The SAI Rome program offers a variety of included excursions during the semester that have helped enrich my experience being abroad. These excursions provide cultural events that I may normally not have had the opportunity to participate in. I have thoroughly enjoyed every SAI activity that I have been a part of.
This week I had the wonderful opportunity to participate in an Italian Cooking Lesson through the SAI program. The Italian Cooking Class took place right in the heart of Trastevere. “A delicious experience and an appetizing time,” was the Italian Chef Andrea’s motto of the lesson and I completely agree! I could not have had more fun. There were thirteen in total from my program, all working together in the kitchen to create a wonderful meal. We made an appetizer, first course, and dessert. Chef Andrea’s also provided us all with the recipes so we can attempt to make them on our own.
The cooking class environment was set up beautifully and provided a lively atmosphere to be a part of. The space was lovely and the kitchen had all the fresh produce displayed like a work of art. Below are pictures that show the table setting where we ate our meal, me in my apron all ready to cook, and the kitchen with all the ingredients.
The appetizer we made was mushroom pate over polenta crostini. It was delicious and had a little unexpected spice. I was put in charge of the mushrooms. My friend and I cleaned, chopped and sautéed the mushrooms. I knew the mushrooms were really fresh because they still had roots that had to be removed. I learned that when “washing” mushrooms, you do not rinse them with water; however, you brush them with a paintbrush. This was something I had never heard of before! Below is a picture of my mushrooms being sautéed and then the finished appetizer.
The first course we cooked was fresh homemade pappardelle with white Ragu. When I initially heard this I was picturing a sauce similar to an Alfredo sauce; surprisingly, this was not the case. It was a yummy light white sauce that had so much flavor. Pappardelle is a type of pasta we made, that I had never had before. The dough was prepared for us and it was our job to roll and cut the dough. We had to put a piece of dough in the pasta machine to flatten it and continue to do this until it is smooth and silky. After the dough is smooth and silky you use a tool to cut the dough into smaller pieces. Below is a picture of the dough going through the process, the pasta before it is cooked and finally the finished pasta dish.
For dessert we made a Ricotta and Nutella tart which was similar to a Nutella with crème pie. It was very good and not too difficult to make. I think I would be able to make this one without any help! Below is a picture of the pie before it was cooked and the other picture is of my piece of pie.
Kelsey is a current student at Gustavus Adolphus College studying at John Cabot University in Italy during the Fall 2015 term.