First Courses

acquacotta

Acquacotta – a delicious vegetable soup

This is an adapted version of a traditional Jewish-Italian Purim dish.
February 10, 2021/by Shilpa Baliga
Creamy Artichoke Soup

Creamy artichoke soup

This is an adapted version of a traditional Jewish-Italian Purim dish.
February 2, 2018/by Riccardo

Buckwheat crepes with squash and chestnuts

This warming fall recipe combines the sweetness of chestnuts, leek and squash with the nutty taste of buckwheat.
November 20, 2017/by Riccardo
Buckwheat crepes

Buckwheat crepes with ricotta and spinach

These delicious crepes are a great alternative to pasta. You can make them hours in advance and assemble them just before warming and serving.
November 15, 2017/by Riccardo

Asparagus and sausage sauce for pasta

This is a simple, delicious sauce for when asparagus is in season.
June 15, 2017/by Riccardo

Gnudi – “naked” ricotta and spinach dumplings

These are called "naked" dumplings since they are like ricotta and spinach ravioli without their pasta "clothing". They are easy to make and delicious!
February 26, 2017/by Riccardo

Certaldo Onion Soup

Our local town, Certaldo, had been famous for almost a thousand years for its delicious red onions. A group of local farmers has been growing them and popularising them again. They are used in many dishes. One of the most popular is this simple, warming soup.
January 26, 2016/by Riccardo

Baked Squash Gnocchi

These are not like boiled gnocchi at all, but are creamy balls of squash baked in a tomato sauce. Guests who come on our cooking courses in Italy say that they are one of their favorite fall dishes.
November 4, 2010/by Riccardo

Minestrone alla Genovese ~ Silky vegetable soup with basil pesto

This soup is almost too solid to be called a soup. Its flavours are very rich, with the mushrooms and basil really adding a great depth of flavour.
February 7, 2017/by Riccardo

Minestrone ~ Tuscan Vegetable Soup

The distinctive taste of this soup comes from the cavolo nero ("black cabbage"). This has recently been popularized by chefs such as Jamie Oliver and is now available in many farmers' markets.
September 27, 2010/by Riccardo

Pasta with broccoli

This is a quick, healthy and tasty dish originally from southern Italy which has many possible variations (some add anchovies, some boil the broccoli in the pasta water etc).
February 13, 2011/by Riccardo

Zucchini (courgette) and ricotta sauce

The pungency of the garlic and fresh flavor of the basil make this a delicious sauce. The zucchini that we use on our cooking courses in Tuscany are small and light green skinned.
September 12, 2012/by Riccardo

Fresh Egg Pasta

Many people who come to our cooking school in Italy feel intimidated by the idea of making pasta from scratch. Once they see how easy and enjoyable it is, they become hooked! Put some music on in your kitchen, and take your time.
February 27, 2010/by Riccardo

Pasta and chickpea soup

This dish is lighter than it sounds, but is satisfying enough to have as a one-course meal with bread to dip into the bowl. It is a hit on our cooking courses in Italy, particularly the vegetarian ones.
November 2, 2010/by Riccardo

Tuscan vegetable and bread soup

This soup, like many others, actually improves if left for a day or so. We make a large batch and have it in varied ways - without the bread soaked into it but served on top of hot toast rubbed with raw garlic or with the bread and served at room temperature.
October 25, 2010/by Riccardo
pappa al pomodoro

Pappa al Pomodoro ~ Tuscan Tomato, Bread and Herb Soup

This classic summer dish is very versatile: it can be eaten hot, at room temperature or chilled. It does however rely on ripe, tasty tomatoes.
June 7, 2010/by Riccardo
gnocchi

Potato Gnocchi and Potato and Spinach Gnocchi

The less flour you use, the lighter the gnocchi will be, but the more likely it will be to go mushy while you wait to cook it, handle it and when it is cooking in the water.
March 13, 2010/by Riccardo

Risotto

The best types of rice for making risotto are: Arborio, Carnaroli and Vialone nano. These have round grains and are starchy, becoming creamy when cooked.
March 17, 2010/by Riccardo

Porcini Sauce for Pasta

Fresh porcini are wonderfully aromatic and just melt in your mouth.
June 27, 2010/by Riccardo
minestrone

Springtime Minestrone

A slow-cooked minestrone made with fresh seasonal ingredients and served with good bread is a healthy and delicious dinner or lunch.
May 18, 2010/by Riccardo