Italian Cooking Class in Florence
While chaperoning the college group in Florence, one of my favorite activities we did was to take a cooking class. One morning, we got up early, met at Piazza della Repubblica and then walked over to Oltrarno to In Tavola Cooking Academy.
Located on Via dei Velluti behind a non-descript door, the friendly chef met us and put us right to work! Most of the students had very little cooking experience (thank you campus dining hall!) so they were first learning some kitchen basics–peeling potatoes, pressing garlic, knife skills–along with some background information on Italian cuisine.
We prepared three dishes. The first course was a Tuscan classic: pappa al pomodoro–a very thick stew-like dish made with old crusty bread, fresh tomatoes, garlic, olive oil, and basil.
The main course was pasta: a potato-filled tortelli (hello, carbs!). This tortelli reminded me of a larger, rectangular ravioli. The students made the pasta from scratch–nothing canned or packaged here!
Of course, you can’t wrap up dinner without a little dolce–dessert. For this, the students made panna cotta with a strawberry sauce.
The students got their hands dirty–literally–but had a blast. The best part? After a hard morning’s work of cooking, we got to sit down and eat what we made for lunch! We were lead down to the old wine cellar where In Tavola has set up a dining room and we got to sample our efforts with a little bit of vino too. They even gave us a little menu booklet so we could re-create what we did at home.
For more Florence and Italy pics, check out my Flickr album.