Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Cooking Lesson with Franca in Assisi ~ La Fontanella

There is no sincerer love
than the love of food.
~George Bernard Shaw

For my birthday last year, my sister got me a cooking lesson with Franca, in Assisi! So, on a chilly, December morning, after my birthday, I got up and went over to La Fontanella to go grocery shopping, with Franca. Then we got cooking!

Before shopping she asked if I liked ravioli. Woohoo! Just so you know, ravioli is one of my favorite foods on the planet!

Franca in her kitchen at Fonanella ...

Tomatoes and oregano make it Italian;
wine and tarragon make it French.
sour cream makes it Russian;
lemon and cinnamon make it Greek.
Soy sauce makes it Chinese;
garlic makes it good.
~Alice May Brock

There is such skill and artistry involved in making pasta. It always feels like you are watching a true artist at work, when you watch someone who really knows what they are doing!

Draining spinach for the ravioli ...

Adding ricotta and egg ... (the white was whipped separately before going in!)

This, below, is one of my favorite photos of the whole trip! :)

This I found to be quite meditative. Ignore my hangnail ... I'd been on the road for a while! Franca said I was doing a good job putting the raviolis together but I really think it was the gold glitter nail polish doing the magic. ;)

Franca took this of me ...

Food should be fun.
~Thomas Keller

A tomato based sauce ... but not for the ravioli!


For the Americans complaining about the size of their McMansion kitchens ... You only need a little space to create a lot of magic!

But it's sure nice to have a view!

Making tagliatelle with the extra dough ...

And this sauce ... Oh my goodness! The red you see is fresh pomegranate! There also some balsamic ... mmmm...

Dried herbs in the kitchen, she brought in from outside the door ...

Juniper berries ...

After we did all the prep work, I invited a couple of friends to dinner (Mauro, a very cool guy who'd driven my parents and I around the Rieti Valley two years prior, and my new friend Nick who I'd met at my hotel, during breakfast.)

In the meantime, (before going back for dinner) I walked around Assisi in the rain, and went to a couple of little churches, I'd visited before. That evening, I returned to help put it all together, though I must admit, I was doing a lot of picture taking! (I guess that goes without saying!)

Looking out the kitchen door ...

After I left Franca had used more of our leftover ingredients to make spinach gnocchi!

Potatoes, drizzled with olive oil, as a "contorno"- a side, to go with the meat!

We all eat 
and it would be a sad waste of opportunity
to eat badly.
~Anna Thoma

Remember the red tomato sauce? How about adding cream? Yum!

And for the Ravioli ... melted butter and sage. (To be topped later with Parmiggiano-Reggiano)

We actually finished with this, as our secondo, and I'm sorry I didn't get a better shot of the poultry, with the pomegranate sauce! We dug in and started eating and then I realized! Wait! A photo! Then it was gone. At least I got this one shot. We were dipping our bread in the sauce ... It looked like it had been licked clean!

Franca with Nicholas, above, and with me, below. Not sure why we didn't get a shot of Mauro!

And now ... I have to show you the ravioli and gnocchi.
Words cannot express. You just have to imagine. 
And now my mouth is watering and I want to go back!

La Fontanella
Via Bernardo da
Quintavalle 7
06081 Assisi, Italy


For more about Franca and La Fontanella, click here!

Life is a combination 
of magic and pasta.
~Federico Fellini

Blessings and light!
Thanks for visiting!
And thank you Franca!


KathyA said...

My oh my oh my oh my!!!!!!!
Gnocchi and ravioli are favorites of mine, too.
Some of my fondest childhood memories are of my grandmother, mother, and zias making ravioli for Easter Sunday dinner. FANTASTICO!

Rick Forrestal said...

These photos are great.
....where cooking becomes art.
Love this post.

donna baker said...

The meal looks good enough to be my last meal and oh, the view from the kitchen... But, Lucinda, you are so cute and making new friends like you do and your adventures - well you are a doll.

Amanda said...

Bellissima!!! I am hungry just looking at these fotos.....

Barb said...

Oh my gosh! It's a good thing I just ate breakfast here in CO. Great photo diary of your wonderful day.

Becky Jerdee said...

No kidding!!! A cooking lesson...so awesome...and in Assisi, yet. You lucky, lucky girl!!!

Tammie Lee said...

Oh my gosh!!

yum yum!! that was amazing to watch things being made. all the sauces sound and look amazing. I wasn't hungry, but now i am!!

lucky you!

Loree said...

Oh wow, I am getting hungry again. My great aunt used to make ravioli from scratch. I need to get her recipe. What a wonderful experience this cooking class must have been for you.


ottimo !!! delicious you look so happy there lucinda ... ...my daughters have learnt all nonna's secrets :)...fantastic photos of your trip.

Linda@ Lime in the Coconut said...

Oh. Be. Still. My. Heart!!! Love this post!! I can smell it from here!

Pauline said...

I want to cook like you it seems delicious!


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