On my first day in Bologna, the other BlogVille bloggers and I hopped in van and headed an hour outside of the city to Forlimpopoli, a cute little city halfway between Forli and Cesena. Our first stop of the day was at Casa Artusi, a museum and cooking school dedicated to Pellegrino Artusi, the man who is called the father of Italian gastronomy.
Our adorable tour guide explained the story of Artusi. He published a book called The Science of the Kitchen and the Art of Eating Well, which was a collection of hundreds of recipes that he had collected from friends and others in the Forlimpopoli area. Each recipe also has a story behind it, and after its first publication in 1891, it became very popular. Many new editions were published as Artusi added more recipes, and in more modern times, it has been translated into many different languages. The recipe collection has become a staple in the Italian culture-- even today, it's very common for an Italian bride to receive it as a wedding gift.
As we headed upstairs to start our pasta making class, we passed by a large map on the wall. It was a map of Italy, showing where each recipe in The Science of the Kitchen and the Art of Eating Well originated from.
The recipes from Firenze!
We were given beautiful aprons upon arrival at the cooking school!
About to watch the pros
Making the base for the pasta was fairly simple-- it only needed flour, two eggs, and a good "massage" for about ten minutes.
Showing us how to make the different types of pasta
Cappelletti, traditional for the region. Don't they look like little hats?
After watching the chef, it was our turn! Each of us had a Marietta who helped us out. My Marietta was named Lucia, and when she heard me speak a little bit of Italian to her, she loved it-- especially because she doesn't speak any English!
Learning the art of the fold.
All of the pasta that I made!
The graduates! You can see our pasta making in live action on Youtube!
After we made our pasta, we sat down for a delicious lunch served by the Casa Artusi staff. Here's the menu...
The "welcome" soup. It tasted like Minestrone.
Piadina is the traditional Italian flatbread of the region. It's soft and absolutely delicious.
It smelled and tasted even better than it looks...
Mushroom mold, spelt, fried cardoon and salad
Our lovely dessert
Our next stop -- the Wildt Museum. It was a quiet bus ride as we were all in a food coma...
For more information about Casa Artusi and the pasta making class, visit the Casa Artusi website.