Whilst I throw loads of plaudits at Thai cuisine, Italian comes in a very close second as some of my favourite food to eat. So I was very excited to have the opportunity to learn how to make fresh pasta.
Forlimpopoli was the home of Pellegrino Artusi, hence the name of the cooking school being Casa Artusi. He is the author of the famous Italian book “La scienza in cucina e l’arte di mangiare bene” (The Science of Cooking and the Art of Eating Well). Artusi is lauded as being the first person to really establish a true Italian cuisine. He was given a passport to roam free throughout Italy by the Pope making his cookbook the first to include recipes from all the different regions of the country.
The best thing about Artusi’s cookbook is that it isn’t just page after page of recipes . Each one included is accompanied by a story describing his experience and the historical relevance of the dish which makes for a fascinating read.
After learning more about the history of Artusi I was ready to do him and #blogville proud and try to make some pasta. Unfortunately my cooking skills aren’t amazing and as soon as I realised I was going to have to use a rolling-pin I knew I was doomed. My rolling-pin skills are awful although let me use it as a rounders bat and they greatly improve!
My ‘Marietta’ or tutor didn’t seem suitably impressed with my rolling-pin technique either but I did get an obligatory ‘Bravo’ out of her a couple of times. I tried to crack a couple of jokes in my poor Italian about how bad I was but I’m not sure I was making any sense.
Whilst not impressed with my ability my ‘Marietta’ was fantastic. She showed me how to make a huge range of different types of pasta and in the end I was quite proud of what I managed to achieve and she had a big smile on her face too, its obvious she absolutely loves what she does.
I am a firm believer that food is an important part of any countries culture and the more you learn about the food the more you will learn about the people of that nation. I would recommend Casa Artusi and the pasta making classes to anyone. This isn’t just a normal cooking school. There is a museum explaining the history of Pellegrino Artusi and a collection or artefacts and his books. You will learn about the history of Italian cuisine as well as learning to cook it. Casa Artusi, of course, also has an excellent restaurant and some of the history of each dish is explained to you when it is served.
I managed to keep my apron and hair net from the school and I have promised family and friends I will wear them once again and prove my pasta cooking skills to them.
If your interested in visiting Forlimpopoli and Casa Artusi you can find more information on their website here
Below is a video of myself and my #blogville house mates at the Casa Artusi school
Whilst I was a guest of the Emilia Romagna tourist board and Casa Artusi my views are all my own