In Roma we were delighted to have booked a cooking class with an Italian chef in a beautiful private home just north of Rome in the countryside. Mazzana is a town that looked like something you would find in a storybook, or movie. Our Chef was Monica who had an assistant Natalie. They met us in the center of Roma and drove us to our kitchen. Monica also took us for a cappucino in a town nearby called Calcata. It was built in the 11th century on a big rock. But that is another blog :-)
|Monica and Natalie|
|The "mini mart"|
Starting with a fresh tomato bruchetta, then mushrooms, potatoes chopped. We were making 3 pastas: pumpkin, sausage, and bechamel lasagne, artichoke ravioli, and ----with tomato sauce. Pasta that is to be stuffed or layered is made with an egg. It gives the noodle elasticity and strength. Pasta that just gets a sauce is made with water. "Exact amounts of flour, and water are important. We worked the dough by starting with a volcano of flour that we dropped our eggs or water into. Kneading it until it did not stick to our fingers when squeezed in our hands. Adding bits of flour if needed. Then putting it through the pasta machine to make sheets.
The eggs pastas were used for the ravioli and lasagne. The water pasta was rolled into tubes as big as a wooden spoon handle. Then cut into pillow size squares that we stretched with 2 fingers into a shell shape. I would have been happy to have stopped there. But there were 3 chicken dishes: "Saltimbocca" which is translated "jump into your mouth. A pounded tiny piece of chicken with proscuitto and a sage leaf held together with a toothpick. That was cooked quickly in hot oil. Then we marinated chicken with balsamic vinegar, apple cider vinegar, olive oil, sugar and salt. The 3rd dish was chicken double dipped in egg and seasoned break crumbs. All this time we drank delicious local white wine: "Argento" Tenuta Ronci Di Nepi. It was a young wine, and went down smooth.
|Pumpkin, sausage, bechamel lasagne. My fave!|
|Artichoke ravioli finishing in the juice from cooking the choke and parmesan cheese.||Tomato sauce.|
The ladies were a treat, as well as the fresh pasta, wines, and rich information about Italian cooking. I know we have a new pasta machine in our future. We were warned to get a good one that will last. I look forward to making these dishes for our friends and family to enjoy.
|Tiramisu and our apron.|
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