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Have you ever taken cooking classes either in your hometown or while traveling? I love to cook and discover a place through its food, but up until this point have only ever taken cooking classes in Thailand (which are great, and if you visit Thailand you should definitely do one!).
In Rome, however, that all changed when I spent an evening sipping prosecco and learning to make pasta from a rooftop kitchen…
I had heard great things about the programs from Walks of Italy before and checked to see what they had going on while I spent a few days in Rome. While I unfortunately wasn’t able to do one of their actual walking tours, I was thoroughly impressed with a pasta making class which, along with my Vespa ride through the city, ended up being one of the highlights of my trip.
You never really know what you’re going to get with a tour or class and often the people in your group can make a world of difference. Immediately after arriving at the charming rooftop loft apartment, where we cooked inside and ate outside, Chef David completely put me at ease with his energetic, welcoming demeanor.
I also got lucky with a great group of people including two sisters and a family of seven all from the U.S. The evening would have been informative, enjoyable – and delicious – on its own, Chef David was a character, but the group dynamic made it that much better. As did the free flowing prosecco and wine going throughout the night…
We enjoyed drinks and appetizers before getting down to business and I learned that, while time consuming, pasta can be pretty dang simple to make. We made the noodles using just flour, a pinch of salt, water and a pasta roller with everyone chipping in to help add to the same dish – fresh pici (a pasta from Tuscany) with a peppery pork cheek and tomato sauce – that we then all shared. It was simple yet satisfying and I was surprised to realize it was nearly 11:00 p.m. when we finally head out after finishing a dessert dinner drink and biscotti…we had started at 6:00 p.m.
Aside from the fact that the entire evening had obviously had a lot of care and attention to detail put into it, the thing that made it so enjoyable was how intimate and honest it was. Yes, we were all tourists, but the experience still felt intimate, authentic – not like a package tour or program. It was entertaining without being cheesy, educational without being stale.
And now I need to buy a pasta roller…
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Note: I was a special guest of Walks of Italy but all (prosecco and pasta-fueled) opinions and recommendations are my own.