21.8.11

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.

Yoga class before Tuscan Cookery lesson

Yoga class before Tuscan Cookery lesson

 

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

Lisa and Alessandro with another friend from Florence - Kath Thomas and my husband John on the Millennium Bridge the night before the Tuscan cookery class

Lisa and Alessandro with another friend from Florence - Kath Thomas and my husband John on the Millennium Bridge the night before the Tuscan cookery class

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.

Lisa and Harriet make very thin pasta for the ravioli

Lisa and Harriet make very thin pasta for the ravioli

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!

Debs helps Lisa place the spinach and ricotta fillings - behind the pasta making machine grinds relentlessly on

Debs helps Lisa place the spinach and ricotta fillings - behind the pasta making machine grinds relentlessly on

Below, Lisa gets passionate about the herbs and extra virgin olive oil we will use to baste the pork loin and pancetta.

Lisa Banchieri gets passionate about pork loin in our Tuscan Cooker y class

Lisa Banchieri gets passionate about pork loin in our Tuscan Cookery class

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!.

Tuscan recipe for baked cod with cherry tomatoes

Tuscan recipe for baked cod with cherry tomatoes

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

Group watching the egg whisking at the Tuscan Cookery class

Group watching the egg whisking at the Tuscan Cookery class

Finally we sat down and got down to the serious business of eating it all – a toast to Lisa – a very special lady!

 

 

Lisa with farina e basilico

Lisa with farina e basilico

 

Clean plate club at the end of the meal

Clean plate club at the end of the meal

 

Clean plate club from the other side of the table

Clean plate club from the other side of the table

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