Thursday, January 22, 2009

Italian Night

During our trip to Italy in November, Nan and I had the privilege of cooking with Alessandra in her kitchen in Cortona. It was a highlight of our trip. We shopped with Alessandra for the food and spent the day learning the techniques required to prepare an authentic Italian meal.

For the past couple of months, we have been perfecting our new skills. Steve, Cheryl, Bailey, Laura, Kenny and Edwin joined us as we prepared our favorites from the class. For the antipasti, we served Alessandra's Meatballs with proscuitto, a selection of cheeses, No Knead Bread, and the olive oil we purchased in Cortona.

The main dish was Shrimp and Asparagus Risotto. I'll be honest, the shrimp was delicious, the risotto was creamy, but there was something lacking in the flavor of the dish.

For dessert, we served Panna Cotta with Balsamic Strawberries and Blueberries . It reminded me of our meal with Leo in Cortona. Panna Cotta is one of those great desserts that you can make the day before. The taste is slightly sweet, but not heavy, with a wonderful vanilla flavor. The balsamic vinegar gives the fruit a tangy sweet finish. This will be one of my "go to" recipes for entertaining.

It was a great evening of good food, wine and friends! A special thanks to Laura and Bailey for the Georgia shrimp!


  1. Looks like great food and lots of fun!

  2. It was so much fun cooking some of our new Italian foods.