I took a cooking class at a restaurant in Trastevere in Rome today. I loved it so much, there really aren’t too many words for the experience aside from that. So, I think I’ll let some pictures do the talking, ok?
In class, we homemade pasta (first time for me)! And tiramisu, and tomato pesto, and fried pumpkin flowers.
The class, which I signed up for upon the advice of two of my fabulous readers (check out their blog about food & drink in New Orleans here) is taught by Chef Andrea Consoli, at his family’s restaurant La Fate Ristorante.
You, and a group of 11 others, make a four course lunch under Chef Andrea’s direction. Then, you sit down to eat it, along with wines paired with each dish.
All of the ingredients were local (in keeping with the zero kilometer philosphy, or what we’d call locavore in the states).
We started with fried pumpkin flower blossoms two ways: stuffed with fresh mozzarella and eggplant and stuffed with fresh mozzarella and proscuitto.
Fried in sunflower oil, they were delicate and creamy and meaty all at once.
One of the biggest revelations of the day for me was the southern Italian style tomato pesto sauce they were served with. Cherry tomatoes, basil and walnuts were the only ingredients, and it was unbelievably tasty.
Revelation No 2: I must get a pasta machine when I return to the US. Homemade pasta was surprisingly easy to make, and of course, even easier to eat.
One of Rome’s most famous pasta dishes, all’amatriciana, is so simple, yet so flavorful.
In Rome, meatballs are never served with pasta. They are a secondi, and that is it. And they are way smaller than you see in America.
Chef Andrea insists on using fresh bread soaked in milk for meatballs, and it made a huge difference texture-wise.
Rolled in flour and then simmered in tomato sauce, they were so tender.
I’m not a dessert person (except for gelato, of course). But this tiramisu was to-die-for.
I actually think I may be able to make this at home.
Bottom line: I highly recommend this class for anyone visiting Rome for more than a few days. It’s such a fun break from sight-seeing, and Chef Andrea and his wife, Erica, are truly passionate about food and are wonderfully friendly and informative.
Now you’ll have to excuse me while I go take a long nap. Recipes to come.