Monday, June 4, 2012

A Fun Way to Spend a Friday Afternoon

For Christmas, my mom gave me a gift certificate for a cooking class. We decided to go last Friday, May 25, and had such a great time. Rosetta, the chef, was born in Calabria, Italy and teaches recipes from her family and the region. Here is the website if you want to look more into classes or information. my mom also got me her cookbook, which is just amazing.

I had a couple of take-a-ways I thought I would share. First, a lot of the recipes seem complicated, but they really aren't. Rosetta and her family grow practically ever ingredient they use in cooking, so a lot of her information is about how to preserve or dry ingredients. Don't let that intimidate you! I certainly did at first, but I was amazed by how quick so many of the dish were to create. Second, the classes had so much food!Rosetta first introduces all the dishes and shows you how to make all of them, then the students break off into groups and create the dishes. Then everyone gets to sample everything and we ended up completely stuffed! Finally, not many people can make me feel completely inadequate in the kitchen. It wasn't so much the dishes that made be feel three inches tall, but the fact that Rosetta and her family use such fresh ingredients. They grow everything and boy can you tell the difference. Everything is so fresh and flavorful and the health benefits of knowing what goes into your food is sort of mind-blowing. While I doubt I will ever grow my own beans or peppers to preserve, I am determined to grow my own herbs. Once I have a home, I'd love to have some herb pots, tomato plants, and a few fruit trees (like lemons and oranges- especially because bf goes through oranges like no one's business). But perhaps most importantly, I am obsessed with the thought of having chickens. They eat all of your compost garbage (like fruit peels, etc.) and produce the most lovely eggs. Have you seen blue eggs? The shells look like robin's eggs and are almost too pretty to eat. Plus the freshness and color is just unreal. I know bf will roll his eyes at this post. He doesn't much like the idea of having chickens but I think I can change his mind :). Anyway, once I have a home where chickens are possible, you can bet your lucky stars I'm going to start working towards that idea.

Since these recipes are Rosetta's, I don't really feel comfortable sharing them here. But, I think a lot of the recipes are posted on her website or are in her book. I'd recommend exploring both. In the meantime, here are some of the pictures of our food! I know it looks like a lot of the options are fried, but the thing is, the ingredients are so healthy and olive oil is used, so it never felt heavy at all.

Bruschetta without the Ricotta

Bruschetta con Fave Fresche e Ricotta Salata (Bruschetta topped with fresh fava beans and ricotta salata) 

Involtini di Asparagi (Asparagus tips wrapped with prosciutto) 

Polpette di Melanzane (Eggplant “meatless” meatballs) 

Zucchine con la Menta (Fresh zucchini marinated with olive oil, vinegar, garlic and mint) 

Crostini con Mozzarella (Crostini with mozzarella and anchovy sauce) 

Arancini (Sicilian rice balls) with bolognese on the inside

We also had these amazing little chocolate and almond tarts, but I guess I forgot to take a picture! I will definitely be making some of these again, the rice balls and the tarts for dessert were my favorite!


  1. Cooking classes are actually very fun. For DC-located readers, check out CulinAerie on 14th St. It's a great idea for a date night.

    Regarding these dishes -- I have been asking for the asparagus, eggplant meatballs and arancini for weeks and our dear author has yet to come through. Tick tock. Tick tock.

    1. So demanding! Finnnneeeee, I'll get on it.


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