- If you come to Bologna, then I would say it is mandatory to try a pasta cooking school. You will then enjoy the homemade pasta, even better at the local restaurants. You will also savor the view of fresh pasta at all the food stores in the alleys, near the central square called Piazza Maggiore. This experience would be our best memory of this city for a party of 5 and maybe of our whole Northern Italy trip.
- Barbara and Valerie did a great job of team teaching and showed a lot of patience for us neophytes. They do hold courses for professionals including a pizza making class with an invited instructor. Their English is also remarkable. Rolling and stretching pasta is a challenge for non-chefs. They are quite funny together and you have to be cognizant of their jokes.
-Their place is a converted industrial/residential condo with a great professional kitchen and pasta rolling area. I also wanted to avoid a factory full of tourists. More than enough space for a party of 5-6 plus instructors. Maybe a few more people can be accommodated. We lucked out and had a private instructional day for only our group of 5. Lots of stainless steel appliances plus a nice intimate dining area. It is set back from the main road about 300 meters and easy to reach by taxi.
-What a great business idea! There were over 20+ cooking schools in Bologna (chamber of commerce web site) and I had to narrow it down to just a select few. We could have chosen schools in Venice and Florence too. Their internet response and the professional kitchen helped with this choice. I specifically wanted to avoid a school in someone’s home for my own reasons. Their pricing was competitive (plus a 10% group discount) and the course did not occupy a whole day. Great internet response. Another school seemed too commercial and could accomodate 20-50 students at a time.
-I also wanted a simple menu to remember. Potato gnocchi, Tortolloni (parsley and ricotta) and Tagliatelle with Ragu is enough for several hours. This school was also flexible to accommodate our vegan request by two of our party and substituted zucchini for ground beef. The recipes were emailed to us right after the class, so we can reproduce our new talents back in California and have already done so. Good red wine, onion, celery, carrots and tomato paste (not puree), extra virgin olive oil were part of the secret recipe.
-I would return to this cooking school on my next visit to Bologna. Bologna is one of those cities where you return many times for the food and friendly people.
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