Cooking Class at In Tavola

By Maria D’Apolito (Kent State University)

Studying abroad for a semester is a new experience for so many things. However, one thing that people seem to forget is that students are living on their own for the first time. Responsibilities that come along with this experience include cleaning, living cooperatively with roommates, and cooking. This last responsibility can be more difficult than one would think. A large number of students our age do not know how to cook anything more than making a bowl of cereal.

This is why I was so happy that my school provided a free opportunity to take a cooking class at In Tavola. As my friends and I walked into the friendly environment, we were so excited to begin. The staff greeted us with smiles and was ready to help us in any way that we needed. After putting our plastic aprons on and washing our hands, they told us what we were going to make. The menu included an eggplant appetizer, two types of homemade pasta, and tiramisù.

We began with creating the eggplant appetizers. It was a lot easier than we thought. We sliced the eggplant into thin slices and layered them onto a baking sheet with a stuffing in between each layer. The stuffing consisted of potatoes and zucchini. We topped the appetizers off with Parmesan cheese and olive oil.

We then moved on to the pasta courses! Not only did we make the sauces homemade, but also we made the noodles from scratch. Using egg and flour, we mixed them together and then the dough formed. Putting it aside to rise, we started on the sauces. The first is called Ragù alla Bolognese. Made with fresh tomatoes, minced beef, and other mixed vegetables, this sauce was not difficult to make. We cooked the mixed vegetables including celery, carrots and onion and then added the beef, a glass of red wine, and the fresh tomatoes.

Afterward, we let it sit and moved to the next sauce called Sugo all’Aglione. We used fresh tomatoes, cloves of garlic, peperoncino, basil and olive oil. We added the garlic and the olive oil and cooked them till the garlic browned. Then we added the rest of the ingredients and stirred it with a wooden spoon for about 5 minutes. We removed the garlic before pouring it over the pasta. Speaking of pasta, some of us made the pasta while the others made sauces. It was a fun part of the process. We rolled the dough out by hand, and when we finished rolling it out, we placed the pasta in the hot water to boil.

The dessert was the most fun and the easiest for me! We made tiramisù. We used three Italian cookies and dipped them into a generic type of brandy. Then we placed them into tinfoil cups and put homemade whipped cream in between the cookies.
During the entire process of cooking, the staff was so fun and we had a great
time!

Contact information: In Tavola
Via dei Velluti, 18/30r 50125 Firenze, Italy

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