Italians Cook?

We all know that Italian food is some of the best. I think we had Italian in every country we were in, it’s just so easy and all delicious. But after Cinque Terre and Florence, the constant pasta, pizza, and bread was getting old. By the time we arrived in Rome, I was not looking forward to eating it yet again. But that all quickly changed.

For our first dinner in Rome, we had the opportunity to make it ourselves. I will be the first to admit I am a terrible chef. My family never really got into cooking, and as the kids in my family grew up, we just became more and more self sufficient regarding food and meals. Take out was key. At school, the BLUU always had my back. So walking into a professional kitchen with some self proclaimed foodies was not exactly high on my list of priorities.

As soon as we walked in, our teacher and Chef, Cesare greeted us with a smile and put us at ease. He told us to put down our bags and grab an apron. We all spread out around the kitchen and found a cutting board and knife. We cut our own tomatoes and broccoli, stuffed zucchini flowers, and made pasta dough. We took turns stirring the sauces and all helped flatten the pasta dough to roll into noodles. Everything was so easy! Cesare had a whole team who’s job was to help us and clean up our messes in between tasks. If cooking was this easy, I’d be doing it all the time!

After all of the prep work was done, the kids went upstairs and sat at a long table. The adults all stayed behind downstairs. The atmosphere was immediately light and carefree. For the first time in weeks, we were not concerned about being too loud or rude around other restaurant customers. We laughed, we talked, and we sang. Cesare’s team served us our meal, everything we had made. It was absolutely phenomenal! Each one of us was proud that our hands had been somewhere in that food.

Eventually, Cesare came upstairs and told us to quiet down, because a neighbor (well he really said “an old cranky lady with nothing better to do”) had made a noise complaint. We all giggled and agreed to pipe down. After all, we had been screaming and laughing, but it was so delightful none of us wanted to stop.

When the evening was over, we were all blissfully content. We had eaten amazing food prepared by ourselves, and enjoyed each others company while acting like children. An activity that was not super exciting for me, became one of my favorite memories of Rome. Just spending time with these people is enough to make any experience fun. So Italian food is good, but our Italian was even better because of the people we shared it with.