Back in May, after racking my brain over what to get my mom for Mother’s Day, the idea finally hit me: a cooking class! I figured it would be a fun experience that we could do together, since we both love food. Perfect right? I ended up just googling “cooking classes in pittsburgh” and Chop WOK and Talk had great reviews. I told her to get on their website and pick which class she wanted to take, considering they have SO many! Being Italian, I wasn’t surprised when she decided on Tuscan Cooking (good choice, ma, thats what I was hoping you’d pick).
So yesterday afternoon we hopped in the car and drove to the burgh for our 2 o’clock session. We were both super excited, but neither of us knew what to expect. We walked in and the place was so cute. It was basically a dining room and a kitchen. Small, but not cramped.
Along with my mom and I, there were 3 other people taking the class. After going around and introducing ourselves, it was time to get started! We followed our instructor, Dorothy, into the kitchen to get crackin’!
The first dish we made was passatelli, or soup dumplings! We made the dough, which was surprisingly simple. Then we used a cheese grater to make it into dumplings, all while the broth was simmering.
Next up was Ravioli with Lemon Cream Sauce. We made our own fresh pasta. That was hands down the most fun part. Everyone took turns rolling out the dough, which took forever since it had to be THIN. Then we placed the filling on the sheet of dough and folded it over to form our ravioli .
The filling was just basically a mix of parmesan and ricotta cheeses, 2 eggs and some seasonings. The sauce used lemon again, and after my amazing soup, I was all for it, and then peas were added which added a nice pop of color. I don’t eat ravioli very often (unfortunately), so this was really a treat. It was so creamy and delicious and full of carbs, what more can you really ask for?
Italians don’t eat their salad at the beginning of the meal like we do here. Dorothy had an Heirloom Tomato Salad with Burrata lined up for us. We used 3 different colors of tomatoes and it made the dish so pretty. The dressing was a simple balsamic vinegarette, and we served the salad with confit garlic bread. OH MY lets just talk about this for a sec. Toasted Tuscan bread topped with a layer of garlic olive oil, sprinkled with parmesan cheese and thrown under the broiler for a minute. Ill just let that soak in for you. This was definitely the best looking plate.
For the main course, we had Veal Marsala and Risotto Milanese. Did you know that risotto isn’t actually a pasta but a method of cooking it? Yeah, me neither. The risotto was pretty standard: parm, butter, arborio rice, and chicken stalk. Dorothy had us add saffron which gave the rice this rich, beautiful yellow color, and then asparagus as a nice green contrast.
The veal marsala was good, but probably my least favorite, just because veal has never been the best cut of meet for me personally. But the sauce was great. You could really taste the marsala wine and mushrooms which worked together perfectly.
To finish off our dining experience, we had to have dessert of course. This was actually the first dish we prepped since it was going to take the longest to bake. It was a Peach Amaretto Upside Down Cake. It had this caramel layer on the top, followed by sliced peaches, crushed amaretto cookies, then cake batter. When it was done and we flipped it over, it was amazing. Like probably the prettiest upside down cake ever. Not to mention that it was FABULOUS. It was so moist, I couldn’t believe it! Ill for sure be making that again.
At the end, we turned in our aprons, took home our leftovers and left the kitchen with full and satisfied bellies. It was such a nice day with my mom and we had the best time. Were already talking about going back. If your ever stuck for an idea for a gift, date or just want to try something new, I really recommend a cooking class.