to taste
2 tblsp     honey
2 tblsp     vinegar
100ml       oil
100ml       Liquamen (or 100ml white wine + 1 tsp salt)
a little bit of cornstarch


Cook the veal for about 1 1/2 hour until well done.  Mix together honey,
vinegar, oil, ligamen and spices in an extra pan.  Boil the sauce only
shortly and thicken it with cornstarch.  Then pour sauce over the veal
and let boil on low heat for another 10 minutes. Serve.


(Apic. 8, 6, 2)

10       lamb cutlets
1 l      white wine
100ml    oil
2        big onions, diced
2 tblsp  ground coriander 
1 tsp    ground pepper
1 tblsp  Liebstoeckl
1 tsp    ground cumin
200ml    Liquamen (or 2 tsp salt)

Put cutlets into pot, together with diced onion and spices. Add Liquamen,
oil and wine. Cook 45-60  minutes. Pour sauce into a pan and thicken it
with starch. Serve cutlets together with the sauce.

IN MITULIS (Sea Mussels)

(Apic. 9, 9)

1kg        fresh sea mussels
100ml      Liquamen
1          branch of leek, finely minced
1 tsp      cumin
200ml      Passum
1 tblsp    minced Saturei
500ml      white wine
ca. 500ml  water 

First water mussels, and clean them.  Mix together Liquamen, wine,
water, Passum and spices.  Boil the broth for about 20 minutes, then add
mussels.  Boil additional 10 minutes. Serve.


(Apic. 9, 10, 2)

500g       cooked tuna fillet
1/2 tsp    ground pepper
1/2 tsp    Liebstoeckl
1/2 tsp    thyme
1/2 tsp    oregano
1/2 tsp    rue
150g       dates (without stones)
1 tblsp    honey
4          hard boiled eggs (in quarters)
50ml       white wine
2 tblsp    wine vinegar
50ml       Defritum
2-3 tblsp  green olive oil

Cook tuna fillet. Mesh fillet together with dates, honey, wine, vinegar,
Defritum and oil. Put mass into a bowl and garnish with egg quarters.

SCILLAS (Big Shrimps)

(Apic. exc. 17)

500g       cooked and prepared big shrimps
1 tsp      green pepper
1 tblsp    Liebstoeckl
1/2 tsp    ground celery seeds
2-3 tblsp  vinegar
100ml      Liquamen (or 1/2 tsp salt)
4-5        hacked hard-boiled egg yolks

Cook shrimps. Then ground pepper, celery seeds and Liebstoeckl. Pour
vinegar, Liquamen and egg yolks over it and mix thoroughly. Pour the
mixture over the shrimpsand serve.

MUSTACEI (= Must Rolls)

(Cato: de agricultura, 121)

500g     wheat flour 
300ml    grape juice (or young wine)
2 tblsp  anise seeds 
2 tblsp  cumin seeds 
100g     lard
50g      grated cheese (sheep's cheese would be best)
ca. 20   bay leaves

Pour some must over the flour, add anise and cumin seeds, the lard and
cheese.  Work it together until you have a reasonable dough.  Form
rolls, then put one bay leaf under each of them. 

Bake 30-35 minutes at 180 deg C.

It's better to make the must rolls with yeast dough, because then they
can be kept longer, and they are not so hard. To make the yeast dough,
add 40g yeast to the flour + grape juice, leave it a while until you
continue like above. 

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