Vatican St. Peters Square

Cooking Class In Rome

On our last trip to Rome my husband planned and scheduled us a day of cooking class in Rome Italy with the well known Chef Fabio Bongianni (read more about Chef Fabio) . Really sounds exciting right? Honestly, strangely enough, I was not to thrilled at first. I mean of course I wanted to meet Chef Fabio (no girls he is not the Fabio with the long hair that adorned Romance novel covers) he is an amazing chef with great reviews. And I did want to learn about Italian cuisine. But… I can cook, I swear, but I don’t. In any case, Kevin does all the cooking. It’s not that I can’t, it is just that I have a husband who loves to cook and took over the kitchen several years ago. Seriously, tell me what women would not allow this to happen too? However, I’m the baker in the family, at least I have that going for me. So when he wanted to go and take local cooking classes in Rome Italy I felt a little out of my element. But at least it was Italian food, that I know! I was definitely up to learn to cook Italian food in a group cooking lesson, especially to make pasta the authentic Roman Italian way.

Fountain of the Four Rivers in Piazza in Rome Italy
Fountain of the Four Rivers in Rome Italy. On our walk to join our cooking school.
Picking out fresh vegetables and fruit in Rome market for cooking school
Rome Open Food Market looking for fresh fruits and vegetables

A Cooking Day In Rome Begins At The Roman Market

Our Italian cookery course day started by us meeting Chef Fabio Bongianni at his restaurant That’s Amore, one of the best places to eat in Rome. Chef introduced us to several people there as well as a couple from Texas, Christine and Scott Walker who would ultimately be cooking with us too. I was happy to see we would be a small group. Soon after introductions we headed to a local market to purchase the fresh food we would be cooking in our little Rome cooking class. I love going to the Italian markets, it so reminds me of the market in Rochester New York that my Grandfather used to take me to. Listening to the language of Italian even as they bargain and haggle, still manages to sound like beautiful music. At this point, Chef Fabio Bongianni asked us each what our favorite was…not a second was wasted on me saying “carciofo” (artichoke), love them! Arguably, you never had a really good artichoke until you had it cooked in a Roman kitchen.

open food market in Rome
Market in Rome to shop for fresh vegetables to cook with
selection of many cheeses in Rome market
So many fresh cheeses to buy in the market to learn to cook with in Rome!

The smell of Italian Cooking

Next we were off to the bakery to buy fresh Italian bread. When you think you have good bread in the states and there are good ones, once you have bread in Italy you learn on how it really is to be made. The smell in the bakery was so heavenly, I could of lived on bread and wine alone. Dragging ourselves out of the bakery we headed across the streets, through a few piazza’s, past a dozen fountains, to our destination to begin Roman cooking at one of the best cooking classes in Rome.

Fountain in the courtyard of the school in Rome
We arrive in the courtyard of where we will learn some cooking skills and love the fountain!
apartment staircase in Rome Italy
What a beautiful staircase to the apartment
ceiling of the staircase at apartment in Rome
Ceiling at the apartment building is beautiful as well

Its Time For Cooking School In Rome Italy Or Time Out?

As we approached a courtyard with it’s own fountains we headed up a beautiful staircase.  This was a bit of a surprise, we were going to be having our cooking lessons in a home not an actual school.  This made it seem so more personable and relaxing.  Instruction began right away from Chef Fabio with his Roman food recipes.  I can not remember everything he taught us, but learning to make the best pasta in Rome was the most fun.  It was easier than I thought it would be, or at least Chef Fabio made it seem easy.  On the other hand, not for some of us.

mixing flour with egg to form pasta
Mixing the flour with egg to hopefully form pasta
learning to make pasta in cooking school
Me trying to learn how to make pasta

The funniest part was Christine in the pasta making class portion, learning to make the pasta seemed to be a bit of a challenge. I am not sure what she was doing but her’s was a complete, well lets say wet mess. The dough was stuck to her hands like paste. Chef Fabio warned us about this happening. At this point, he simply went over to Christine, grabbed her hands and placed them in a bag of flour. He then instructed her to not move and keep her hands there for 5 minutes. We all couldn’t help from laughing at her expression and especially when her husband Scott said “haha you just got put in Chef Time Out”. Lesson one- we learned to make pasta in a Rome cooking school? Your dough too sticky? Put your hands in flour for five minutes and voilà (yes I am injecting a little French here) magic happens.

learning to roll pasta
Kevin is learning to roll pasta
rolling out the pasta
So far our rolling of pasta doesn't look too bad

Here’s What We Made With The Delicious Roman Recipes!

