When I first registered for the class, I was afraid it was going to be about eating and drinking instead of learning about Italian cooking. I was glad to find out that the instructor, Federico Alessandri, is a talented chef who also knows how to teach the methods you would not find in a cook book. We learned 3 sauces, 3 pastas, an antipasti, a meat and vegetable dish, a lot about temperature and reduction, garlic, enzymes, cheeses, marinades...and the list goes on. Federico is dynamic, intellectual, and humorous, instructor who takes time for questions and discussion. From the moment we started at the Campo de' Fiori market, he kept us all captivated and he held our full attention until the last course was perfected and served at the end of the day!
When in Rome, my husband and I decided to take a pasta making class with a wine tour in the nearby town of Frascati. It was one of the best experiences of our trip! We took the train from Temini Station to Frascati - an easy 25 minute journey. Once we got off, we met Jo, or tour guide, who, as someone educated in the UK, spoke perfect English yet knew every nook and cranny of the town, including every person we passed! She told us stories about the town as we walked through and even bought us some local delicacies (porchetta sandwiches and wine made in the 'old way'). After walking through town, we went to a small restaurant where we were taught to make pasta and gnocchi. Our instructor, Emry, had tons of patience with us and managed to teach us how to make pasta even with a language barrier. We made pasta dough from scratch and were given gnocchi dough to work with (since it takes significantly longer to make gnocchi). After the class, we we were picked up by Alfredo from the Minardi Winery. Alfredo, a ninth-generation winemaker, gave us a personal tour through the winery - land his family has been on for over 500 years. We had a wine tasting of some amazing Minardi wines paired with local food sitting outside on the patio overlooking the wine valley below. Once we finished the tasting, we were taken back to the restaurant where the chef had made our pasta into delicious meals - gnocchi with asparagus in a cream sauce and fettuccine in a red sauce. We were also given more wine from the Minardi winery, a spread of cured meats and cheeses, and honey-ricotta spread. At the end of the day, we wandered through Frascati on our own and then took the train back to Rome (it runs once an hour). It was a great day outside the hustle-and-bustle of Rome. We loved seeing a different perspective of Italian life as we walked through this old village, and would highly recommend this tour to anyone else going to Rome!
Can't speak more highly of this tour, and have recommended it to all our friends and family! Our guides Alfredo and Max were amazing and fun. They took us on a very cool little tour of Frascati where we learned and saw lots, and had some wine! Afterwards we headed to a pizzeria where the chef taught us how to make pizza, very fun!! We were the only people on the tour so it was very personal. Next we headed to a BEAUTIFUL vineyard that has been in the family for 7 generations where we learned about how their wine is made, and the history of how the process has changed over the years. We had generous amounts of wine paired with yummy breads, cheeses, wine cookies and wine jelly.