Monday, November 14

Fall Cooking Class: Truffles & Mushrooms

Mushroom Foraging & Cooking Class
What better way to spend a autumn afternoon but foraging for wild mushrooms in the woods, returning to a warm kitchen, cooking local recipes with a glass of Montepulciano and sharing a meal at the end of the day.  During a recent cooking class at the slow-food inspired La Tavola Marche, students hunted for mushrooms, topped their plates with truffles & made pasta from scratch all in a half-day hands-on cooking class in Le Marche, Italy.

We started the day with a walking sticks in hand, determined to find plump beautiful funghi, we headed into woods behind our farmhouse and the search was on! Almost immediately we could tell this was going to be futile - the conditions just weren't right: too much sun, not enough rain = no mushrooms in our woods. The leave-covered floor of the woods were plum dry!  We kept at it - under trees, in the dry river beds, near the creek, under the leaves - but still nothing! Not even the ones considered 'toxico.' (Which can still be fun to find & at least you know you're on the right track.)

Luckily Jason was prepared and we were able to use mushrooms for the class we had previously preserved (by freezing). So we may have come home empty handed but we'd still have a full belly!

Cooking Class with Truffles & Mushrooms
The rest of the afternoon is spent in the kitchen - eating, drinking, laughing & somehow within a few hours we have created a full meal and sit to enjoy the fruits of labor together! Jason shares invaluable tips along the way from the origins of the recipes, the importance of befriending your butcher to knife skills & food preservation.  As the class comes to an end, we pop a bottle of Prosecco and gather around the table. A few courses in I am already stuffed, the conversation flows like the wine. I hear a guest proudly proclaim, "Well, I learned today that I knew nothing about cooking!" The room erupts with laughter & assuring nods of the head. I teach them how to say to "I am full" in local dialect. The room is abuzz everyone is excited to return home & share their new recipes & stories ... and then arrives the most perfectly giggly panna cotta drizzled in chocolate and the room is silenced. At least no one has to go far and can just roll on up to bed!

Fall Menu
(Example of a typical Fall Half-Day Cooking Class)

Veal Carpaccio with Truffles
Fall Farro Salad with Pomegranate, Walnuts & Truffles

Homemade Tagliatelle Pasta with Wild Mushrooms

Braised Bone-In Veal Breast with Tomatoes & Potatoes

Panna Cotta with Chocolate Gen ache'
At La Tavola Marche you know where your food comes from; vegetables fresh picked from the garden, eggs from the hens, mushrooms foraged from the hills and fresh meat from our free-range fowl or the neighbor Pierangelo's farm. The eco-friendly 300 year old stone farmhouse overlooking medieval ruins & rollings hills is an idyllic foodie getaway!
Half Day, Full Day & Custom Cooking Classes in Italy
Read the TripAdvisor Reviews! # 2 "Things to Do in Marche, Italy"
Students celebrating a job well done after their cooking class, enjoy a glass of bubbly!
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