The New Modern Italian Style of Cooking

by Andrew Stein

Appetizers:
Filangee of Carrots in white balsamic vinegar with black sesame seeds
Pancetta stuffed with prunes in Negroamaro wine sauce

First course:
Tagliolini with Guanciale and filangee of Roman zucchini on yellow pumpkin sauce

Second course:
Veal and pork “Straccetti” in the Pizzaiola style
Eggplant a la “Parmigiana”

Desserts:
Ricotta cheese mousse with Amaretta in “Nectarina” Peach sauce

Wines:
Prosecco di Valdobbiadene DOCG (Veneto)
Primitivo del Salento, Manduria IGT (Puglia)
Muscat de Samos AOC (Greece)

Working the prunes

After a relaxing first day in Rome allowing us all to adjust to the time difference and catch up on sleep where our main activities are eating and visiting the Trevi Fountain not far from the apartment, we were ready for a little more adventure on day two.

Eggplant a la Parmigiana

The most repeated phrase of the day is that we are practicing “the new modern Italian style of cooking.” The theme of this style is to make a healthier version of traditional Italian dishes without sacrificing taste. My brother-in-law, George is most skeptical that such a feat is possible. He cringes as he watches our teacher, Chef Stefano, pour the extra grease from the guanciale down the drain.

Dad chopping away

Although we only sign up for a half day of cooking, our lesson lasts until after 3:00pm. We alternate all day between cooking, eating, cooking, and eating. And when we eat, each course is substantial enough to be its own meal. The filangee of carrots (a.k.a. bed of carrots) in the appetizer would be enough to fill anyone of us up. But this does not stop Shana’s sweet tooth from downing three portions of dessert. The combination of eating and jet lag make some of us quite tired. We all start off really strong as active participants and asking a lot of questions, but by the end, all we can do is eat and laugh. I feel the more tired we got, the more we laughed. The meal was delicious and as a family activity, cooking was a great choice.

Taking good notes