My first cooking class – when in Rome!

Chef Andrea Consoli and Erica run an amazing cooking class out of Andrea’s family restaurant, Le Fate in the Trastevere part of Roma. It’s 50 Euro per person (and trust me, that is INCREDIBLY cheap…I looked all over the internet) with an extra 20 Euro wine pairing option. The class is always 10 people or less (which is good, because the kitchen is small) and is great for everyone from beginners to people who are pretty advanced. Andrea tells you the menu and guides you in the steps and allows it to be as hands on as you would like. As you can imagine, the Boy and I jumped in at every chance we got, helping at every step of the way. I was corrected a few times, but persisted with working hard and came out happier because of it.

Along the way, Andrea gave us some helpful tidbits about general cooking and baking that I’d like to share with you:

1.  Salmonella does NOT come from eating raw eggs. It comes from the shell. If you are using unclean eggs (and I don’t mean they were washed with soap and water) the contaminants can get on your hands and into other things, or if they were on the cutting board, or if a piece of shell is dropped in with something you won’t be cooking at a high temperature…well, you get the picture. Always buy cleaned eggs, or know how to clean your eggs (which chemicals to use, etc.).

2. When sautéing with garlic, leave the clove with the skin on, smash it with a knife, and throw it into the oil whole. Remove it after it has cooked for a while and the oil will be infused with the garlic flavor.

3. When cooking with raw garlic (like in a pesto), take the skin off, slice the clove in half, and remove the center stalk which is usually slightly green. That’s where the bitterness comes from in garlic and it’s not something you want to eat!

4. Always cook with the best quality extra virgin olive oil. Use the lower quality stuff for salad oils, etc.

We all had an amazing time and got to know each other very well during the whole process, laughing as we got covered in flour, and smirking as the women in the class continued to hit on Andrea. You can also have family members or friends join you for just the eating part, which is what La Mamma did, just for 35 Euro. It was truly my favorite thing we did in Rome and I have memories for a lifetime…and a yearning to take more cooking classes!

The menu was as follows, check it out in posts to come! I’ll include Andrea’s wine pairings in the posts as well, just so you know what kind of wine would pair well with each course.

Chef Andrea introducing the wine pairings

Antipasto: Ficchi con dui formaggi – Figs with two different cheese fillings

Primo piatto: Tagliolini al ragù di Anatra – Homemade tagliolini with white duck ragù

Vegetarian primo piatto: Tagliolini con melanzana e pomodoro – Homemade tagliolini with eggplant and tomato sauce

Secondo piatto: Parmigiana di melanzana – Eggplant parmesan

Dolce: Chocolate Souffle with a Fondant Center

Buon appetito a tutti!

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