Cooking Class: Italian Riviera

After visiting Italy (mostly the north), I was very excited to find a class that offered focaccia making as part of the recipe. And the most exciting thing was that the class was next door to my work. Rustico Cooking is a small cooking class but over 30 people showed up for the class.

Upon arriving, they gave us tastings of gruyere crostini and frittata. Very yummy. There were 2 long tables to prepare us for the upcoming dinner.

The class was divided in a group of 15 and we went to the downstairs kitchen. Turns out, a lot of the recipes contained nuts and I was allergic. 🙁

They first made us prepare to make amoretto apple cake. This was quite easy and fun since we got to crush amaretto cookies.
Making dessert

Next, we got to learn to make focaccia. Yay! It was so easy, except the rolling and kneading which is so boring and labor intensive. Next time, I do that, I’ll have to watch TV.
Making focaccia

We got to make pasta from scratch and it was extremely fun! One person pushed the pasta, someone catches it, and another person is cranking the pasta machine.
spinach risotto ravioli

This dish was extremely good and smelled so yummy. We toasted the pine nuts, added artichoke and olives and cooked with white wine. I had asked the instructor, is it ok to use cooking wine and she looked at me appalled and said, “If you don’t drink cooking wine, don’t cook with it.” Good lesson to remember.
pine nut, olives, and artichoke branzino

Additionally, the class made various sauces. Basil pesto for the vegetables and walnut sauce for the ravioli.
making basil pesto and walnut pesto

Finally, since I was allergic to a lot of the nuts, they gave me a separate dish and gave us 2 glasses of wine. Despite having a different meal than everyone else, I still left with a full stomach.
My no-nut dinner