First Courses

Asparagus and sausage sauce for pasta

This is a simple, delicious sauce for when asparagus is in season.
June 15, 2017/by Shilpa

Gnudi – “naked” ricotta and spinach dumplings

These are called "naked" dumplings since they are like ricotta and spinach ravioli without their pasta "clothing". They are easy to make and delicious!
February 26, 2017/by Shilpa
Buckwheat crepes

Buckwheat crepes with a spinach and ricotta filling

Buckwheat flour makes delicious crepes and is gluten free. you can fill the crepes with all sorts of things. Our recipe used ricotta and spinach, seasoned with nutmeg.
February 2, 2017/by Shilpa

Certaldo Onion Soup

Our local town, Certaldo, had been famous for almost a thousand years for its delicious red onions. A group of local farmers has been growing them and popularising them again. They are used in many dishes. One of the most popular is this simple, warming soup.
January 26, 2016/by Riccardo

Baked Pumpkin Gnocchi

These are not like boiled gnocchi at all, but are creamy balls of pumpkin baked in a tomato sauce. Guests who come on our cooking courses in Italy say that they are one of their favorite fall dishes.
November 4, 2010/by Shilpa

Pasta con le patate ~ Neapolitan pasta and potato soup

This is a traditional Neapolitan recipe, from the times when many people needed to be fed with very little. And it still needed to be delicious. This soup is creamy and satisfying and pleases the crowds!
March 13, 2017/by Shilpa

Acquacotta ~ Light Tuscan vegetable soup with tomato and egg

This is the Tuscan "stone soup": a soup made out of practically nothing. This is a delicious light soup made out simple vegetables that are always on hand. The addition of bread and an egg give it consistency.
February 27, 2017/by Shilpa

Minestrone alla Genovese ~ Silky vegetable soup with basil pesto

This soup is almost too solid to be called a soup. Its flavours are very rich, with the mushrooms and basil really adding a great depth of flavour.
February 7, 2017/by Shilpa

Minestrone ~ Tuscan Vegetable Soup

The distinctive taste of this soup comes from the cavolo nero ("black cabbage"). This has recently been popularized by chefs such as Jamie Oliver and is now available in many farmers' markets.
September 27, 2010/by Shilpa

Pasta with broccoli

This is a quick, healthy and tasty dish originally from southern Italy which has many possible variations (some add anchovies, some boil the broccoli in the pasta water etc).
February 13, 2011/by Riccardo

Zucchini (courgette) and ricotta sauce

The pungency of the garlic and fresh flavor of the basil make this a delicious sauce. The zucchini that we use on our cooking courses in Tuscany are small and light green skinned.
September 12, 2012/by Riccardo

Fresh Egg Pasta

Many people who come to our cooking school in Italy feel intimidated by the idea of making pasta from scratch. Once they see how easy and enjoyable it is, they become hooked! Put some music on in your kitchen, and take your time.
February 27, 2010/by Shilpa

Pasta and chickpea soup

This dish is lighter than it sounds, but is satisfying enough to have as a one-course meal with bread to dip into the bowl. It is a hit on our cooking courses in Italy, particularly the vegetarian ones.
November 2, 2010/by Shilpa

Tuscan vegetable and bread soup

This soup, like many others, actually improves if left for a day or so. We make a large batch and have it in varied ways - without the bread soaked into it but served on top of hot toast rubbed with raw garlic or with the bread and served at room temperature.
October 25, 2010/by Tina
pappa al pomodoro

Pappa al Pomodoro ~ Tuscan Tomato, Bread and Herb Soup

This classic summer dish is very versatile: it can be eaten hot, at room temperature or chilled. It does however rely on ripe, tasty tomatoes.
June 7, 2010/by Tina
gnocchi

Potato Gnocchi and Potato and Spinach Gnocchi

The less flour you use, the lighter the gnocchi will be, but the more likely it will be to go mushy while you wait to cook it, handle it and when it is cooking in the water.
March 13, 2010/by Shilpa

Risotto

The best types of rice for making risotto are: Arborio, Carnaroli and Vialone nano. These have round grains and are starchy, becoming creamy when cooked.
March 17, 2010/by Shilpa

Porcini Sauce for Pasta

Fresh porcini are wonderfully aromatic and just melt in your mouth.
June 27, 2010/by Shilpa
minestrone

Springtime Minestrone

A slow-cooked minestrone made with fresh seasonal ingredients and served with good bread is a healthy and delicious dinner or lunch.
May 18, 2010/by Shilpa

Puttanesca Pasta Sauce

This is a great, quick pasta sauce to make while your pasta is cooking. The ingredients are typical of Southern Italy and it apparently became popular in the 1960s.
April 29, 2010/by Shilpa