Vignarola: history and recipe of the Roman vegetable stew to make in Spring

Apr 18 2023, 08:27 | by Gambero Rosso
Ever heard of Italian vignarola? It’s a traditional Roman dish made with all the best Spring vegetables. Here is the recipe to make the stew at home.

History of vignarola

A side dish, but also a condiment for a first course, available only during spring: vignarola – a mix of broad beans, peas, artichokes and lettuce – was born as a poor dish in the Roman countryside, where vegetables abounded. A verified theory surrounding the birth of the recipe maintains that it all started in Velletri, a town in the province of Rome where winemakers began to prepare this dish on their return from the vineyards (in italian, vigne), using freshly picked vegetables. In fact, it was once common to plant certain vegetables along the rows, including broad beans and peas. Another theory believes that this is a recovery recipe, created to avoid wasting the leftovers of daily sales in fruit shops (the term "vignarolo" in Roman dialect means, in fact, vegetable seller). It is often served with the addition of crispy pork belly, but you can also make a vegan version.

Recipe for vignarola


2 artichokes

600 g peas

600 g broad beans

1 head of lettuce

1 lemon

2 spring onions

3 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil

50 g pork belly (optional)



Clean and cut the artichokes, then wash peas and broad beans, and chop the lettuce. Chop the spring onions and stir-fry them in a pan with some olive oil and the pork belly, diced. After 10 minutes, add artichokes, peas, broad beans and season to taste. Let the vegetables cook for 10 minutes then add lettuce and cook for 15 minutes. Serve the vignarola hot or warm.

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