In August of 2014, that dream came true during our month-long visit to Italy! I had planned my trip so that during week two (following a busy four days in Rome), we would relax in the Tuscan countryside, at an absolutely wonderful vacation villa called Il Borghetto.
With a love for Italian food and cooking, I knew I found the perfect place in Il Borghetto to call home while in San Gimignano, Tuscany.
After searching the internet incessantly for months, I found Il Borghetto and was thrilled to find a vacation villa that had all the amenities for which I had been searching. Roomy apartment accommodations, great views, a scenic pool, an on-premises restaurant...and an on-site cooking class!!
By the time we had arrived at Il Borghetto, I felt as if I knew Simona for years. Her tourism background is a tremendous asset to the rest of her family, who share ownership in this warm and welcoming Tuscan villa. She was even kind enough to allow me to practice my Italian during our frequent communication!
Our class was private made up of me, my two daughters and my mom, along with an interpreter to help us out! I cannot emphasize what a fun experience this was for all of us! Should you travel to this region and have an opportunity to visit or enjoy an extended stay at Il Borghetto, their cooking class is a must-do and it is an especially great activity to do with kids.
We got suited up in our aprons and Patricia wasted no time, getting each of us involved in the cooking process! The girls were using their hands, mixing and combining ingredients. The atmosphere was so relaxed and informal, and it felt as if we were in my grandmother's kitchen.
Tuscan cuisine has a rich and long history that dates back to the Etruscan people up through modern day.
The region has had a diverse history of inhabitants from the primeval colonies, followed by Etruscans and then by the Romans. All of these cultures were great lovers of wine and fine food.
Additionally, the variety of food products cultivated in this region enabled both elaborate and simple cooking for a range of flavorful fare.
With a rich food history, and an array of flavors and tastes readily available in this region, is it any wonder, learning to cook in Tuscany was a dream of mine?
Zonzelle (Fried Pizza Dough)
Gnocchetti di Patate Alla Contadina
(Fresh Ricotta Cheese and Tomatoes)
Zucchini Ripieni (Stuffed Zucchini with potatoes)
Torta Di Mele (Apple Crumble)
All of our hard work led up to an amazing sit-down lunch, outside under the pergola. The breeze, the view, the wine and the food was like living in a culinary dream!!
What I loved best about cooking with Patricia and the format of the class, was the informality of it all. No fancy equipment. Just old school apparatus and kitchen tools, same as my grandma used to make all her food throughout the years.
I felt like I was able to check something near and dear to my heart off of my bucket list. However, there is no question, this Italian girl would do a Tuscan cooking class over and over!!