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Ancient Roman Meal Recipe

Updated on August 5, 2012
Cast your vote for Ancient Roman Pulsum

Cook Time

Prep time: 24 hours
Cook time: 2 hours
Ready in: 26 hours
Yields: 4

Recently, I watched a documentary about the lives of common citizens in ancient Rome. It detailed how they lived, worked and what they ate. There was a simple recipe shown for a meal called Pulsum. It was very limited on ingredients and described as relatively bland. It was chick peas, garlic and cabbage spiced up with ancient herbs like Lovage (similar to parsley) and Rue (a bitter herb also known as Herb-Of-Grace), served with bread and flavored cheese. So, my girlfriend asked me to make it, and I used garbanzo beans, cabbage and other stuff to add some extra flavor. It came out better than I thought it would; plus, this recipe gives an example of meals from two thousand years ago and make you appreciate the plethora of ingredients we had available today.



1 lb. Chickpeas / garbanzo beans, rinsed and soaked overnight

1 Italian pepper, diced

1 yellow pepper, diced

1 heads worth of corn kernels

1 red onion, diced

1 teaspoon ground sage

½ to 1 tablespoon cracked black pepper

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon Italian seasoning

1-2 tablespoons, garlic, minced

8-12 oz. shredded cabbage

Flavored cheese:

Teaspoon Italian seasoning

1 cup (8 oz.) ricotta cheese

Tablespoon garlic, minced

Teaspoon cracked black pepper

Side dish:

Bread rolls (of your choice)

Dried salami, sliced


1. Place the chickpeas, peppers, corn kernels, onions, Italian seasonings, salt, pepper, sage and garlic in a large pot with 6 cups of hot water.

2. Bring to a boil, and lower to a simmer.

3. Cook, covered, for 1 and half to 2 hours or until peas are soft.

4. Added cabbage, and cook for an additional 10 minutes, until cabbage is cooked.

5. Taste and re-season as needed.

6. Drain any whey or liquid from ricotta.

7. In a mixing bowl add the garlic, pepper and Italian seasoning, and mix together

8. Add drained ricotta and combine until fully incorporated.

9. Serve the Pulsum with the bread rolls, ricotta cheese and salami.


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