Cottura in Roma

I decided to mix up the breakfast routine a bit this morning. I had a quello che lei sta avendo…translation, “I will have what she is having.”

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Then it was back across the Tiber to Trastevere….which translates, “across the Tiber”.

I arrived early and again loved the area. Cafes were just opening, it was a cooler morning than usual, perfetto. I went again to Santa Maria Trastevere.

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The church is located on a main piazza near a large fountain.

20130622-223050.jpg Look! My prediction was wrong, the road crew of due completed their job…bravo.

20130622-223213.jpg One of my favorite photos from my first trip to Italia was of a man gazing out his window. I love to get these small glimpses of daily life when visiting someone else’s city.
During my tre visit to the church, preparations for a wedding were in progress. It was quite an experience sitting in this breathtaking church and the Ave Maria began to play.

20130622-223706.jpg I even captured a snipit of it on my phone but am not sure how to share.
Well, off to class.

20130622-223858.jpg This must be the place.
The class is limited to 12 participants. Our group consisted of 3 from North Carolina (one currently living in London), 2 from Virginia, 2 from Austria, 2 from Australia, 2 from Michigan and then me.
We were greeted by Erica and a cup of espresso.

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I will not share every detail of the day but it was a wonderful, complete experience. Chef Andrea shares a perfect mix of Roman history, culture and food. His expectations are high and holds his students to HIS standards…he demonstrates this by throwing away 1/2 the carrots one has already prepped by saying, “No, thees is not-a good-a. You eat-a with your-a eyes-a first-a!” or “You are not-a an elephant-a…smaller peezes of cheesa!” Just to share a few.

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Chef Andrea chooses the menu based on Traditional ROMAN dishes, client requests (that’s me!) and dietary restrictions (that’s NOT me! or, luckily, anyone else in our group.)

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20130622-224954.jpg Here Chef Andrea shares his rough morning at the market with us.
After a great introduction to our day, we were all put to work.

20130622-225115.jpg Photo op!

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Many hands make light work….unless the first attempt is thrown away and it must be redone (by the way, it was not me..I was on potato duty, not carrot.)

20130622-225339.jpg This was MY request!! Stuffed pumpkin blossoms. Some were stuffed with prosciutto and mozzarella and some with eggplant and mozzarella. We also received a lecture about taking a few minutes to do correctly and not mutilate the blossoms.

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20130622-225638.jpg Beer batter for the blossoms….it does’t matter what type of beer, you only need it for the yeast-a.
Once the blossoms were stuffed and ready to be fried, we began the Bolognese! Fresh tomatoes, garlic, sofrito (carrots, onions and celery) ground pork and ground beef. This was served with handmade (these hands here…and 22 others) gnocchetti. My words and photos certainly do not do the experience justice. Chef Andrea always had a side note to share. Many were about how American Italian dishes are misnamed and many not even Italian (meatballs, garlic bread lower your heads!).
This was my first time to make pasta.

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20130622-230821.jpg These are the leetle peelowsa that get turned into

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20130622-230918.jpg The gnocchetti. By the way, if your gnocchetti does not have a “wave-a” in it…DO IT OVER…or else someone will try to eat it and spit it out because-a eet esa no good-a! Be warned!!

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The gnocchetti was boiled briefly ( in the water we blanched the tomatoes in…because it has the nutrients from the tomatoes peel (that we threw away) still in it… and then added to our Bolognese sauce-a.
Oh yes, back to my friend the chicken. We also made chicken cacciatore or “hunter’s chicken”. Thees-a ees-a only made-a with cheecken, no breast-as…(say as you move your hands around that region of the body), garlic, olive oil, black olives, rosemary, salt and white wine veenegar-a….not tomatoes! EVER. If you-a use-a tomatoes….eet esa not-a cheechen cacciatore.

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Oh, and another thing- you always serve chichen cacciatore with roasted potatoes…always.

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This was the fresh dipping sauce we made for our pumpkin blossoms. Chef Andrea says it is really to be served over pasta, he was just trying to give us yet another recipe to take home. Avery will LOVE this one; tomatoes…..big side note here, use ONLY GRAPE tomatoes, NOT cherry tomatoes…suffice it to say that one of our members will not ever forget this…

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I am sure I am forgetting something, but on to dessert- Sautéed peaches ( hard peaches…bang them on the counter and also with a knife to illustrate they are HARD) with crema.

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And now, time to enjoy the fruits of our labor, with fabulous wine pairings of course…Perfetto!

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I cannot say enough good things about this experience. If you like to learn, cook and eat, it is a must for anyone visiting Roma!

After the class, I roamed back home, not exactly knowing where I was but loving every turn.

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Lover’s Locks along Ponte Garibaldi.

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A wedding.

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20130622-234741.jpg Trajan’s Column.

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20130622-234853.jpg The 2014 Priest Calendar (?)

20130622-234959.jpg Another wedding. (Check out his scarpe!)

20130622-235416.jpg Bocca della Verita (The Mouth of Truth) Straight out of Roman Holiday!

20130622-235537.jpg A new suitcase.

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And a bel tramonto!
Arrivederci Roma!
Next stop Capri.
Ciao!

7 thoughts on “Cottura in Roma

  1. Love-a the post-a! 🙂
    And I had no doubt that it was NOT you that cut the carrots wrong. I am sure you could teach them all a thing or two. Safe travels to Capri!

  2. I took a cooking class in Florence and it was great fun. You are off to my favor place besides Florence, which is my favorite. I love Capri!!! Be safe and hav fun

  3. Paige…this is amazing! I just messaged our friends in Italy to find out the name of their restaurant! The oldest son is the owner and chef. Don’t know if you are anywhere close. looking forward to reading more of your adventures!!!

    • So funny to feel my phone buzz and see that it was from you. I was on the ferry from Naples to Capri. The only reason I had my phone on was to communicate with the guest house if needed. Please, I look forward to hearing if your friends are anywhere near. From Capri, I head to Sorrento. Ciao!

  4. That is a rather large knife!! I am impressed and loving the magnificent pictures.
    I look forward to hearing the Ave Maria!

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