I am teaching a Summer Cooking School series beginning tomorrow night. The idea began when a friend of mine asked me to show her some more simple recipes. I had cooked with her one night and she subsequently has made that same recipe several times for her family and wanted to learn some more easy recipes. I thought back to how I first learned to cook. It was in college, when I was sick of eating out and frozen food. I called mamma and asked her, over the phone, “How do you make Pasta e Fagioli?” And she described the process to me while I took notes. I was used to following a recipe but she didn’t give actual measurements. [Pour a little olive oil in a pan… But mom, how MUCH olive oil? Not too much, just a little…] and so I learned, by trial and error, and began sharing my creations with my roommates, and eventually my (now, but future to me then) husband.
So when I began to hatch my plan, I thought I would invite a few friends and share some of my easy, go-to, cheap, healthy Italian favorites. I then thought I would extend it to my whole church and use our church’s wonderful kitchen. I had envisioned younger gals, maybe college-age or even later high school, to young adults, maybe newly- married, or newly-mommied. I was surprised at who started registering for the class: younger, yes – but also older, and even some men! In fact I was standing in the produce section of Publix a few days ago, talking to a friend I had run into. She asked me a few questions about the class, what sorts of things we’d be cooking, etc. and I was describing some of the recipes to her. A man overheard us and asked if I was teaching a cooking class and if it was open to anyone. My husband handed him his business card and told him to email him for directions. How funny is that??
My plan it to teach one recipe and then explain similar ones so everyone can go home and try making even more easy recipes. Since I am visual and I learn by doing, everyone will have a chance to watch how it’s done, then do it themselves. Kinda like med school, right? See one, do one, teach one. We will work in groups and it should be pretty fun.
This week the theme is Quick Red Sauces, the kind of homemade sauce that you can make in the time it takes the pasta to boil (like the picture above.) When the pasta is done, so is the sauce. We will be making Spaghetti all’Amatriciana. Some variations include Penne alla Puttanesca, Penne all’Arrabbiata, Pasta Sciue’ Sciue’, and Aglio Olio e Peperoncino. Of course we’ll get to sample what we make. Interested? Make sure you tell me you’re coming! At this point I’m planning on about 20 people.