After a week of Italian cooking classes and a few language classes mixed in . . . I can now announce "molto deliziosa!" after each and every bite of our creations in class. In our first class, Traditional Tuscan Cooking, we made a baked rigatoni with eggplant and zucchini, then meatballs, and as a treat, "donuts" made with potato, kind of like gnocchi but sweet and desserty! The next day we took a Regional Cuisine class and learned the art of risotto making (lots and lots of stirring!), grilled balsamic pork fillets, and baked a traditional Florentine dessert similar to a spongecake with orange zest, vanilla beans, and saffron. All very creative and flavorful.
We had our Wine Education class today, where our teacher Umberto was very supportive, validating our descriptions of each wine's aroma. Basically, we named any fruit (white peaches, cherries, pear, pineapple) and Umberto excitedly agreed, telling us that wine smells like "vaaattttever" your mind imagines. For him, our white was "an Autumn walk through damp leaves", our red Chianti was "tobacco and leather", another was "aftershave" and then his "grandma's tomatoes". This could be a new entertaining hobby - make up ridiculous descriptions for your wine and try to look as serious and sophisticated as possible when stating it!
Today's Italian Vegetarian class definitely took the cake . . . the veggie of the day was zucchini, so we made zucchini-stuffed ravioli from scratch and zucchini flowers (which are so pretty!) filled with porcini and champignon mushrooms and other cheesy goodness. Safe to say I'll be coming home to LA a diehard Italian cuisine lover (as if I wasn't already!), and will need to purchase a pasta-maker pronto! Enough rambling . . . here are some pics of our favorite Bites!
Rolling the pasta dough super thin . . .
Placing the 2nd pasta layer over the zucchini, ricotta, mint, shallot stuffing . . .
Press, press, press . . .
Cut into squares . . .
Then boil, saute in butter and garlic, and serve! Mangiare (EAT!)!
These below may look like meat, but they are totally vegetarian and filling! Zucchini flowers stuffed with mushrooms, grilled onion, ricotta, etc etc . . . Then we roasted them in the oven for a nice crunch!
A lovely brunchy treat: Schiacciata Alla Florentina (orange zested spongecake)
And how could I ever leave out the Ciambelline di Patate (potato donuts), yum!
After our food feast yesterday, we went for a gorgeous 3 mile run along the River Arno at sunset - ending our day with a total of over 10 miles on my Fitbit . . . my personal best! Thank goodness Florence is a walking city! Today, we were thrilled to find a yoga studio located directly above our cooking school. Despite smelling pasta and pastries wafting into the yoga studio, we felt fab after several vinyasa flows and caturangas.
It's all about the healthy balance, si?
Arrivederci for now . . .
July 28th, 2016
June 23, 2017
Lindsay is a Holistic Nutritionist who lives for a great meal, a beautiful farmers market, daily matcha lattes, and homemade chocolate chip cookies. Weeknight Bite is Lindsay's happy place where her nutrition practice, simple recipes, and wellness tips come together to inspire you to live a healthy, balanced life.