Today I’d like tell you about 2 beautiful cooking classes experiences that I lived last Summer.
You know that CuocheinVacanza is an Itinerant Cookery School: “we come directly to wherever you’re staying in Tuscany for Cooking Classes and Private Dinners”, well, this time I was at one of my fav places where I’m working for 6 years, Poggio al Casone Resort.
It’s a very quite, full of charme resort here in Tuscany, located on a small hill, surrounded by vineyards of Castellani winery; spectacular view from a huge terrace and many luxury apartments with everything you need to enjoy your holiday in Tuscany in the best way.
I was waiting in both cases for people coming from USA, California; a group came from Pappalecco, an “inspired Caffè” located in San Diego, where America meets Italy.
What I most love in my job is always the same: the smile, the espression of people tasting a dish made by them with fresh and seasonal ingredients, the life experiences that we like sharing, while drinking a good glass of wine or taking a bite of a slice of Bruschetta.
I like calling these: “Tuscan experiences”; yes, because I can’t forget what my granny taught me and I had the same identical espression of my customers when I was child and she showed me and let me tasting the “wonders” of authentic Tuscan cuisine. She had always few words while preparing a perfect Tuscan meal: “Look at my hands, check the heat on the stove, smell everything, so that you may know if you’re on the right way”.
Nowadays I know if a steak is salted enough just smelling it…exactly as my granny knew.
Do you know why is possible? Because if a steak is not salted enough, you’ll feel the smell of blood covering that one of the meat. Of course, you need a practiced nose, but it’s not so difficult, by the way.
The Menu choosen by our customers and “students” was very tasteful and based on fresh homemade pasta, absolutely one of our Hands-on Cookery Courses: Panzanella, Polenta with Stracchino and Gorgonzola cheese, Fresh Handmade Pasta, Tagliatelle, Traditional Lasagne with Bolognese Sauce, Tiramisu.
Thinking to Traditional Lasagne, we need:
Fresh homemade pasta (cut in stripes)Lasagne: a) Pour the pasta stripes in a big pot with boiling salted water b) let cooking 3 minutes c) drain the pasta stripes with a perforated spoon d) spread the pasta stripes over a cloth and wait 5 minutes. Assembling Lasagne: a) put 3 or 4 tablespoons of besciamella sauce on the bottom of a baking tray b) put the pasta stripes to cover the bottom c) spread the pasta with besciamella sauce, then with ragu sauce (alternating the layers so that they are at least 5) d) finish with ragu sauce and sprinkle generously with parmigiano cheese e) bake 25 minutes at 380°C (until a golden crust on the surface) f) IMPORTANT: let that lasagne rest out of the oven at least 10 minutes, before cutting the portions
Besciamella sauce (recipe below)
Lasagne are not only in the traditional version, you can also season them with an amazing Veggie Ragu Sauce (I recommend only seasonal and fresh ingredients); the taste is more delicate, but full of a fresh flavour!
I already wrote some posts with recipes:
you can find how making Fresh Homemade Pasta Here (don’t forget, generally each person: 1 egg, 4oz flour)
you can find how making Bolognese Ragu Sauce Here
And Besciamella Sauce?
Well it’s a very simple and amazing sauce that you can use in a lots of dishes; it’s a must here in Italy and it’s one of the cornerstones in cuisine in general.
Following these steps, you’ll obtain a perfect one, I personally tested the recipe many an many times, but remember: Simple it’s not Easy…you need to put heart on your job!
- 4 cups milk
- 4 oz 00 flour (a white one, anyway)
- 2 oz butter (unsalted)
- 1 coffespoon salt
- to taste nutmeg powder
- to taste black pepper powder
- The consistence of Besciamella sauce depends on quantity of flour: manage it as you prefer.
- Melt the butter in a pot
- pour in the flour
- stir with a wooden spoon and immediately add some milk
- continue stirring until the milk's finished
- add salt, nutmeg and black pepper
- continue stirring about 15 minutes, anyway until reached the preferred consinstence
- Your homemade besciamella's done, amazing and completely different from those you buy at the supermarket. Have a try and let me know!