Over the past 3 years, we have covered so much of the globe and fallen in love with so many countries, while expanding our list of people we call family. This week we spent 3 nights in Northern Italy, a 2-hour train ride north of Venice, with new friends at their Bed & Breakfast just outside of Vittorio Veneto.
When we arrived by train into the Conegliano Train Station our wonderful host Ruth met us and whisked off into the mountains for a serene, wine-filled, weekend. We had partnered up with AirBnB to showcase one of their awesome Experiences and after much research, we came across the Cooking Class in the Prosecco Hills. Upon further reading we found that Chef Andrea, who was offering the pasta making experience, also owned a Bed & Breakfast; so we decided we would make an adventure out of it.
Driving up along winding roads through the local vineyards was a wonderful introduction to the region and speaking with Ruth along the way about their community of friends who produce local cheese, wine and everything else you need to survive was a great way to pass the time, and had us ready to taste all of these products by the time we arrived. After 5 years of renovating their home, they now rent out 2 of the bedrooms and an immaculate stand-alone farmhouse, which has been converted into a wonderful cottage that we were to call home for our stay. It was a delight to have space to ourselves, even though we only used it for sleeping, as we spent most of our days in the kitchen with the family and out on the terrace overlooking the picturesque valley below.
Everything was really amazing throughout our stay, and after the first evening of drinking with Ruth, we already felt as though we were part of the family and were even accepted by Berry, their dog. The following morning we met Chef Andrea, who was preparing a delicious breakfast while discussing what we wanted to make during our pasta making class. After breakfast, we joined Chef Andrea in the kitchen and got a start on the cooking class. He started us off easily by guiding us in rolling out our own dough for the pasta and then demonstrating how to use the awesome little pasta machines (I’m sure they have a name but I have no idea what it may be) to roll out the dough to our desired thickness. We made tagliatelle, tagliolini, farfalle (bow tie), garganelli, spaghetti alla chitarra (guitar spaghetti), cavatelli and then Chef used some of our fresh made pasta to cook us lunch.
After lunch, we began on the more technical kinds of pasta, such as ravioli de plin and tortellini, and with his great tuition, it was actually pretty easy. Chef Andrea had prepared some stuffing of smoked eggplant mixed with a ricotta (I think), which was absolutely delicious and we couldn’t wait to devour it. Sure, not all of ours turned out great, or even at all, but in the end, there was more than enough for dinner that evening. Before we were able to enjoy our hard labor, we were in for another real treat as Ruth had organized an excursion to a local vineyard for a tasting. It was the prestigious Vini Sara Meneguz, and after learning about the history of the vineyard, which dates back to 1750, and speaking with the owner and winemaker Sara herself, we had the honor of tasting many of her wines; including the Almanegra and VETO.
With the tasting over, and a bottle of VETO added to our collection to take home and enjoy again, we said our goodbyes and made our way back to the home so Chef Andrea could prepare our dinner for the evening. It was obviously delicious as we had personally handcrafted the primary ingredients and Chef had done a great job of combining our pasta with a fantastic beef tartare, plus, we had also enjoyed our fair share of wine, so everything was amazing.
As our stay came to an end we didn’t want to leave but we had a seminar to present at Bar Convent Berlin, so we said our goodbyes and headed north. OurRustica is now on our list of places to return to, and we will certainly be back.
If you’re interested, here are some amazing illustrations from OurRustica to help you make your own at home.