Italian Memoir

Fable of my unforgettable Cooking class in one of the prominent gastronomical wonder’s of the world – Tuscany .This is my Italian memoir.

We all love to eat but some of us (like myself) we live to eat! Along with the adventure that calls out to us ; pulling us out of our daily routine into the magical few days we call “vacation!” ; the flavour the region has to offer plays an vital role in zeroing down my destinations.In the following series i would be sharing my intoxicating Italian flavor trail .

Hence it was ITALY , One of our vacations , a no brainer of course . A country that floods any food or wine enthusiasts mind with so many heartwarming memories. PAUSE .

Out of the numerous food stories , narrating about my splendid cooking class in Tuscany , Italy .. is my most liked.

Same Same but Different!

But we all have to agree on one thing before i continue , that is – The Italians are essentially the Punjabi’s of Europe! Yes they are….they are expressive with their hands and vocal cords , they love their food and drinks! Also,their ego’s are much too alike , in Italy they say “my nona’s Pasta is better than yours..!” , Punjabi translation “humara Rajma Chawal the best hai ji!”

My class was scheduled for post lunch with executive chef Andrea Campani and his team at the wine estate we called home for a couple of days – Il Borro.

I walked with a spring in my feet through the pebbled pathway surrounded with italian cypresses , under the bright painted sky ,for this was one of the things in my ‘to do things in my life’!

Iitaly was greeted with a hug and a glass of the estates finest Red wine. I politely took a sip and kept it away turning my focus to the fresh aromatic ingredients placed on the platform ;just when the chef tapped me on my shoulder looking puzzled..”Drink up” he said,in his accent “you need to be relaxed and feel the love when you are cooking;thats what makes it delizioso!”

That was my first lesson , given to me in the very first minute .We all know Love is the secret ingredient , its just that we seem to forget to use it often and usher our way through the kitchen to finish off preparing the meal.

italy storyFrom how to work those arm muscles , kneading the perfect pasta dough to rolling it out like satin . Sandwiching with the lightest ricotta cheese in-between the finest sheets , cutting them and pinching them carefully to make the perfect Tortrllini .Dropping them into the dancing water till they are afloat and ready . Straining them and tossing them in garlic infused EVOO thats given more character by the juiciest plump tomatoes and the basil he breaks from his herb garden. Adding a ladle of the pasta water rounding up the sauce and finishes of the beauty with grated pecorino and drizzle of estates olive oil and seasoning.

Thudding a piece of chicken breast he informs me that Saltimbocca is his favorite dinner and that is what he wants to teach me next. Sitting a strip of prosciutto over finely sliced mozzarella he rolls the chicken and holds it together with a toothpick that has sage stitched along. He slips it into the pan, Cooking on low heat , coating the protein constantly with the sauce thats made by deglazing the pan with white wine until it is golden brown and ready to perfection.

The finale wobble dance of the panna cotta is such a joy and i wanted to learn how to master.My request was granted.Precision is the way to nail any dessert such was the case here…weighing every ingredient ,timing and clocking it finally bought me the prize sitting pretty between the wreath of freshest berries …it was smooth and flavorful!

In the end , sipping on my wine and soaking it all in…it came to me;the Italians are food proud,they let the produce shine and understand that less is more!




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