A Taste Of ItalyOn this full day or part-time course (evening / day) you will learn how to prepare and cook a variety of regional Italian dishes from north to south, including fresh pasta.
A Taste of Italy
On this full day workshop you will learn how to prepare and cook a variety of regional Italian dishes from north to south, including fresh pasta. The dishes below will vary with the seasons.
Fresh Ricotta. Fresh Pasta – Agnolotti, Ravioli, Pappardelle. Ricotta & Herb Dip. Courgette Soup. Duck Sauce with Wide Ribbon Noodles. Fruit Pudding. Dishes are examples and will vary with the seasons.
To give a feel for the country we are going to zip through it’s worth remembering that Italy has only been a unified country since 1861 when Victor Emmanuel II of Sardinia-Piedmont was proclaimed king and the twenty administrative regions were formed after the Second World War; although they conformed roughly to the states that had existed before unification.
The food throughout Italy is heavily influenced by other countries. The French in Piedmont, Austrians in Lombardy, Trentino-Alto Adige and Veneto; Yugoslavs in Venezia Giulia; Spaniards in the south, Arabs in Sicily.
As is the case throughout Europe now, regional food is much less distinct than it was. Before the war you could divide Italy into three – in the north they cooked with butter; in the middle, pig fat and in the south olive oil. Polenta, rice and boiled meats belonged in the north and pizza and dry pasta in the south. For many years polenta was out of fashion altogether – considered peasant food and only eaten by extremely poor people, restaurants were embarrassed to include it on the menu. Black pepper was used in the north, red chilli in the south. They cooked with wine in the north and tomatoes in the south. A formal meal in Italy is a succession of courses – as Claudia Roden in The Food Of Italy explains:
“with no main course, starting with an antipasto, followed by a first course (primo) of either pasta, risotto or soup, and a second course (secondo) of meat, poultry or fish, accompanied by one or two vegetable side dishes (contorni). Then there is salad (insalata), sometimes cheese, and the meal ends with fruit or dessert (dolce) or both”.
Pasta is often dressed simply with olive oil, garlic and raw tomato or melted butter, sage freshly milled black pepper and Parmesan cheese.
By the end of the day / course you will have learnt how to prepare and cook a variety of dishes using different techniques. We will also have spent time discussing presentation – how to transfer all that care and skill into a dish to be proud of.
Perhaps most importantly, as well as learning new skills, you will have had some fun learning in a relaxed and supportive environment. During the course the emphasis is on using personal taste, judgement and technique rather than slavishly following a recipe. This approach means that one recipe may become two or three recipes. However, a booklet containing the course recipes will be given to you at the end of the day / course.
Everyone has their own set of ingredients sharing only a 4 burner induction hob and standard size fan assisted oven with one other learner. We all work together at the same pace with each stage demonstrated before you do it yourself.
We will stop and eat as we go along so that you taste dishes at their best and we can discuss. There may be food to take home with you, but not always.
The not so small print – please read
It is essential that you wear flat shoes with a closed toe – this is for your safety and comfort, we will be on our feet most of the time.
It is essential when booking that you advise of any accessibility issues, allergies or dietary requirements. Rutland Cookery School is committed to being as inclusive as possible and we will do our utmost to accommodate you but we do need to know in advance.
Dishes prepared may vary from examples above.