Learning the Italian Way

I developed a lifelong love affair with food and cooking when I was a teenager, envying my Italian friends for the hours spent in the kitchen with their Nonna or time spent making passata in the garage. Needless to say, when given the opportunity to learn from the very best during our stay at an agriturismo in Tuscany, I was ready to learn all the secrets in a private cooking class.

Our down to earth and incredibly welcoming hosts; Alberto and his wife run Il Cipresso, a working farm and B&B (known as agriturismo in Italy) just outside of Cortona (more to come soon on the town made famous from Under the Tuscan Sun).

Here you can get a taste of true Tuscan life from the accommodation to the food and drink which if it isn't produced on the farm itself, it is sourced from a local produce. On the property there is a small commercial kitchen housed within La Cantina, a beautiful stone building.

J and I stepped in, instantly greeted by the smell of Italy and our very own aprons.

The items for the pork roast we were making for our main had already been prepped, so it was time to get started n the focaccia dough. I have always been cautious of working with yeast but I quickly realised with the right advice, this hesitation was unwarranted.

From one dough to the next, we were on to the gnocchi and crostata for dessert. Our stomachs were starting to rumble in anticipation!

Over the next few hours we sipped on Il Cipresso's delicious wine while learning the ins and outs of these Italian classics. The take home message was to not be afraid to get your hands dirty and you can fix almost any culinary mistake. Words to live by I think!

We sat down to our table looking out over the property as the sun began to set.

We feasted on delectable bruschetta, our fresh focaccia and gnocchi with red sauce.

Before long we were devouring the roast pork with crispy potatoes but we made sure to leave just enough room for a slice of crostata before rolling into bed full of food and knowledge.

The next morning we enjoyed another taste of our crostata and many other homemade and local delights, from the cornetto to the apple juice!

I will be posting the recipes we used soon for you all to enjoy.


The Strawberry Story

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