Saturday, September 25, 2010

Italian Cooking Class

I had the most fun ever today! I got to take a cooking class in a local Italian woman's home and it was so neat!! If you know me at all you know I love to cook, so this was a real treat for me. My hubby paid for the class for me for my birthday which was last weekend. The menu was a bit different than what I had originally signed up for but it sure was a lot of fun and yummy anyhow!

We started out the class with dessert because it has to set in the fridge. We made Tiramisu which I'm totally not a fan of because I'm not a coffee drink and think the taste is just awful. Here are some pics of the Tiramisu coming together.

Making the first letter of Tiramisu

Dipping the lady fingers in a espresso and coffee liquor (ick!)

Making the second layer

Me being a dork

Tasting the cream that goes over the lady fingers

Justina tasting the creamy filling :)

Our instructors melting the sugar.

Tiramisu Recipe


1 cup sugar
2 1/2 tablespoons water
5 egg yolks
2 cups Mascarpone cheese (if you can't find this they said cream cheese is a good substitute)
1 cup Heavy cream
1 package Savoiardi or ladyfiners (sponge fingers)
2 cups strong italian coffee (espresso)
1/4 cup kalua liqueur
Cocoa powder


1. In a pan over medium heat, combine sugar and wather and bring to a boil. When transparent it is ready. (about 5 minutes)

2. Place the egg yolks in a large bowl and start whipping the yolks, add sugar syrup slowly, whipping continuously, until cold, pale yellow and thick. This will take about 7 minutes. (don't add the hot sugar too quickly because it will cook the eggs)

3. Folding bottom to top add mascropone cheese.

4. Wash beaters well and whip heavy cream

5. Now with a spatula add cream to the mascarpone folding bottom to top.

6. In a deep bowl put coffee and Kalua

7. Quickly dip each ladyfinger into the mixture (do not keep too much liquid or it will be really soggy)

8. Cover the bottom of a baking dish with soaked ladyfingers

9. Spread half of the mascarpone cream over the ladyfingers. Arrange another layer of soaked ladyfingers and top with the remaining mascarpone.

10. Refrigerate for several hours.

11. Before serving sprinkle with cocoa powder.

**This is a super easy process. I always thought tiramisu was something that would be hard to put together, but surprisingly it wasn't too bad I don't like it! I'm not a coffee fan but everyone in my class LOVED it, so this just may be something you want to try!**

She then showed us how to peel a tomatoes, by cutting an x in the bottom and then putting them in a boiling pan of water for 10 seconds

and as you can see it pulls off quite easily

Me cutting up tomatoes

still cutting up tomatoes for Pasta all Norma

Justina cutting up zuchinni for the risotto.

she had them start it since it was the only thing that needed to be chopped

The eggplant cooking for the Pasta alla Norma

You have to continuously stir the risotto as it cooks and keep adding vegetable broth for 20 minutes. If you also notice the spoon has a hole in the center and this spoon is suppose to help it stay creamy. We all took turns stirring cause our arms got tired.

Pasta a la Norma


3-4 medium oval shaped eggplants
3 lbs fresh tomatoes (or you can use canned)
2 1/2 cups of extra virgin olive oil
2 cloves garlic chopped
1/4 teaspoon salt, kosher
1 lb tortiglioni or rigatoni
6 leaves of fresh basil
6 tablespoons of goat cheese or parmesan cheese

  • Wash eggplants and cut them into cubes (cut seeds out because they're too soft)
  • Put in a strainer and salt them. Leave for about half an hour. so they loose their water
  • Wash and cut a cross into the bottom of the tomatoes
  • Plunge them into boiling water and as the water goes back to a boil take them out. (about 10 seconds) Then rinse with cold water.
  • Peel and dice them, take seeds off. Set aside
  • Squeeze the water out of the eggplants
  • Using 2 cups of extra virgin olive oil fry eggplants until golden
  • Take eggplants out of pan and set aside
  • In sauce pan add remaining olive oil and garlic, do not let brown
  • Add tomatoes, salt, pepper, and cook over medium heat for 20 minutes. Remove from heat and add basil leaves (torn by hand).
  • Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil
  • Cook pasta according to directions on package
  • Drain pasta and transfer to the pan with tomatoes sauce
  • Pour over eggplants and mix well for 1 minute over medium heat
  • Arrange pasta on plate and sprinkle with cheese and serve
Risotto with Zucchini


12 ounces Rice for risotto (carnaroli or arborio)
10 ounces zucchini, diced
1 tablespoon onion, chopped
2 1/2 pints beef stock
2 ounces butter
4-5 tablespoons Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup dry white wine
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons chopped parsley
salt and pepper


1. Bring the stock to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer.

2. In a saucepan, heat the oil and saute the onion over medium heat for two minutes. Add the zucchini and cook for another 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.

3. Add the rice and toast, stirring constantly, for about 1 minute.

4. Add the wine and allow to bubble briskly until evaporated.

5. Add 1/2 cup broth. Cook, stirring constantly, until the broth is nearly all absorbed. Continue cooking, adding broth 1/2 cup at a time, stirring constantly and allowing each addition to absorb before adding the next. The risotto is done when the rice is tender and creamy, about 20 minutes.

6. Remove from heat. Add the buter and parmesan and stir for 1 minute.

7. Garnish with parsley and serve immediately.

Getting ready to eat.

Enjoying our risotto and wine the first course omgoodness it was a lot of food!

We had a great time! If you're in the area or coming to visit def ask us about taking a class! We are hoping to do another one next month! Woohoo us!


Anonymous said...

always wanted to take that class, thanks for posting the pictures I might have to try it out now!

Mrs.S said...

Wow, looks so fun!!! I'd love to take a class like that. While searching for other AF wives to connect with (pretty new to this while lifestyle), I found your blog.