One of the biggest attractions in Italy is the food. While it’s certainly a great pleasure to indulge in eating Italian food, we thought we’d learn how to prepare it as well.
After doing a bit of research online, we found one Chef Andrea Consoli, a native Roman chef, who has trained in his family’s restaurants as well as abroad. Of course, we chose the Cooking Classes in Rome because of the great reviews on TripAdvisor and other places online – it had nothing to do with the lovely young chef who runs the cooking school! 🙂
We set off from our B&B towards the neighbourhood of Trastevere at around 9.30am. The cooking school started at 10am, so we had plenty of time. We followed the directions given by Chef Andrea and our B&B owner, Daniele. The walk was only supposed to take about 15 minutes, but we were a little confused by the narrow laneways that looked like streets on the map and lack of markings or street numbers on the buildings. So at 9.55am, we called Chef Andrea and he explained that we were just 30 seconds away from his premises – duh! Of course, we were the last to arrive, and every eye in the group of about 10 people turned our way when we walked through the door. Yay – HI!
There was a group of about 10 Americans and Canadians already seated at the long table. We discarded our jackets and bags then sat down quickly, as Chef Andrea had already started to explain the running of the day and the menu.
With Chef Andrea’s guidance, we were to prepare all the food on the menu – then we’d get to eat it! Each course was offered with an accompanying wine, as you do in Italy.
We went through to the kitchen area, where we found several large bowls of ingredients on the central island bench. Everything was from the local region, so fresh – and it smelled delightful. In Italy, food changes seasonally, depending on availability and usually comes from the region in which it’s prepared and consumed.
Our appetiser was Roman-style artichokes. I had only tried artichoke once before, and wasn’t a fan, but I was determined to try everything we were preparing. Apparently, the secret is in the way you peel and cut them. I have to say, they were really delicious.
Our first course was cavatelli pasta (little curl shaped pasta that’s trick to make) with boscaiola sauce (mushrooms, green peas and prosciutto sausage). Making the cavatelli took quite some time, even with everyone in the group pitching in. Turns out, rolling those little curls isn’t as easy as it looks – they have to be the right size, rolled the right way.
Our efforts certainly paid off in the end, as this pasta dish has to be one of the most delicious and tasty meals I’ve ever tasted.
Secondi or second course was meatballs with fresh tomato sauce and roast potatoes. Again, everything was made with beautiful fresh ingredients and this course was very tasty.
For dessert, we made traditional tiramisu. Again, I’d tried it here in Australia and wasn’t overly keen. However, Chef Andrea told us that most of the time it’s prepared with the wrong ingredients. Mascapone must be used, not cream. Mascapone cheese is a rich, cream cow’s milk cheese, similar in texture and flavour to cream cheese.
About 4pm, feeling very satisfied that we’d cooked and consumed an excellent Italian meal, we said arrivederci to Chef Andrea and the other guests, and wandered off into the streets of picturesque Trastevere.
We eventually meandered our way back to the B&B, where we laid down for a little while before planning the next episode in our exciting Italian adventure.
The Besties Do Italy series details how Seize The Day Project’s Lyndall and her long time best friend ventured to Italy to celebrate a significant birthday – sans husbands and children. Shhh, don’t tell anyone they’ve gone!
Read more posts in this fascinating series here:
Positano, you stole a little piece of my heart – Exploring Lake Como: The Greenway Walk – Eternal Rome: I only just met you, but I think I love you – Some Enchanted Evening in Venice – The journey to Cinque Terre: When things didn’t go according to plan – A trip to Villa San Michele, Anacapri
Linking up with The Weekly Postcard
and With Some Grace for #FlogYoBlogFriday
and Four Around the World for Snapshot Story Sunday