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