The second thing I noticed about Paola’s home was the view.
Yes. That is the Pantheon.
Yes. This is where we would be cooking all morning.
In this light-filled home, with an incredible view and an absolutely lovely teacher.
Paola coaxed us away from the window and into the kitchen.
It was time to make pasta.
Mixing and kneading on the marble-topped kitchen table, we learned how to check that the dough was mixed well.
As we let the pasta rest, we took in the smells of brodo bubbling away.
The chefs who teach classes for Ristomama have specialized menus based on different dishes that you can select from.
Paola has lived in Rome for more than 30 years, but is originally from Emilia Romagna, so we were cooking regional specialities: tortellini and tortelli.
Nothing goes to waste in these recipes. The beef that was slowly flavoring the broth for our tortellini would also be our second course.
The beef is served as bollito – with a salsa verde to dress it.
As everything simmered and set, we made the salsa verde – with Paola’s secret ingredients.
We rolled out the pasta dough once it had been put to rest for 20 minutes.
The making of tortellini is slow, and almost meditative. It is often a dish served as Christmas, and all that pasta stuffing and cutting time is used to sit around the kitchen and catch up with family while you work.
Paola’s mother has a tortellini recipe, as do her sisters.
But this one is all Paola.
What matters is the ratio of meats and cheese.
Once stuffed, you have to master the technique to close the pasta.
Folding it over just so.
Tortelli, slightly larger and less complex in shape, are a bit easier to close.
Once we had stuffed and sealed enough for lunch, it was time to cook.
The tortellini in brodo were so so good.
It was hard for me to believe that we had made them.
The tortelli, cooked simply with a butter and sage sauce were outstanding.
The lemon zest and ricotta stuffing was airy and refreshing.
I cannot wait to recreate these at home.
The salsa verde was a perfect accompaniment to the bollito.
A hearty end to a gorgeous meal.
We had gotten straight into the cooking, but with Ristomama’s Rome cooking classes, you can also opt for a visit to the market to pick up the ingredients that will be transformed into delicious Italian dishes.
As we chatted over food and wine, I realized that I didn’t want to leave. Ever.
Paola’s house, her expansive cooking knowledge and her friendly, chatty company made for such a perfect day.
But as the clouds built up over Rome, we said thank you and good bye.
Many thanks to Ristomama for the invitation to join Paola for the day of cooking! I LOVED it and cannot wait to get back in the kitchen. The concept of home cooking in an actual Roman home is perfect.