Day Two of our long cooking weekend and a different group of people came to my home for a cookery class with Lisa Banchieri – four of them repeats from the previous class in August who came back eager to learn some more!

This time we were eating later so we staved off the hunger pangs with Lisa’s delicious bruchette – a simple, but oh so delicious!, tomato, garlic and fresh basil and an extraordinary aubergine and tallegio mix which there just wasn’t enough of……….!!

making the fresh pasta 3.12.11

making the fresh pasta 3.12.11

Next we made the fresh pasta – again with dry white wine added to make it stretchy – and left it to prove whilst we made another Crostini Toscana with chicken livers, anchovies and Vin Santo for our first course.

For our pasta course we made raviolONE – ie really BIG parcels of pear , scallion and ricotta – this involved large pastry cuttings as Sarah is illustrating below.

Now what on earth can I make with this?

Now what on earth can I make with this?

Before playing with the pasta we had put the lamb in the oven to roast altogether with the artichokes and small potatoes – a lovely aroma to accompany our work.

With all of our courses we had a wine especially selected to complement our dish selected by Alessandro Cappellotto who has just qualified as a sommelier as a hobby – as he says – he likes to drink good wine!

Alessandro did a marvellous job introducing and explaining about Tuscan wines and the “Food pairing” secrets behind his choices.  The Chianti with the Crostini Toscana, the dry Vernaccia di San Gimigniano was wonderfully refreshing against the sweetness of the pears in the ravioli and the full bodied Brunello magnificent with the meat.

Interestingly Alessandro also got us to taste the difference of this rich  wine when we ate artichoke alone and then took a taste of the wine – the iron content in the artichoke left a really metallic taste in our mouth against the wine, which was very different from it’s full round fruitiness when swigged with the meat.

Finally we enjoyed a very fine Vin Santo with our delicious light Pannacotta with lightly marinated seasonal fruits of the forest.

At the top a picture showing – (as always!) – a toast of love and respect to both Alessandro and Lisa for their professionalism and humour and for giving us another day – and another meal – to remember.