Tuscan cooking class

Yesterday, our last day in Florence we went to school . . . Cooking school.
This was not one of our planned activities, we were discussing how to fill our days over wine one night in our favourite prosciutterie ( a place where you get the most amazing preserved and roasted meats on fresh, focaccia style bread and a glass of house wine). The weather for our last day wasn't looking very good, in fact it was predicted to rain heavily, so that ruled out a Vespa ride in the countryside. I m pretty sure that Gadget was trying to avoid another gallery.  So we decided on a cooking class, we both love cooking so it made it an easy choice.

We started the day with a walk through Florence, our guides Julian and Gloria shared with us any historical food related sights, for examples we seen a little domed shaped niche in a wall, Julien explained that there would of originally been a little door. The people would knock, pay their money and be provided with a bottle of wine. So it was like the original drive in bottle shop.

We visited this quant little fruit and vegetable shop, where we purchased , tomatoes and basil.
Then we headed to a bakery ( not sure what they call them in Italy, sorry) to purchase some traditional Tuscan style bread. whilst we were there we each had a coffee and Julian explained the various types of Italian coffees and how Italians rarely drink cappuccino s after midday. We then headed to a very old church that used to be a grain store many many years ago, and we discovered the little chutes which the grain would have travelled down.

Then we headed to the local market , where we shopped for and tasted cheese. We bought meat and whilst we stood there the butcher minced it for us.  It was really interesting. 

We then travelled to this lovely location which was on the hills looking down on Florence. It was just a stunning place to be and only a 10 min drive from the heart of Florence.
We started off making a Ragu sauce, because it needed to simmer for a while to absorb all the flavours. We ve made similar things before but this was amazing in its simplicity of flavour and lack of complex ingredients.

We were then taught to make Bruschetta, 

You could eat either the tomato version or a very simple, garlic and oil version. I was half way through enjoying every mouthful when I remembered to take a photo . . . . 

Then we were shown how to make home made pasta, I have had a play with this before but cheated by using a pasta roller. These were all hand rolled and cut and I really enjoyed the whole process. The kneading, the rolling it was great.
we were then taught how to create a herb and salt rub for pork and a seasoning for potatoes.
Then we were taught how to make a pizza dough, from scratch.

We then went outside and each couple made their own pizza completely we had to toss the dough ( I need a bit more practice) we created the tomato sauce and then put our own  toppings on. The pizzas went into the wood oven for 90 seconds ( it was that hot) and came out crisp and amazing. This was our lunch, accompanied by beer or wine.

We then returned to the kitchen where  We made amaretto gelato which included crushed amaretto biscuits and then we made tiramisu.

We then moved to the dining area where we were served our home made pasta with Ragu sauce 
Which was amazing.

Then our pork and potatoes came out, the pork was so flavoursome and the potatoes so crisp all accompanied with a very nice Chianti wine.

Then finally when we thought we would burst they Brought out our deserts. I usually don't eat tiramisu, previously I d have it and it was very heavily coffee flavoured which I hadn't enjoyed, but this was delicious, with a slight hint of coffee and Marsala wine. The gelato was amazing, sorry I forgot to take a picture of that.

Both Gadget and I graduated with a certificate and a hug from the delightful Carmella ( our chef) Gloria and Julian. We had a wonderful day , we laughed a lot , learnt a lot and have wonderful memories.

This was a great tour , if you ever happen to visit Florence and are interested in a cooking tour contact the lovely staff of 

Walkabout tours


Googy Girl 

We have now travelled to Cinque Terra and I have very limited internet, so I might quiet down on the blog a little , I will see how I go 


Susan said…
A really special day, sounds fabulous and looks very yummy.
Oh Trish what a fabulous day you both have had...I'm sure you will always remember the tastes you experienced there! Ah, My Dolce Vita!
Fiona said…
what a fun day.... I would love that
Anita said…
I just read your blog post out to Craig and we were both saying "wow" the whole way through! Another memory of this trip that you will always remember!
Jenny said…
Yum that would be amazing. Guess who's cooking at the next Nundle weekend.

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