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Italian Cooking instead of travel

I’ve been making way too many pastries and comfort meals in this Covid period! Missing my trip to Italy this month inspired me to have some fun making an authentic Italian meal in “a cooking class” with our oldest granddaughter last night. We made this recipe from the Pasta Grannies videos. My husband was just as pleased as her husband! I love how he showcased his own mom in the video - LOL!

Pasta Grannies Share Nonna Igea’s Timballo from Abruzzo

Any authentic recipes - pastries or meals that you have personally made in the past few months that bring you back to a European vacation?

Posted by
1571 posts

My husband made the same meat pies his Croatian mother always made for dinner tonight. We also drove a few weeks ago to Queens, to a butcher who sells homemade Ćevapčići and has many products from home. We are still enjoying some of the cookies.

Posted by
788 posts

All the time! I made Pasta alla Norma tonight, this time via a Lida Bastianich recipe. Since March, I have been catching Sarah Murdoch's Cucina Quarantena featuring her own lock down cooking and that of her friends and colleagues in Europe.

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2073 posts

Since we are missing Sicily this fall, I have made Caponata. We originally made it at Chef Massimo's cooking class in Taormina several years ago. My favorite fall dishes are Chicken Cacciatore served over creamy Polenta and The Silver Palate's Minestrone Soup with Tortellini. One added ingredient that I use in the soup is Funghi Porcini bouillon cubes. I originally bought them in Siena. I now buy them at DeLaurenti (Pike Place Market in Seattle.)
Buon appetito!

Posted by
223 posts

Yes! My husband and I took a cooking class during our first trip to Italy in 2017--fresh pasta, simple sauce with fresh tomatoes and basil, tiramisu. Hubby found he really enjoys making pasta, so I make sauces--right now with fresh garden tomatoes. Even had success making our own pasta sheets for lasagna. "Had to" get a new pasta roller with more settings to get thinner pasta sheets:). The next experiment will be truffle lasagna, our favorite from last year's visit to Assisi. Melt-in-your-mouth thin pasta layers, heavenly flavor. Developed a taste for arugula on pizza, so that's also growing in the garden. I've found an abundance of recipes on the La Cucina Italiana USA website. Top it off with an Aperol Spritz or un caffe on the deck...it's as close as we'll get to Italy this year.

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320 posts

I didn't use an "authentic" recipe, but I made homemade pasta for the first time a couple of weeks ago. On the first try, I hand-rolled and hand cut it. Unfortunately, I didn't roll it thin enough and the noodles looked more like dumplings, haha. The next time I borrowed a pasta roller machine and it worked out much better! Next, I'm considering Bolognese sauce... I miss Italy and hope to go back sometime next year.

Posted by
3487 posts

Ahh, my mouth is watering reading your comments!

We made the lightly fried scripelle pasta in the timballo recipe, so that pasta is very thin. But, it sounds like it’s time to pull out the pasta roller and make some other shapes along with some ravioli.

Do any of you have a truffle oil brand that you recommend, available in the US?

Posted by
2908 posts

Something that really helped me cope with travel withdrawal were cooking classes hosted by Anna Tasca Lanza Cooking School in Sicily. I took several over the summer. I learned to make eggplant caponata, polpettone (meatloaf stuffed with provolone, prosciutto, and greens), berry crostata, biscotti, almond cookies, chickpea fritters and semifreddo. The classes are 1 to 1.5 hours in length and taught via Zoom.

Here's a link to the schedule for October classes.

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361 posts

Not Italian, but I just got David Lebovitz' Drinking French, which is a cookbook filled with French cafe drinks, apéritifs, liqueurs and cocktails (and some bar snacks at the end) in lieu of my planned trip to France this year. It's a little bit of a dangerous book to have at home since now I have access to so many different kinds of drinks!

Posted by
3436 posts

Can't help you on the Truffle Oil. It is not something that agrees with my taste buds. I do like fresh, real, recently harvested truffles though. Maybe because I had the real things what has put me off the oil. :-)

I have been making my own pasta during lockdown. It is fun, I seem to do tagliatelle best or other pastas that are more "rustic".

And for a completely different experience, last night I made Indian food. A former coworker of mine sent me the required spices to make a fairly spicy shrimp curry that has coconut milk in it. I really enjoyed it and will definitely make it again. Also made Saag Paneer which was tasty as well.

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2585 posts

Jean if you see this brand in your grocery stores I highly recommend their variety and quality, especially the walnut and pumpkin oils. They do have a white truffle oil too. Although the main branch of the company is in Provence, the nut offshoot of the company is in Northern California in my area.

https://latourangelle.com/

Posted by
2073 posts

I echo Mona’s recommendation for the La Tourangelle oils. I use the Walnut Oil in a salad dressing that I make in the fall. It’s on my grocery list! I haven’t tried the Pumpkin Oil yet. Sounds wonderful. I used up my favorite Pumpkin oil that I purchased in Ljubljana. I use it in lieu of Olive Oil to dip crusty bread.

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2585 posts

This is a cooking school in Rome we considered in 2019 but they wouldn’t take students under the age of 16 and my 14 year old granddaughter was the one most inspired by our cooking themed trip. I’ve been on their monthly mailing list and have seen how they’ve tried to adapt with some online classes. Now they have reopened to in person classes but they are saving 2 Sunday time slots for online classes this Fall. This could be a way to participate in some Italian culture and food while those of us in the US are still unable to travel. Their in person classes were about 99€ and these classes seem to be 25€ each with a class minimum of 4 participants.

https://www.grano-farina.com/so/4bNJM3tN7?cid=0966193a-d882-41e3-b11a-14830d9fe98d#/main

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2356 posts

Any authentic recipes - pastries or meals that you have personally made in the past few months that bring you back to a European vacation?

Many years ago we had the privilege of cooking with the late legendary Marcella Hazan and husband Victor in their apartment in Venice. She had 8 students at a time for a week long course. It was a life changer when it came to cooking and eating. We’ve worn out several of her books. Many great recipes but Pork Braised in Milk is always our go to for simplicity and flavor. Guests (if we ever have them again) will never guess how few ingredients go into this fabulous dish. One thing we learned there that didn’t make it into the book: at the end of cooking you are left with a lot of oil and the milk has cooked into a nutmeg colored lumpy sludge which looks nasty. Get rid of most of the oil. Pour the sludge in a blender and add a tablespoon or two of heavy cream. Whip it up, taste for salt, Briefly warm it, pour it over the sliced arranged pork. Many reprints of this recipe add extraneous ingredients. Don’t do it! https://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/milk-braised-pork-100890

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1 posts

I have a special request. We recently moved across the US and some (most?) of our belongings are still in boxes. But a few years ago, we went to Italy with Rick Steves, Venice, Florence, Rome. We took a cooking class and made pasta and Farmer Chicken. It was wonderful. I saw the recipe go by when we were packing but who knows where it is now? Does anyone have the recipe they'd be willing to share? On this forum or privately? Thank you.

Shellie