Yesterday started well with sunshine and yoga in the garden and finished well with replete and evidently satisfied customers who had enjoyed our Tuscan Cookery Class with my friend and colleague Lisa Banchieri.
The sun might not have been as intense as we might have hoped for in Tuscany but according to Lisa who left Florence on Thursday morning it was hot enough out there for them to be glad to get away to London with our paler sunshine and occasional rainstorms
Our menu for the day was a vegetable and parmesan individual cheese flan – we chose zuccini as our vegetable but any others work as well , followed by home made pasta ravioli stuffed with spinach, ricotta and nutmeg , and then the most gorgeous roasted pork loin I have ever tasted – served with Tuscan roasted potatoes, cooked with pancetta and big fat red grapes, and to finish a strawberry version of Tiramisu.
After emulsifying the vegetable mousse for the flan and leaving it to set everyone had a go at making pasta.
Debs helped Lisa placing the ricotta and spinach fillings whilst behind them Sarah had the pasta making machine rolling relentlessly on – we needed 42 large ravioli , which seemed a lot, but this was no problem for Lisa who last year made fresh ravioli for Sting and Trudie Styler and 150 of their guests!
Below, Lisa gets passionate about the herbs and extra virgin olive oil we will use to baste the pork loin and pancetta.
Those who didn’t fancy pork were able to enjoy the alternative of cod baked in the oven on a bed of potatoes with cherry tomatoes – equally delicious – and possibly healthier – but most of us didn’t care!.
We all stood in the kitchen to watch the whipping of the mascapone by Lisa whilst Sarah also made a splendid job of whisking the egg whites for the strawberry tiramisu – yummy
Finally we sat down and got down to the serious business of eating it all – a toast to Lisa – a very special lady!