Food and travel have to be two of my favourite words in life and when you add Italy to that mix, it’s even better – the Italians know how to cook!
I was asked a couple of months ago whether I would like to attend an Italian Masterclass and I didn’t think twice. After having a few holidays in Italy pre-children and spending time in Turin on business I knew that I would love to try and recreate some of the dishes I sampled when travelling.
Last Thursday I went along to the Italian Culinary Masterclass with Italian holiday specialist Bookings for You and the Giovannini Family, where they showed us and got us to help make the most wonderful Italian meal!
Bookings For You was founded by Jo Mackay in 2011. Jo spent over 5 years working for P&G, but after having children left the corporate world and founded the holiday lettings company when her youngest started school. I was very lucky to interview Jo for my Mama You Can series last year so to read more about her change in career and some fantastic advice if you are thinking about doing the same head over to her interview here.
Bookings For You started with 5 properties in Italy and now has over 350. Their speciality is the Italian Lakes and they have also expanded to France.
One of the owners that Jo works with is the Giovannini family, they have a beautiful property, Country Relais & Spa Capranne a 9 bedroom luxury villa in Tuscany and a passion for all things food! The family, husband and wife team, Giancarlo and Fabiola, and their son Dario and his wife Vera own Dolceria del Corso, the oldest pastry shop in Volterra, and have a catering business. We were so lucky to spend the day with them, their passion for cooking, the produce and their region came across both in their company and the food.
The menu we sampled (and helped to create) included Antipasti Bruschetta Toscana (bread with extra virgin olive oil, garlic, salt and pepper), Bruschetta al Pomodoro (bread with basil, tomatoes, garlic, extra virgin olive oil, salt and pepper) and Crostini con Fegatini (Chicken liver crostini). I helped to make the Bruschetta Toscana, which, although had only a few ingredients was absolutely delicious!
The first course included Ravioli Ricotta e Spinaci con Pomodorini Pachino e Basilico (homemade ravioli pasta filled with spinach, ricotta cheese topped with a basil and cherry tomato sauce) and Pici all Estrusca (homemade pasta with a egg, garlic, parsley, mint and basil sauce topped with pecorino cheese, extra virgin olive oil, salt and pepper).
Again, I tried my hand at making ravioli, which I really enjoyed, I stretched out the dough, added the filling and then crafted them into the ravioli shapes.
The second course we were all really excited to try was Coscio di Cinghiale agli aromi con Olive (leg of wild boar baked with olives). There isn’t much more to say about this dish than WOW! I have never tasted anything quite as delicious. This dish could be made with lamb, so I think I might try this…
Last not certainly not least was the desserts. We had Millefoglie Creama Chantilly e Frutti di Bosco (traditional Italian cake with cream and berries) and Tiramisu, my absolute favourite and this version was divine!
If you want to see a bit more of the day, including me making some ravioli check out the video below.
I had the most wonderful day with Jo, the Giovannini family and fellow bloggers, thank you very much for inviting me, I’m still full 🙂
*I was invited on the Italian masterclass as a guest, all thoughts and opinions in the post are my own*