Burro e Salvia, London
If you’ve enjoyed a meal at Burro e Salvia in Shoreditch or East Dulwich, roll up your sleeves and get stuck in learning how to make your own pasta from scratch the next time you visit by signing up for one of the company’s three types of fresh pasta workshops.
From lasagna sheets to tagliatelle, or tagliolini made from fresh egg and flour pasta, go for one of the basic pasta-making classes. For a more advanced session, try a filled pasta workshop and learn to work with different shapes and fillings for tortelli and cardinali. Or opt for the semolina pasta workshop and work with water-based dough and pasta shapes including ‘ear-shaped’ orecchiette.
Venturi’s Table, London
If you fancy getting a group of friends together for some homemade Italian food and fine wine, sign up for one of Venturi’s Table cookery school’s private group classes in London. Menus are tailored to suit all types of dietary requirements and for any occasion including hen parties, stag dos, birthdays and children’s parties.
Hire one of their exclusive kitchens and create a bespoke menu from a wide variety of dishes (carpaccio, fresh pasta and homemade pizza among them), and learn how to make your chosen dishes with the help of the school’s professional chefs. At the end of the class, sit down to an Italian dinner party feast and enjoy all the food you’ve made.
The Bertinet Kitchen Cookery School, Bath
The Bertinet Kitchen, in Bath, runs a range of relaxed and imaginative courses for food lovers, including many that have an Italian twist. If you’re looking for an Italian pasta- or bread-making class this is the place.
Learn how to make your own fresh tagliatelle from scratch, for instance, by joining Valentina Harris (author of Perfect Pasta) for an intensive pasta-making class. In this hands-on workshop, students are shown how to make various past shapes, from spaghetti to ravioli, as well as how to cook baked pasta dishes. And of course, the class wouldn’t be complete without learning how to make the perfect tomato sauce.
Manna from Devon Cooking School, Devon
If you’re planning on buying or building a wood-fired oven to make the perfect Italian stone-baked pizza, then Manna from Devon Cooking School, in the small Devon village of Kingswear, is a good place to get to polish your technique first.
Its in-depth one-day courses for beginners (or those wishing to improve their cooking skills) include an introductory Wood Fired-Mastering Your Oven class focused on how wood-fired ovens work – and how versatile they can be in cooking.
If you’re keen for a more hands-on challenge, the school’s Wood Fired-Baking And Slow Cooking class focuses, instead, on baking, braising and barbecuing. Take your wood-fired cooking skills to a new level by learning how to make the perfect flatbreads, roast pork with crispy crackling and much more.
Denman WI Cookery School, Oxford
In the picturesque village of Marcham, outside Oxford, Denman is the WI’s centre for learning. Among its vast range of courses (many of which, unsurprisingly, focus on baking) are day and weekend courses based around Italian cooking. The A Taste of Italy residential course is led by acclaimed cook and food writer Lindy Wildsmith and offers participants an immersive introduction to Italian cuisine and culture.
Over the course of two days, students learn conversational Italian, discover the history of Italy and put their newfound knowledge into practice as they prepare a selection of classic Italian dishes. Tuition, accommodation, breakfast, morning coffee and pastries, two-course lunches, afternoon tea and three-course dinners are all included in the price and the course is open to participants of all abilities, be they WI-members or non-members.
The Jamie Oliver Cookery School, London
For an informative all-day masterclass that will introduce you to the basics of Italian cookery, London’s Jamie Oliver Cookery School is a safe bet. From beautiful focaccia breads to the perfect risotto and an indulgently creamy tiramisu, expect to spend the day creating classic Italian dishes with a glass of prosecco or two to help things along.
Classes are open to participants of all levels of experience and, if you want to get all the family involved, the school also offers lessons in pasta and pizza-making for kids.
Nick Nairn Cook School, Aberdeen
At the Nick Nairn Cook School, in Aberdeen, you can learn the secrets of making a fine Italian two-course meal on a gluten-free diet during a dedicated masterclass. Over the course of three hours, guests learn how to make a lightly spiced gnocchi (using potato and rice flour) with a smoked haddock cream sauce as well as a tempting chocolate, almond and pear tart with red wine syrup and creamy amaretto sabayon.
Valvona & Crolla, Edinburgh
Established in Edinburgh in 1934, Scotland’s oldest Italian deli and wine store often holds good value tastings and cookery demonstrations in its Caffè Bar. This May, for instance, sees the return of Giancarlo Russo, Professor of Gastronomy, for an evening pairing cheeses with delicious new wines. Expect a really informative run-down on how to pair different Italian wines with seasonal spring cheeses from regions ranging from Tuscany to the island of Sardinia.
Lime Wood Hotel, Hampshire
Go behind the scenes of the Hartnett Holder & Co kitchen at Hampshire’s Lime Wood Hotel and learn how to make authentic Italian pizza from scratch. Its bite-size Pizza Perfect course is a great way to pick up new skills in a condensed and fast-paced session.
In this two-hour class, participants learn how to make pizza from scratch and create delicious toppings using fresh ingredients – a great way to turn up the volume at your next pizza party.
La Cucina Caldesi Cookery School, London
This Italian cookery school, based in the heart of London, hosts a great variety of cooking courses throughout the year. These cover all bases with dishes from every Italian region but one of the most popular courses is the 30 Minutes Italian Menus class, which teaches students how to make great Italian food fast.
In this busy class, Italian chef Stefano Borella demonstrates how to master 10 carefully selected Italian dishes that can be made in half an hour or less. Typical recipes include seasonal Italian starters, fresh pasta sauces and impressive desserts such as ‘torta caprese’ (an almond and chocolate tart).
Listen to our cookery team as they share their expert tips on cooking perfect pasta
olive magazine podcast ep61 – how to cook perfect pasta and an expert guide to sherry
Words by Eileen Malone