Sunday, June 19, 2016

In the Cucina

In Tavola cooking school divided us into groups of five per kitchen station while two chefs instructed and monitored our progress--or lack thereof. My group consisted of a Brit, an Australian, and a mother and daughter from Minnesota. Here we are using the pasta machine to compress and stretch the dough we made by hand.

That pasta machine was trickier than it looked. When it was my turn to turn, the handle flew off the assembly and nearly knocked Carolyn in the head. She didn't hold it against me, but the group gently suggested my talents might lie in other directions.
I did seem to do a bit better at making ravioli which involves a lot of pushing and pressing as each mound of potato filling becomes secure in its pasta envelope.
 And the papparadelle pasta was a snap because that only involved cutting the generously proportioned pasta strips. This was later served with a delicious mushroom sauce. Did you know mushrooms are peeled, rather than washed, in Italian kitchens?

Our first concoction with cherry tomatoes.
The chefs, with our help, made three sauces--a tomato, mushroom, and citrus--for each of the pasta dishes before leading us to the charming wine center dining area where vino awaited. We were served, family style, the dishes we had prepared.

The panna cotta dessert, a custard reminiscent of Mexican flan, was served with a strawberry reduction and a spot of balsamic vinegar to offset the sweetness. It was delicious, and I was particularly grateful to Carolyn, from our group, who did all the stirring to produce it!

All of us agreed that this was a wonderful afternoon experience, and we left clutching our recipes so we could duplicate this deliciousness back home. (I ate so much there was no need--or room--for dinner!)

Practicalities -

In Tavola Cooking School offers a variety of courses at different times on most days of the week. Be sure to register in advance if possible. Payment is by PayPal.


  1. Sounds like fun! I'm going to sign up for sure. Thank you for sharing your class.


  2. Ravioli has always been a favorite in our family. When my sister visited me in 2013, she ordered Ravioli at every dinner. Mushrooms. My mother never washed mushrooms. She used to wipe them off gently with a clean, damp tea towel.