Thursday, May 26, 2016

Cooking Class: Meatballs, Fresh Pasta, Focaccia & More

Last week we had some friends in town and we did a cooking class with them and some of our local friends.  It was a wonderful class; delicious food, and the group was really, really good- fun and got along well.  (I did another one yesterday, too, which I'll talk about some other time).
For this class, we made tomato focaccia bread (with potatoes in the dough), meatballs with a red sauce over polenta, fresh pasta with a creamy tomato sauce, and a strawberry tiramisu.  Everything was SO GOOD!!!
Here is the recipe for Tomato Focaccia bread.

Recipe for the meatballs.  (We fried them first for a few minutes before adding to the tomato sauce.) We made a tomato sauce with canned tomatoes and I can't find it on his website.  It might be similar to this one, just using canned tomatoes instead of the fresh.  We ate the meatballs over white polenta cooked with Gorgonzola.  It was delicious.  My polenta pics didn't turn out.  Here in Italy, meatballs aren't eaten over pasta.

Next up is the fresh Semolina pasta we made.  The dough is only egg and semolina pasta.  It was kind of hard to press it out and get it through the pasta machine, but the results were amazing, tasty fresh pasta.

The six photos above are of us making the Creamy Grappa Tomato Sauce.  (Grappa in place of Vodka).  We got to watch the grappa being lit on fire, which was awesome.  Some of us almost got our arm hairs burned off.  First, you saute onions with pancetta and olive oil.  Then add the grappa and light in on fire until it burns off.  The onions will be flavorful and caramelized after.  Then add one tube of tomato paste and a can of diced Italian tomatoes.  Next, add in your freshly boiled homemade pasta.  Serve with cheese and oregano.

The strawberry tiramisu isn't on his website yet- this cooking class was the first time he's made it for a class.  (And it was my idea- yay!)  For this tiramisu, you don't use coffee.  Instead, you can use orange juice, limoncello, or ginger ale for dipping the ladyfingers.  Then you add an egg and mascarpone custard with lots of fresh strawberries.  It was so light and delicious.  I can't wait to make it for the kids.

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