Monday, September 19, 2011

Slaving Over a Hot Stove

Yes, I did wear a hat...

I adore Italian food.  This being Dubai, I don’t cook nearly as much as I used to back in the UK, where getting  home from work at a reasonable time meant your whole evening lay ahead of you, full of opportunity to slave over a hot stove.  So when I heard about a new cookery school opening up in Dubai, with Italian classes from no less than the Executive Chef at Carluccio’s, I was all over it like a rat up a palm tree. 

My first class was last weekend: Pasta and Risotto.  I’ve never been to a cooking school before so I had no clue what to expect.  This being Dubai, it was a swish affair, a fully-kitted out teaching kitchen in a very nice café.  Glass walls meant that those having lunch or coffee could see exactly what we were up to, which could have been off-putting, but we were soon having way too much fun to worry about bystanders.

The dishes we were tasked with? Orecchiette with broccoli and ham (in the most divine creamy sauce) and Risotto with Courgette (and another creamy sauce.  With Gorgonzola.  My waistline wept as I read the ingredients!)

Our chef, being Italian, was as passionate and excitable as you would imagine, but also patient and a wealth of knowledge.  Some of his comments were pure Italian quality: “Your pasta has too much personality!!! Your rice is too thirsty!!!” and we romped through the class in a happy mix of flavours, smells and amiable conversation.

We plated up our efforts and took home leftovers, which I happily scoffed for dinner last night. Delicious. Honestly!

Next week: main courses.  Chicken Saltimbocca and some sort of stuffed aubergine.  Cannot. Wait.

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