Cooking Class in Rome, Italy.

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Rome is so far my favorite city in Italy. It's so historic every where you look you will see ruins or a statue stuck in time. There's great shopping, friendly people, and yummy food everywhere your eyes can see! This post is going to be about a cooking class Jay, Claudia, and I took together while in Rome.

Cooking Class in Rome, Italy
A Cooking Day in Rome

Claudia's company (Adagio Travel) (Jay's sister) had booked our entire trip from start to finish.
It was about the end of our first week in Italy and I woke up with the worst sinus/migraine headache I have ever experienced in my entire life. Add that on top of jet lag and being in a foreign country and you'll have one cranky Angie. Of course this was the day we were scheduled to have our cooking class. Here I am laying on the bathroom floor of our fancy hotel room trying to steam my sinuses back to health with the shower. I'm thinking what kind of lunch are we making that starts at 9 AM?

Jay finally talked me into going to the class as I miserably threw myself together and hopped in the taxi. As I had really no clue what I was going to experience. We met in the middle of a street somewhere and started walking to Largo Argentina it is believed that Julius Cesar was killed there. We also walked through an ancient temple with a hole in the ceiling and is called The Pantheon. Pantheon is a Greek word meaning "To all Gods" and was built around 126 AD and still has the worlds largest un-reinforced concrete dome.

Cooking Class in Rome, Italy
Pantheon in Lazio.

By this time my headache is starting to pass and I haven't even mentioned David yet!! David is the most awesome chef you will ever meet. He is full of positive energy and loves his city!! If it weren't for him I might have been stuck feeling miserable all day. He and his assistant really tried to walk slow and doing everything they could to make me feel better. Even bought us a pastry,espressos and went out to find me a diet coke. Now our walking tour is somewhat over and we start heading towards the Campo di Fiori which hosts a fabulous farmer market during the day. David showed us all the ingredients he was buying and I picked out some small tomatoes that are still to this day the best tomatoes I've ever ate in my whole entire life. The people who work these markets are the best people. David pulled some samples for us from the booths including some dried tomatoes, peppers, and more fresh tomatoes. Then it was off the to the meat market! This was like a legit Italian meat market too. You can see all the meats hanging in through their cooler window and they have chopping knives the size of my head. It literally sounds like a butcher shop the way you would expect.

Cooking Class in Rome, Italy
David buying tomatoes.

Cooking Class in Rome, Italy
The best looking bell peppers I've ever seen. Looked so juicy and sweet!

We had our produce, our meats, now it was time to find our dessert and head back to start cooking! The dessert place was one of my favorite stops. It didn't even have a name, no address, nothing. Just a little hole in the wall with these 2 little ladies forking out Kosher cakes and pies like you would not believe! I took a picture of the store next to it so I can find it next time we go.

Cooking Class in Rome, Italy
Taken at the Kosher bakery. 
Cooking Class in Rome, Italy
Store near bakery with no name.

We start walking back to Chef David's place and he asks us to look down at these gold pieces in the cobblestone. They have names on them and something in Italian. They were names of people who were deported by the Nazis to concentration camps. Seeing these plaques in front of the homes gives one a real picture of what it must have been like to be taken away from what seemed like such a happy place. Wasn't expecting to have this sort of experience in a "cooking class" but I am really glad he showed us. Probably something people walk upon every day and have no idea what kind of history lie beneath their feet.

Cooking Class in Rome, Italy  Jewish Getto

Made it back to Chef David's place and it was so cute! (don't know if that's the right word?) You go up this little 1 or 2 person glass elevator all the way to the top of the building. He has the best set up I've ever been to in Europe. It has an open floor plan including a beautiful deck full with fresh herb plants and a wine bottle chilling!! Of course my favorite Santa Margherita Pinto Grigio! We grab some basil and make some bruschetta to snack on as a starter. Although I already ate half the tomatoes David had some extra in the fridge. (the tomatoes in Rome are the best.)

Cooking Class in Rome, Italy  a cooking day in rome

Cooking Class in Rome, Italy

Now the real cooking starts!!! Drum roll please..........

On the menu we have...
  • Bruschetta
  • Veal and Mortadella roll ups 
  • Fresh ravioli stuffed with fava bean puree and pecorino cheese. 
  • Fresh rolly pasta noodles served with a tomato sauce
  • That amazing kosher cake I was telling you about..

Veal and Mortadella roll ups:
  • 4 slices of veal 
  • 4 slices of mortadella (like italian bologna 
  • 1 carrot 
  • 1 celery 
  • 700 grams of tomato sauce (best to find real italian pomodoro sauce if possible)
  • 1 clove of garlic 
  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil
Starting the Veal and Mortadella roll-up by cutting up some carrot sticks and celery as thin as you can and mince up the garlic clove. Lay out your slices of veal and place 1 slice of mortadella, 1 celery stick, and 1 carrot stick. Roll up and secure with tooth picks. After you do this heat up the olive oil and cook the garlic until fragrant. Add the tomato sauce and roll ups. Let the sauce simmer with a lid stirring occasionally for 30 minutes or so. Serve with extra tomato sauce on top.

Cooking Class in Rome, Italy
Veal and Mortadella roll ups cooking.

The recipe we used for our fava bean filling is not on Chef David's website. You can at least get the fresh pasta recipe from here and make your own filling. This one is with rabbit and bacon --->

I figured out why we had to start so early. The bulk of our time was spent making fresh pasta. It is a chore and you will only appreciate the work and detail that goes into it until you do it. After you make fresh pasta you will be able to figure out what restaurants are fooling you by saying that their pasta is fresh. It has an amazing flavor and is always a little bit more imperfect than boxed kind. In our case really imperfect. We made 2 kinds of pasta. Ravioli and some kind of cork screw noodle. I was really bad at making the pasta. Jay almost had it mastered after making it once we recreated this menu at home and nailed it pretty close. I'd like to explain how to make it but the process is so long and some things you just can't put into words. You just have to feel it. I guess you'll just have to go to Rome and learn how to make it like a real Italian. ;)

Cooking Class in Rome, Italy
Claudia and Jay at work rolling pasta noodles one by one. 

Cooking Class in Rome, Italy
Feeling fine after some espresso and wine :) 

After we were finished making the pasta David started to prepare everything while we sat outside in the fresh italian air with our wine. Talking about everything we just experienced that day was really refreshing. I was happy that Chef David helped eliminate my negative energy and do everything he could to make me feel better. We really felt at home in his roof top loft. He's just a genuine Italian soul sharing his love for food with people who appreciate it. As we began to eat Jay made a comment saying it was one of the best meals he ever had and we all agreed. You could just taste the love and effort that went into the meal although it seemed so simple! It's all about the details.

Cooking Class in Rome, Italy

We learned and experienced so many great new things with David. It truly left us with a new perspective of Rome, Italy and full bellies! If we ever make it back to Rome (I know we will) we will be paying Chef David another visit. He opened his home and kitchen to us. Showed us how to cook like real Italian people with the full experience. I had always dreamed of making pasta in Italy. Not to mention we even made a new friend. I'd give him a gajillion star review if I could but I think a blog post is more rewarding. Hope you enjoy David! We will never forget you!

Cooking Class in Rome, Italy
We took a photo in front of David's families B&B in Ravello. 

If your are interested in Italy trips check out Adagio Travel here ------>
If you wanted to book a day with David you can contact him here ->


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