“I’m not a chef, I’m Italian”- David Rocco

Monday, November 4, 2013

Cooking School in Firenze, Tagliatelle and Orecchiette and Sfrappole, Oh My!!

Fresh tagliatelle.

Sfrappole, garganelli & orecchiette Emiliane.
Buongiorno! Though, I actually should say bounasera since it is already dark here in Florence. I had my first day of classes today at Giglio Cooking School owned by Marcella Ansaldo. It’s only been one day and I can’t wait to get back to class tomorrow. Not only is Marcella a lovely woman, but she clearly knows her way around a kitchen and her passion for food and cooking shows. These courses are not just demonstration, so if you’re looking to get your hands messy and do some work, then this is the right place!

I am here for the month long course, Italian Cuisine Across Time and Space, from basic traditional recipes to innovative techniques.  It’s three and a half hours every morning. As many of you know, I am a self-taught cook, but I recently starting working with a company called Feast on History as their sous chef for dinners and private events, so this seemed like the perfect opportunity to get some real training. And oh yeah, spending a couple of months in Italy doesn’t hurt either. 

Our first day was fresh and dry pasta. We made two basic pasta doughs, simple pasta with semolina and a pasta with mixtures of 00 zero and semolina. From the pasta with semolina we made tagliatelle, garganelli, orecchiette emiliane and sfrappole and from the pasta with the 00 zero and semolina we made orecchiette pugliesi. Marcella also gave us a wonderful lecture on the history of pasta, which for someone as interested in food as I am was very useful. These are the dishes we prepared, all from scratch:

Garganelli with Zucchini and Shrimp

Sfrappole with Baby Calamari and Arugula

Oricchiette Pugliesi with Cauliflower

Orichiette Emiliane with Ragu alla’Bolognese

Tagliatelle with Basic Meat Sauce

Ciao ciao for now!

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