Chef Andrea of Trastevere teaches Roman cucina

Carciofi alla Romana, Roman Style Artichokes, pre-steam

Instructing us on the fine art of sauteing garlic in its skin in olive oil. The skin contains all of the nutrients and anti-oxidants. (Charming, handsome, Italian-accented chef not included in cooking class purchase).

Cooking the cherry tomato sauce for the straccetti di manzo

Slice into this perfectly cooked artichoke with your knife and it will give way like a softened stick of butter. Steaming whole artichokes is extremely tricky business but absolutely worth it. This simple dish with one solo star has got to be one of the best things I’ve ever eaten.

Chef Andrea ever so carefully whipping eggs in a crater of flour for the chocolate souffles.

Fresh homemade tagliolini all’amatriciana (homemade pasta with bacon sauce)

Straccetti di Manzo con Pachino, Rughetta e Scaglie di Parmigiano (paper thin beef with arugula, cherry tomatoes, and shaves of parmesan cheese)

Carciofi Alla Romana:

Ingredients (4 servings): 4 artichokes, Roman style mint (or parsley), 1 garlic clove, 4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil, 1/2 glass lukewarm water, salt & pepper

The artichokes we used at Andrea Consoli’s cooking class were called ‘violetti’ (purple) and are excellent to fry or to stuff. Tear off the outside leaves until you get to a layer of brighter leaves.

Peel the stem all the way down to the collar, leaving as much of the stem as possible. Immediately rub with lemon to avoid losing the pigment.

Using a sharp carving knife, hold the knife horizontal to the stem, making sure to use only the point of the knife. Start carving where the brighter part of the leaf ends and the purple starts. Cut one layer at a time, always moving up on a spiral. Rub with lemon again. Once cut, leave them all in a bowl of water with lemon until you are ready to stuff them.

Stuff the artichokes with mint leaves (or parsley), a little chopped garlic, and salt and pepper.

Place the artichokes upside down (stem up) into a pot just large enough to contain them. Pour extra virgin olive oil over them and let fry for a few minutes. Add half a glass of water, cover the pot, and cook until tender, usually about 20-25 minutes. Serve them warm. Buon appetito!

Chef Andrea’s suggested wine pairing: Frascati Spumante. “It’s a pure Frascati grape Spumante handmade produced with the Champenoise Method from the Winery Cantina San Marco ed. 2007.” 

Fresh Homemade Tagliolini all’Amatriciana

Ingredients for pasta (4 servings): 4 cups sifted all purpose flour, 4 eggs

Ingredients for sauce: 8 oz diced guanciale (or pancetta if cannot find), 3 lb can tomatoes, peeled and chopped (preferably San Marzano), 1 medium onion finely chopped, 1 carrot, 1 stalk celery, 1 small red chili pepper, seeded and chopped (Andrea used chili flakes instead), salt and pepper, 1 cup pecorini or reggiano, 2 bay leaves

Saute the guanciale in a large frying pan over medium heat until lightly browned, about 5 minutes.

In the meantime, in a large frying pan over low heat, stir in the ‘soffritto’ made from carrots, celery, and onion with extra virgin olive oil. Cook until it starts to brown. Turn the heat to medium-high and add a little dry white wine if you’d like.

Add the chopped tomatoes and cook for 15-30 minutes, depending on how much sauce you’re making. Add the guanciale, bay leaves, and chili pepper. Mix well and season with salt and pepper.

For the pasta dough: mix the flour with the eggs. Roll out the dough to a thin, almost transparent sheet on a lightly floured marble surface. Then cut the pasta into whatever shape you would like. We used a pasta machine to feed it through to make long, thin tagliolini.

Let the pasta sit and rest for a few hours before cooking. When ready to cook, bring a large pot of boiling water to a boil. Toss in a tbsp of salt with the pasta. Stir to keep the pasta from sticking. Cook 1 or 2 minutes.

If you are using dried pasta, look for Bucatini by De Cecco. Use 1 lb for 4 people and cook according to directions.

Drain the pasta and add it to the frying pan with the amatriciana sauce. Add freshly grated cheese. Serve hot.

Andrea’s suggested wine pairing: Marmorelle. Frascati Superiore DOC-pure Frascati grapes from the Winery Principe Pallavicini ed. 2009. 

Straccetti di Manzo con Pachino, Rughetta e Scaglie di Parmigiano (paper thin beef with arugula, cherry tomatoes, and shaved parmesan)

Ingredients (4 servings): 1/2 lb paper thin slices of sirloin or beef, 1 garlic clove, 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil, 1 bunch fresh organic arugula, 1/2 lb sliced cherry tomatoes , salt, 9 oz freshly grated parmigiano reggiano

Heat 3 tbsp of oil in a large frying pan over high heat. Saute a clove of garlic, smashed without peeling the skin (Andrea taught us that the skin contains all of the nutrients and anti-oxidants). Once the oil is warm, toss in the diced tomatoes. Saute for a few minutes until they become slightly soft.

Once soft, add the meat and season with salt. Cook until meat is nicely browned but still tender and soft. Then add the arugula. Mix everything in the pan.

In the meantime, prepare a dish with a bed of arugula on it. Season with salt and pepper. Layer the meat and tomatoes over it and grate parmigiano reggiano over the meat. Buon appetito.

Chocolate Souffle

Ingredients for 6 souffle: 1 cup unsalted butter, 1 cup dark chocolate (use Callebaut, Ghirardelli, or any other good dark chocolate for baking min. 70% dark), 1 1/4 cup confectioner sugar, 1/2 cup sifted all purpose flour, 2 whole eggs, 3 egg yolks

Combine 1 cup of butter and 1 cup dark chocolate in the top of a double boiler over a water bath. Set aside and let cool.

In the meantime, using a whisk, beat the 2 whole eggs with the 3 egg yolks and 1 cup of sugar and 1/2 cup of all purpose flour until very thick and light in color. With a wooden spoon, stir in the chocolate mixture until smooth.

To assemble, spray a baking dish with non-stick spray and pour the mixture into it. Or pour into ramekins if you’d like individual servings. Bake for 12-15 minutes at 350 degrees. Cover the whole cake with icing sugar and grated unsweetened chocolate if you’d like.

Wine pairing: Cannellino. A Passito wine with Frascati grapes from the Winery Cantina San Marco ed. 2008. Sweet wine for desserts.

Recipes courtesy of Andrea Consoli, the most charming, likable, and talented chef in Roma. Do not miss out on his cooking class. Cooking Classes in Rome. 

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