While we did not stay at Podere San Lorenzo, we were very fortunate to book an evening cooking lesson with the owner, Marinella. Our time spent in the chapel that is used as a preparation center and dining room is one of our all time favorite memories. We were coming from Pisa and were delayed because of a major traffic stoppage. I was able to call Marinella and alert her to our problem. I was so so so upset and she was so so so gracious and understanding. We arrived about 30 minutes late but she adjusted and was very kind. Be aware that while cell phones work at Podere San Lorenzo, they often fail on the winding hills leading to the Agriturismo. It was early in the season and my husband and I were the only two individuals signed up for the class.
Upon our late arrival, we were each given a lovely green apron and told that we would be cooking for between 10 to 12. Our to cook list included:
La pasta fresca tagliatelle and spaghetti (handmade fresh pasta)
Il pesto di Basilico (pesto sauce) with pecorino cheese
Il ragu (meat sauce)
Arista al latte (pork loin with milk)
La peperonata ( sweet peppers, celery, carrots, onion, tomatoes, garlic)
La Torta di Mele (apple cake)
And yes, we novices were the cooks.This was not a case of breaking a couple of eggs and watching Marinella and her assistant do the work. We were expected to chop, stir, and knead with our own two hands. The recipes were simple and practical. They turned out to also be delicious. While we worked we soaked in the atmosphere of the centuries old chapel with its peeling painted fresco's and enjoyed listening to Marinella's excellent Italian accented English. She was also an excellent instructor. She told us that her cooking was based on the simple country cooking that she learned as a young girl. She stressed that she wanted her students to be able to go home and cook the same meals in their own homes. She confided that someday, she wanted to do a class on cooking with leftovers.
The experience was a highlight, not just of the trip but a highlight of all our travels together. We were given a lovely cookbook with all the recipes we had made plus many other inviting concoctions. We have bought a replica Imperial pasta machine and parchment paper. We have even planted basil in our garden to use as a base for homemade pesto. We are importing Tuscan cooking into our own home. We are also scheming to go back to Tuscany just so that we can book that class in cooking with leftovers.
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- Also Known As:
- Agriturismo Podere San Lorenzo Hotel Volterra