Your Florence Cooking Class

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 de Spinaci, spinach and ricotta Italian dumplings in a delicate butter sage sauce, and Schicacciata alla Florentina, a fluffy olive oil cake with orange flavor.

SAVE THE DATE! Join the live Zoom Cooking Class with Pat

  • October 3, 2020—10:00AM PST
  • October 10, 2020—10:00AM PST


Unable to join the class live? No sweat!  We will be linking to the recorded zoom classes here, so you can watch at your leisure.

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 whoever was cooking at the moment. She 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 Italian dishes, and sharing the story behind each recipe and the tips and the secrets to get a perfect Italian preparation.

WHAT YOU'LL BE MAKING  (digital copy of recipe cards)

  • Pappa al Pomodoro - This rustic tomato soup is a comfort food in Italian households, and a soup that most children have grown up on. This soup doesn’t use any dairy, and gets its beautiful creamy texture from  crumbled ciabatta bread.  
  • Gnudi de Spinaci - You will hand-shape these spinach and ricotta Italian dumplings, 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, ricotta, and drizzled in a delicate sage butter sauce. 
  • 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) 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.


  • 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. They come in a BPA-free tin. No preservatives, no coloring agents.  You’ll use the tomatoes for the Pappa al Pomodoro soup. Tip: Add some flowers to the tin for a rustic vase to set the mood at the dinner table.


  • Link to a printable shopping list that includes other ingredients needed for the recipes
  • Link to printable Fleur de lis stencil to put the finishing touch on your cake!
  • 2 large pots, one for the soup and one 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”x12” pan or similarly sized square or circular pan for the cake
  • Sieve (fine mesh strainer)


  • Read through the recipes ahead of time to familiarize yourself with the steps, so you can more easily follow along and participate in the class.
  • Gather the tools you'll need (listed above) ahead of time
  • Cut out the Fleur de lis stencil ahead of time. You will want to cut around the shape, and you will be using the shape only.
  • Pre-measure your ingredients so you can easily follow along the class


  • 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.
  • 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. Saluti (Cheers)! 

We hope you have a great class with Pat and delicious Italian feast!  We’d love to see photos from your kitchen and your final dishes. Tag us @hellotrove and #hellotrove, and join the TROVE community to interact with fellow Florence travelers, see what others have made, and get more tips and recipes from Pat. – link to FB group?