Cooking with Loredana

Tuesday, 17 ottobre 2006

After our tour of the kitchen gardens with Carmen, we entered la cucina di Spannocchia (the kitchen of Spannocchia) for our cooking lesson with Loredana. We would be preparing lunch for everyone that day.

Sandino surprised everyone, especially his wife, who barely recognized him. He leapt forward at every opportunity to be a part of every class activity! I guess it was too much to hope that his newfound passion for cooking would follow him home, but that’s okay. I’m happy to have my own kitchen to myself.

The main dish was a rolled turkey breast, butterflied and stuffed with an omelet and a spinach mixture. Loredana tied up the turkey breasts and baked them with some sage leaves and garlic in the pan, while green beans simmered with a mixture of parsley and garlic that Sandino chopped up with a mezzaluna. I remember seeing Carmen walk up the orto stairs with a bucket of these the previous afternoon. The finished product at the table is on the right.

Appetizers included baked pancetta wrapped prunes and slices of cheese drizzled with Spannocchia honey. Daniela, guest services manager and Loredana’s interpreter, slices pancetta (Italian bacon) from the farm’s own Cinta Senese pigs at the left. These were simple, beautiful, and so very, very tasty!

These were served out on the terrace where the weather was perfect. The other half of the class had been on work detail and they were hungry! Daniela opened a couple of bottles of Prosecco and we thoroughly enjoyed our break before going back in to work on the primo piatto (first course), ravioli di spinaci e ricotta con burro e salvia (stuffed spinach ravioli with butter and sage sauce). Because that was a big operation and the subject of my class project, I made a separate post about the ravioli with step-by-step photos and a recipe.

Debby, one of our instructors and tour guides while we were at Spannocchia, and Judy, one of our lively classmates, enjoy prosecco on the terrace.

The making of the tiramisu actually came first that morning, because it needed a few hours to chill. Sandino separated eggs for this dish, and did a better job than I did! Here Sandino uses the Michael Jordan technique for layering the bowls.

I never cared much for tiramisu before this day. That could be because I never tasted authentic tiramisu before this day. I’m still looking for a source of Pavesi ladyfingers here in Greensboro. Once I find the right ingredients, you might want to consider asking us to your potluck. Reactions to the tiramisu were pretty good, I’d say.

Karl-Heinz was shooting for the tiramisu record.

For your own safety, please do not get between Lizzie and the tiramisu.

To be continued…

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