Back to my Italian Roots

What made this spring break trip special was all of the things we were able to do that I could never have set up on my own while planning. For example, the Fresco painting class–that was such a great way to see the techniques famous painters like Michelangelo used for the Sistine Chapel and more. Another really fantastic moment was the cooking class that we took!

cooking 1

Divided up into a team of three, Annie, Liz, and I did our best to make sure we were following the fast paced and feisty instructor closely while we prepared 5 courses in 3 hours–with time to enjoy them at the end! Our menu included: Focaccia bread, Kale Crostini, Pasta Fresca with a light traditional tomato sauce and pasta made from scratch, lightly fried Eggplant Parmesan, and finished with sweet Ricotta cheese blended with sugar and a kiwi sauce on top. Is your mouth watering? Mine is while writing it.

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First step in making pasta…a mini egg and flour volcano

The first barrier to overcome was the fact that not one of the three of us had eaten breakfast so we had to keep our hands off the fresh picked cherry tomatoes and block of cheese sitting in front of us. That was extremely difficult.

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Look at that beautiful tomato sauce!

Everything we were taught in the class made us realize that Italian cooking, the right way isn’t just a hobby or something that mother’s do when the come home from work because they have to–it is an art. Everything has a specific process, an order on which each ingredient has to be added into the pan, and how to properly multitask in order to make sure everything is ready at the same time. Also, be liberal with the olive oil–it is good for your hair and heart so we doused everything.

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Kneading the pasta dough. Annie thought it was super cool.

One of the coolest things was making homemade pasta. From Liz finding out she could be a professional pasta maker, to us learning how to use a “guitar” (a wooden instrument that looks like a loom) to separate the dough into long spaghetti strands, it was something we had never experienced before!

cooking collage

And right when everything was done, we had been working so hard we were sweating! But by the third course, we were SO FULL! Groaning filled the kitchen as all we wanted to do was eat everything in sight but knew we would explode if we did…I think my favorite courses were the homemade focaccia bread, the fresh pasta, and dessert! I can’t wait to try and make that sweet ricotta cream again, it was so good and I want to try it with strawberries! So delicious! And the best part? We didn’t have to clean up our own mess!

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The mess in all of its glory

So there you have it, a much more successful attempt at cooking that my evening with Teresa in Spain last spring and I got to keep the recipes AND the apron! Souvenirs, recipes, and a full stomach, we were quite happy with ourselves.

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