Cooking Class

In the cooking class, we learned to cook 2 regional dishes. While Americans have no doubt heard of these dishes, they are not prepared in the same way. On the agenda were:
Torta Salata
Lasagna Bolognese

We worked on all three dishes at once.For the sake of simplicity, I’ll focus on one dish at a time.

Torta Salata –
*important note: Our Italian instructor measures nothing! Add ingredients to taste or to what you have lying around.

Add Ricotta cheese and swiss cheese to a mixing bowl then add one fresh egg. Chop up meat similar to prochetta. Porchetta or thinly sliced, smoked, aged ham. Clean fresh mushrooms with a knife and slice into small pieces. Add chopped mushrooms to a pan with olive oil, then add cleaned whole garlic cloves (4 or 5). Saute until ready.  Chop fresh parsely and add to cheese mix along with speck. Speck is boar. I think she had it left over from something and threw it in. Add mushrooms to the cheese mix removing the garlic. Add all of this to a pan lined with a pastry crust (like a pie crust). Put in the oven for no less than 40 minutes. Around 180 degrees. Simple and great!

Lasagna Bolognese –
Grate Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese. How much? Not sure, it was a nice slice… Then add butter to dish and put on stove. Melt the butter and slowly add flour to make a paste. Add milk or cream to the butter/flour paste. When this is mixed, slowly add the grated cheese to the mix, stirring always in the same direction. Once mixed and melted, let it sit until needed.

Make the pasta for the lasagna by starting with flour, two (fresh) eggs and spinach. Make your pasta roll then using a rolling pin, roll out the dough. Use your lasagna pan to measure and cut the pasta.

Make the Ragu by finely chopping onions, carrots, and celery and adding this mixture to a pan with olive oil. Roast the vegetable mix and stir continuously. Once the vegetables are roasted, add pork or other meat to the Ragu. Use a finely chopped meat similar to American Hamburger. Cook the meat with the vegetables and add broth. Add glass of wine to ragu and tomato sauce. Simmer for a bit and allow to sit.

Cook the pasta in boiling water for less than two minutes, put cooked pasta into cold water, then allow to drain on cloth. Continue until all pasta has been cooked and is drying on cloth.

In pan, spoon and spread evenly, a small amount of Ragu. Add pasta layer. Spoon and spread thinly cheese sauce, then add a layer of Ragu on top of the cheese sauce. Continue adding a layer of pasta, cheese sauce then Ragu until you have used all. Top off with a layer of grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese and place in the oven until ready.