All things considered, the rest of the in Rome cooking experience went pretty smooth. No more “time outs” occurred thankfully. Just how do those Romans cook their food so good? As a matter of fact, we learned a lot about amazing Italian food courses and how to make them at our one day cooking classes in Italy. Here’s what we made for our Italian meal with a great wine pairing too:

  • Tomato sauce
  • Handmade pasta dough
  • Cavatappi w/ broccoli finished with butter and grated parmigiano reggiano
  • Spinach & zucchini ravioli with tomato sauce and basil
  • Carciofi (artichoke) ala romana
  • Spinach & zucchini tortilini
  • Baked eggplant with tomato and basil
  • Bruschetta w/ fresh tomato and basil
  • Strawberries w/ balsamic

Here Are Some Useful Tools To Make Your Own Pasta

Having the right tools for making pasta is important.  However, I loved watching my Grandfather make gnocchi only with potatoes and with his hands.  He used to say it was all in the press of the thumb to make the gnocchi.  To read more on our trips to Italy Italy- Our First European Experience…Hello RomeItaly- Our First European Experience…Hello AssisiThe Experience Of Tracking Down Some Ancestors

Spinach Zucchini Ravioli With Tomato Sauce And Basil
Spinach Zucchini Ravioli With Tomato Sauce And Basil
Cavatappi With Broccoli
Cavatappi With Broccoli
Artichoke And Eggplant made at cooking school in Rome
Artichoke And Eggplant we made at the cooking class
Tortolini that we rolled and cooked in Rome
Tortolini that we rolled and cooked

Would You Like To Learn To Cook In Italy?

No doubt, attending cooking classes in Rome with Italian Chef Fabio Bongianni was a great experience and I would do it again in a heart beat, I highly recommend everyone should learn to cool authentic Italian. In my opinion he has the best cooking classes in Rome. Therefore, on your next trip to Rome and if you are interested in taking Rome cooking classes in Italy look into Chef Fabio’s class, you won’t regret it! In my opinion, one of the best parts was making new friends with Christine and Scott. For this reason, we end up spending the entire day with them roaming the streets of Rome. One day hopefully we will meet up with them again on another adventure! Maybe even on another couples cooking classes, try some food tours or even better learn another popular Roman cuisine; Pizza making!

Table Set To Enjoy Our Food we made learning to cook in Rome
Table Set To Enjoy Our Food we made learning to cook in Rome
Pasta Paired With A Nice bottle of Wine
Pasta Paired With A Nice Wine, time to celebrate!
Toasting to our food we cooked with Chef Fabio Bongianni
Cheers to everything tasting amazing that we cooked with the help from Chef Fabio Bongianni
4 glasses of wine cheers to successful cooking school in Rome
Cheers to our success!

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Comments ( 19 )

  • A Couple of Idiots Abroad

    Rome is my absolute favourite place in the world!!!! There is so much history and so much good food!! I can’t wait to go back!!

    • travelbyasherrieaffair

      Rome is my favorite too! I can not get enough of it- so back we go next year- I think it is my 9th time?!

  • Marvi

    Ahhh.. Sherrie! I really can relate. My husband is a better cook than I am and this is the reason why he’s in charge of the kitchen more. Hahah. But, I’m learning now so I think I’ll be sharing the kitchen too. LOL.
    This is such a cool experience, btw.. I love how it’s such a small class so the Chef can really focus on each of you. Such a productive class indeed! And your dishes looks pretty delicious! Congratulations! 🙂

    • travelbyasherrieaffair

      What I tell my kids- I can cook, but I choose not to, lol My husband took over the kitchen little by little and that was fine with me!

  • Preethika GN

    OMG I stumbled upon this a little ahead of my lunch time and boy I’m ravenously hungry now. Spinach & zucchini ravioli looks amazing. Isn’t it such a joy to go to markets to get the fresh stuff and cook yummy stuff like these..I am no great cook but great going I must say!

    • travelbyasherrieaffair

      Replying to your message, I’m getting hungry myself looking at the food again! Love the markets!!

  • Followingtherivera

    I’m between London and Veneto, so I eat a lot of good Italian food! Carciofi is one of my favourites, followed by melanzane! Looks like you had an amazing time during your cooking class. I hope you brought some of your new knowledge back home with you!

  • Kristina

    Your article made me hungry! I love doing things like this especially when buying the ingredients from local markets in involved

  • Dominic

    A friend of mine owns a cooking school in Paris and keeps trying to get me to come visit. Love the idea of one, have seen plenty while on the go, but have never made the time for it. It looks like a lot of fun and a great way to learn something new. It’s probably a lot cheaper to make your own ravioli than it is to buy at the store, right?

    • travelbyasherrieaffair

      Let me know which cooking school your friend has! My husband wants to do one in Paris too! We love French food, sometimes I think I could be more French than Italian!

  • David

    I would love to try this out! Being able to cook authentic Italian food would save me so much money! The Spinach & zucchini ravioli looks great

  • Adrenaline Romance

    Ahhh those cheeses! My mouth is watering at just the look of them. I’m a frustrated cook, and I experiment on unnamable dishes that sometimes turn out to be disasters. I want to enrol in culinary arts so I can understand the science behind cooking. Unfortunately, here in the Philippines, it’s an expensive course.

    • travelbyasherrieaffair

      My husband has a love of cooking also and loves to experiment. Sometimes it works, sometimes not so much- but thats how he has become a great cook!

  • Ami Bhat

    Cooking classes are so much fun when you do it as a group. I think I enjoy the banter more than the cooking. I can see you whipped up quite a storm there . Those dishes look absolutely yummy,

  • Possess the World

    I had a day at cooking school in the South of France last year and absolutely loved it, I think I might add a Rome one to my list and Fabio sounds like just the man for me. Thanks for sharing this post

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