August 23, 2018

The Secret to Italian Cooking

Italian cooking is all about the ingredients. A few, well chosen ingredients is all you need to make an excellent meal.

Take for example, Naples' Spaghetti "sciuè sciuè". "Sciuè sciuè" means fast and quick in Neapolitan dialect. It is a pasta dish that does not require any special skills from the cook, just his or her ability to choose the best ingredients for this dish. Herein lies the secret to its success.

January 24, 2018

Tortellini vs Tortelloni, do you know the difference?



I wonder why so many people ask me about cheese tortellini. Perhaps someone at some point must have gotten the tortelloni and tortellini mixed-up or maybe someone began stuffing the tortellini with cheese thinking it wouldn't make any difference. Ha! that's because they don't know the Bolognese take their food extremely seriously - as seriously as some people take their sports teams.

Tortellini, stuffed with meat, are a specialty of Bologna and they are served in a brodo (soup). The pasta stuffed with cheese are Tortelloni and they are traditionally served in a sage and butter sauce so you can taste the amazing and light stuffing.

January 9, 2018

THANK YOU, 2007-2017.

Just a quick note to say THANK YOU to all the students I have encountered in the past 11 (eleven!) years.

When I first taught how to make pasta, I hoped that my students would feel they had learned something useful and that they would be able to recreate the experience successfully at home. I never expected that I'd spend more years as a pasta teacher than in any of my previous careers!

Despite some doubts, I continued teaching because several school teachers, who have studied the Reggio -Emilia methods, as well as professional chefs and cooking teachers have given me positive feedback and encouraged me.

October 27, 2017

Why I make pasta from scratch and handroll it

Many people tell me I make pasta making look easy. But we all know it is not. It is hard work but I also believe that if you practice anything enough times, it becomes much easier. It is similar to learning how to drive a car or ride a bicycle; the first time seems like it is too difficult but with some practice you realize you can do it!

Of course not everyone has the time to make it as often as they would like to eat it so that is why the pasta shops in Bologna flourish! People love the fresh egg pasta but not everyone has the time to make it. So they buy it. Making pasta for ten should cost you about 3 Euro versus paying between 27€-38€ for a kilo of handmade pasta.

July 5, 2017

Discover the Romagna in Emilia-Romagna!

a typical seaside town in Romagna
Although part of the same region, Emilia and Romagna are quite different, in many ways. The Romagnoli  are also different from the Emiliani - that is something that is quite easy to notice once you work side by side with a Romagnolo/a. Their sunny disposition and ability to solve any problems with a smile is a virtue the rest of us envy.

A couple of friends of mine have put together a week-long trip of food and culture in the Romagna area that is just wonderful. You'll get an in-depth view at things and food that are unique to the Romagna area. I participated in the trip they organized in May and was very pleased at their attention to details. All the locations are beautiful, all the guides, the cooks and chefs are very good at what they do and a lot of information is covered. Let's just say that even I learned a few things I did not know!