Wednesday, August 26, 2009

In Tavolo

In Tavola

When I tell people that I have taken cooking classes in Florence I'm sure a pasta making class is what they imagine. I've taken half a dozen cooking classes, only one fits the bill. The rest have been Indian and Thai classes with The Spice Lab in the basement of the American church. The class that fits the bill, pasta making at In Tavola.

Unlike the Spice Lab classes, In Tavola's class was made up entirely of tourists, seventeen people, Australians, Brits, Americans, and some, I think, from Latin American. The instructor, an Italian and his Japanese sous-chef efficiently moved us through making a several different pastas:

a flour based sea shell type, labor intensive but yummy, called conchiglie covered with sugo al pomodoro, basilico e aglio

a couple of egg pasta based dishes:
Ravioli di Ricotta e Melanzane with Ragu' Toscano,
Tortelli di Patate with a simple sage and butter sauce

and for dessert, panna cotta.

It was a fabulous exercise in Tuscan cooking, simple flavors, good produce to create great food. The amount of dough required to make so much pasta was miniscule. Those little flour & egg delivery packets for cheese and veg were really impressive. To top it off, at the end we sat down with our classmates to consume the products of our labor. A bottle of wine, some fabulous conversation with Maggie and Elizabeth, our cooking classmates, a perfect ending.

What did I actually learn? Ball up parsley to chop it up. How to core tomatoes and cut onions, although I may have forgotten how to do that and that those who support healthcare reform come from all walks of life and from many different groups. Thanks Elizabeth.
Pasta we made!


  1. YUM! So now that you're back in the states, have you made any pasta? I'm always curious to see how much people actually use the stuff they learn in cooking classes--for me it's a mixed bag. Some skills/recipes I still use daily, but others almost never.

  2. You're welcome, Rachel. Glad to know you're back in the States, and hope you are surviving this wretched heat. Soon, I hope, it will be over!