Cooking day!Fabiolous Cooking Day. Though it was a little bit pricey at EUR 130 for everything, since the danger pay had me feeling a bit flush, I decided that I didn't care about the cost and just went with it.
Early in the morning, our guide picked us (me and two other people -- a mother and college aged daughter on vacation together) up at the travel agency, and drove us to a little town called Mazzano Romano, about 30 miles outside of Rome, in a lovely mountain-top manse. Before heading to the house for the class, we visited a commune village called Calcata, once home to the Holy Foreskin until is was supposedly stolen by the Vatican. The village was once called, "the grooviest village in Italy" by David Farley in a New York Times article (click the link to read all about it's hippy history). It was a really cool place, and I'm actually thankful for the hippies that had the foresight to save the town, and make it the charming little village it is today.
Once we got to the mansion, we found the great views, and took some pictures Here are some pictures of the interior of the mansion:
These were our two instructors.
This is how you start pasta.
Don't let the eggs escape the valley...
After kneading the dough enough to get it to a firmish stage, we started rolling it through the pasta machine.
Then it was time for an anti pasti break while we wait for the pasta dough to rest!
And this is Italy, so of course there's wine!
Then it's time to get back to work on the pasta. Above you see the filling made from artichokes cooked in white wine, with ricotta and parmigiano reggiano cheese. mmmmmm....cheese.
Lasagne fresh from the oven. It's a white lasagne, with sausage and bechamel sauce.
The beginning of Cavatelli
And with a quick roll of two fingers, voila! Cavatelli ready to cook!
Ravioli cooking with a bit of pasta water to make a sauce.
Finally! I was so happy to eat! Buon apetito!
Each of the servings were so small, and I didn't think it would be enough, but it was more than we could eat! We had six courses including the antipasti, and everything was so well instructed, I would take this class again and again given the chance! I made a recommendation to one of my colleagues here who is no living in Rome, and he told some friends when they visited him, and they also loved the cooking day, though they took the one that's at the cooking school located in downtown Roma. This day was supposed to last about 6 hours, but we took more than 8, just because we were a small class, and we were really enjoying ourselves.
The next time I go to Italy, I would like to spend some more time in Calcata. And since the hotel room rates are beyond reasonable, and it's got so much charm, it's pretty affordable to stay a day (or two!) there.