In this class, you will be welcomed into the kitchen of Patrizia Steccato to learn how to cook like an Italian mamma. Pat will teach you how to make three dishes that are typically served in Florentine homes: Pappa al Pomodoro, a creamy tomato soup, Gnudi di Spinaci, spinach and ricotta Italian dumplings in a delicate butter sage sauce, and Schicacciata alla Florentina, a fluffy olive oil cake with fresh orange flavor.
Meet your chef: Patrizia Steccato
Pat was born and raised in Florence, and has been cooking for as long as she can remember. As a child, she recalls jumping from one table to the next, asking to help her mother, aunts, grandparents, and whomever was cooking at the moment.
Pat loves cooking because it makes people happy, and for her, feeding people is a way to express her love to all her guests: “In Italy, the first thing you say to beloved people when they come to your home is, How are you? Have you eaten? Let me prepare something for you.” She loves introducing travelers to her favorite dishes, and sharing the story behind each recipe and the secrets to get a perfect Italian preparation.
What we'll be making
Pappa al Pomodoro
This rustic tomato soup is a comfort food in Italian households, and a soup that most children have grown up on. Amazingly, the recipe does not use any dairy. Instead, its beautiful creamy texture is from the crumbled ciabatta bread and olive oil.
Gnudi di Spinaci
These spinach and ricotta Italian dumplings, are typically served for a special day or on Sunday’s with guests in Florentine homes. These are absolute crowd-pleasers with the perfect blend of Parmigiano Reggiano and ricotta, drizzled in a delicate sage butter.
Schiacciata alla Florentina
A light, airy, and not-too-sweet olive-oil based cake with orange zest you’ll find in nearly all bakeries in Florence. Just look for the Fleur de lis (stylized lily) emblem dusted in cocoa powder and sugar. The recipe Pat will share with you is the simplified version that most Florentine households use to celebrate Carnival in February, where colorful parades, floats, and live music adorn the city through Mardi Gras.
What you'll need for class
In your box
Ingredients & tools
You will be using the Extra Virgin Olive Oil in all 3 recipes with Pat. It is the star of Italian cooking! Your Pomodori Pelati tomatoes will be cooked into a rustic tomato soup.
- Le Ferre Autentico Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Olive oil is the star ingredient in Italian cooking, and will be used in all three dishes you’ll be making with Pat. Rich, golden green color, with freshly cut grass and herbal notes, it’s very versatile, perfect for cooking or dipping bread in. This olive oil is estate produced using Coratina, Frantoio olives in the Castellaneta, Puglia region.
- Pomodori Pelati Whole Peeled Tomatoes
These peeled whole tomatoes, known as "pelati," are hand-picked when they are ripe off the vine between July and August in a local "Masseria," or Matera farm, where the heat of the southern Italian sun ripens the tomatoes to perfection and gives them superb concentrated flavor. You’ll use the tomatoes for the Pappa al Pomodoro soup. table.
Here's a list of ingredients and tools you'll need for your cooking class.
- Here is a shopping list of fresh ingredients and pantry items you'll need on hand for class
- Printable Fleur de lis stencil to put the finishing touch on your cake!
- 2 large pots: 1 for the soup and 1 for boiling the gnudi
- Slotted spoon for gnudi
- Oven-safe wide shallow pan or cast iron pan to bake the gnudi (you can also use a baking sheet)
- Hand or stand mixer
- Mixing bowl
- 8” x 12” (or similarly sized) pan for the cake
- Sieve (fine mesh strainer)
See below for a few tips on how to get the most out of your live class.
- Read through the recipes ahead of time to familiarize yourself with the steps
- Pre-measure your ingredients
- Gather the tools you'll need
- Cut out the Fleur de lis stencil, which you'll be using to decorate your cake. You will want to cut around the shape, and you will be using the shape only.
Drinks to pair with this meal
If you're more in the mood for a cocktail or fancy an apéritif while you're cooking, stir yourself up a Negroni. Did you know that Florence was actually the birthplace of this magical concoction? It's equal parts Campari, Vermouth, and Gin, typically served over ice with an orange slice. Salute (Cheers)!
Most reds will go great with this meal, but if you want to keep this meal authentic to Florence, go for a Chianti Classico (just look for the black rooster on the bottle). Chianti Classico are premium Chianti wines that tend to be medium-bodied with firm tannins, made mainly from Sangiovese grapes grown in the Chianti area of Tuscany. The Chianti Classico region is about 100 miles of land between Florence and Siena.
We hope you have a great class with Pat and a delicious Italian feast! We’d love to see photos from your kitchen and your final dishes! Tag @hellotrove and #hellotrove.
Join the TROVE Facebook group to interact with fellow Florence travelers, see what others have made, and get more tips and recipes from Pat.