Let’s do a cooking class!
I had prevously organised a cooking class for a group in Assisi and it was a disaster, so I was a little worried this would be the same.
Maurizio picked us up and, as we drove to his family’s home and B&B just outside Modica, we learnt he had spent a year in London perfecting his English. His parents, Maria and Giovanni, greeted us. They did not speak English but with Maurizio’s help and our small amount of Italian, we all understood each other.
Giovanni took us down to the garden to pick the vegetables and herbs needed for lunch.
Peas, larger than we had ever seen, were mixed in with flowers amongst the olive and lemon trees. Broad beans and artichokes grew amongst the herbs and wild fennel.
We ate as many as we picked!

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Maurizio amongst his herbs.

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Peas growing everywhere.

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Produce from the garden.
We started shelling the broad beans and peas which together with the artichokes, would be slowly cooked and then made into a timbale.

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Maurizio was in charge of teaching us to make the bread rolls as well as starting on the Modica chocolates.

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He had also made the pizzetta base the night before to give it extra time to rise, making a softer base. All we had to do was add the caramelized onion, homemade tomato sauce and anchovie and pecorino cheese.

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Pizzettas ready for the oven.

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The final result.
Maria then taught us how to make ricotta and wild fennel balls and black ink arancini with cuttlefish, peas and ricotta. Both were coated in very fine breadcrumbs before frying.

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Maria checking our efforts with the ricotta balls.

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Showing us how to make the arancini.

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Arancini ready to be fried.
Meanwhile, Giovanni was working on the pasta sauce.
Onions were slowly cooked in oil before the saffron, sardines and cooked fennel fronds were added. This was left to simmer for about 20 minutes. The pasta would later be cooked in the same water as was the fennel. Breadcrumbs and garlic were fried to put on top of the pasta.

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Once this was completed, he started preparing the fish.
Herbs were placed in the bottom of a dish and spatola fish fillets laid on top.
Very small gamberoni (shrimp) were placed on top of this before another layer of fish was placed over them.

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We finally sat down to enjoy the taste of our morning’s work

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Ricotta balls and arancini

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Pasta with Sicilian sardine sauce

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Baked fish and potatoes

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Lemon Jelly made by Maurizio.
A very relaxed day in the countryside with a lovely Italian family.

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Modicarte
Tel: +39 0932 751577
www.modicarte.it
Modicarte
Cost of the cooking class is 60E per person. You can choose either a meat or fish based menu.

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The cooking class was recommended by Luca Giannini from ‘Anime a Sud’
Luca has the most popular 2 bedroom apartment in Modica, so book early.
Another property, 50 metres from the Duomo, is due to open in 2012
www.animeasud.it
Anime a Sud