Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Staying at La Tavola Marche Agritourismo and taking an Italian Cooking Class

For the last stop on our vacation before heading back to Rome to catch our flight home, we had booked a two night stay at an aguritourismo in Piobbico, Italy, called La Tavola Marche. It was located on the East side of the country about a 5 hour drive south of Venice and about 5 hours north of Rome.
I ended up finding out about this place randomly by clicking through to a "how to travel like a local" article on a website when I wasn't even researching for our trip. I posted a request for information about dates we could stay and had to fill in my information on their website. The owner saw that we were from Washington and couldn't believe it because they were actually American's who moved to Italy 6 years ago and they grew up in Ballard, WA. We knew it was meant to be so we booked it. 
This is their beautiful kitchen in their farmhouse. They ended up moving to Italy and starting their cooking school after they took a trip here on their honeymoon. Jason, the chef and cooking instructor trained in French cooking, but has adapted his classes to focus on the true Italian style of fresh, seasonal and delicious! Click here to read about their wonderful cooking classes. 
I was a little hesitant to book with an American couple because since we were in Italy we wanted the Italian experience, but by the end of our trip we were SO excited to have another couple to speak English with, and they just happened to be from our home state! 
This was our quaint little room. We had our own kitchen and bathroom too. 
This was THE most comfortable bed we slept in for our whole trip! Finally a regular queen mattress!

We were the only people staying with them at the time, but there was another chef from British Columbia staying with Ashley and Jason for about three weeks to train with Jason. The first night we all ate dinner together in their kitchen and got to know one another. Then the next morning we started our day with a lovely breakfast delivered to our room by Ashley and then headed down for our cooking class. 
This was the morning class menu: 
Hungry yet? I was most excited to learn how to make the egg pasta. 

We shucked the peas outside to soak up the sunshine. The peas that Jason bought at the market were SO fresh and delicious! 

Here we are making our fresh egg pasta. 
You have to let it sit out and dry for about an hour or so before you cut it. 
We went out in the field and picked fresh wild greens to put into our ricotta ravioli with toasted walnuts and sage. Let me tell you... this filling for the ravioli was to die for! We used fresh ricotta cheese that Jason made and added lemon zest and the wild greens.I just kept eating it plain before we added it to the pasta because it tasted so good.

We sat down and everyone ate all the food we learned how to cook for our lunch, and then we had a couple hour break before we started the afternoon class where we would be cooking the dinner for the evening. 
They raise their own chickens and have a large garden where they grow most of their own food. :) 
The afternoon menu: 

This was a dish we made with veal, tomatoes, fresh herbs and potatoes. I haven't tried a dish like this before and it turned out really yummy. I really liked the flavor the potatoes took on from the other ingredients. 
We made a homemade aoli for the asparagus with an ostrich egg! Jason grilled the asparagus in the fire for a couple minutes to get that charred flavor. YUM!

Brandon, the chef from Vancouver said that we did a really good job and enjoyed our food. :) 
After filling our bellies to the brim we enjoyed a yummy dessert that we made, an apple-nut roll, and then shared stories about what we missed the most about home before calling it a night. 

The next day we headed back to Rome for our last night in Italy and then caught our flight home. We had such an amazing experience and are so glad that we were able to get to do this fun adventure together!

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