I was one of the few to be lucky enough to attend not just one, but two Italian cooking classes with Chef Andrea. There, we were taught how to make amazing four course meals with dishes that were just easy enough to make on our own for every day dinner. Everything that we cooked with was very fresh and cooking with all your friends is a whole different experience.
But before I get into the food, I have to mention our oh-so Italian chef, Chef Andrea. He is a short stocky guy, very funny and easygoing. Not the typical kind of person you would expect to be in a kitchen, but nonetheless this makes the whole experience exciting. The chef always had something to say about our lackluster cooking skills, jokingly of course, but knew how to constructively criticize and helped us learn!
My goal when traveling to Italy was to learn the proper way to incorporate wine into at least one kind of dish, and the cooking classes helped me complete that goal! During the first class I took, we made a fresh cherry tomato, mushroom, white wine sauce with home made pasta and spices. And trust me, it was as amazing as it sounds. I have yet to find a meal as tasty and fresh as that in Italy since then.
Now the second meal was a bit different. You can’t leave an Italian cooking class without learning to make pizza! But this pizza was with a twist. We made a fresh sauce topped with basil leaves and arugula, and deep-fried our mini pizza dough! Chef Andrea added a little American twist and stuffed the dough with it all to make an amazing first course. There was so much bella in that pizza… As a main course we made leek potato pumpkin soup, which was such a different taste, but still amazing.
I wish I could have had my own personal chef every night in Italy to teach me many more dishes, but these two cooking classes taught me enough to take home and expand on! I don’t think I can leave Italy, just because of the food…
Nicholas is a current student at Pace University studying at John cabot University (JCU) in Rome, Italy during the Sprig 2015 term.