I have been wanting to take a cooking class since coming to Roma. I love Italian food and often cook pastas and homemade pizzas at home. Little did I know about REAL Italian cooking.
I searched the internet and came upon http://www.cookingclassesinrome.com. It is a cooking school in Trastevere that specializes in offering one-time cooking classes in English (mostly to students and tourists). Chef Andrea and his American wife Erica, do all the shopping and menu planning. You can provide them with special requests if there is a dish you would like to learn how to make, or have dietary preferences or restrictions. They design a 4 course meal with wine, for a small additional fee, and during the course of the day, you learn some of the secrets of Italian cooking and participate in the preparation of each dish. At the end of day, you get to sit down in the lovely, adjoining dining room and eat what you have prepared, while Andrea explains about each of the wine pairings.
The day I attended there were 10 other students, all Americans. Normally there are 12 people in the class. While the kitchen is a bit small, they provide work space for all participants and you can move in and out as you wish. Andrea is very knowledgeable and quite entertaining, and makes learning about Italian cooking fun.
The appetizer was an amazing stuffed zucchini flower with either mozzarella and eggplant, or mozzarella and proscuitto. We made a beer batter to dip them in and they were gently fried so that the flower opened up in the pan and the cheese inside melted in your mouth. Accompanying the flowers was a fresh southern italian tomato pesto, which we used as a dip. Our first course (primi) was ravioli stuffed with spinach and ricotta cheese with a fresh tomato sauce. I’ve included a picture below of me taking my turn at beating the eggs for the pasta. For the second (second course), we made teenage veal in a mushroom, peas and white wine sauce. And finally for desert we indulged in pear and chocolate soufflé, which Andrea presented with each of our names written out on our serving platters.
I learned a lot, ate soooo well and have plans to bring Michael with me the next time. Tomorrow I’m going to tackle the fresh tomato sauce at home for dinner, as I couldn’t resist the fragrant, plum tomatoes today in the market. Bon Appetito!