Slow Lake Como Food Partners Max

One of the most interesting collaborations of Slow Lake Como is the Food Partner Max, who is one of the founders of the project Cibo Raccontato (which means “narrated food”) and also a teacher of our pasta and pizza experiences. Max likes feeding people with love and prepare food with passion combined with fun and curiosity. The only thing he is proud of, he says, he can make a unique spaghetti tomato dish.
However, there are so many things he should be proud of: for example, in 2012, he started the project Cibo Raccontato, with Marina Romanò and Monica Cattaneo created an educational project part of  “Corto Circuito” cooperating with the fair trade “Isola che c’è”.

In the beginning, the project was focused on classes about food education: some examples of classes were about how to make food in the correct way and how to avoid food poisoning. However, those seminars with presentations were not as impactful as Max and colleagues would have wished them to be. For this reason, they decided to change approach by not only showing and telling but also listening: he tried to invite a cheesemaker or a farmer and give the audience the opportunity to talk directly to them. In this way, people could feel their passion and the work behind the ingredient, which then leads to the final dish made of hard work and passion. People liked a lot this change and so

For Max, cooking has never been a business but an educational laboratory where he creates the economy of relationships. In fact, he loves the sentence from Michael Bourdin “cooking is a way of giving”, as food becomes a gift for others to enjoy. For this reason, Max prepares food putting a secret ingredient: love. His philosophy is that no one would cook bad food for people he or she cares about, so in his practice, he believes he does not only give dishes but also good practices. All his years of cooking experiences are collected in the cookbook called “CortoBio kitchen”.

One of the lessons that Max learned from his experience and from where you can understand his humility is that he believes we must respect Mother Earth and especially give dignity to the people working in the agriculture, putting so much effort to give us quality products. We can make a change according to him and it is all about working with the short supply chain and be in contact with producers.

slow lake como food partners Max

 

Source:

All these lessons and even more are part of the pasta and pizza experiences organized with Slow Lake Como and Max, where people can learn not only how to cook but also understand the ingredients used in the recipes, all coming from local farmers, of course.

Mariya,
Discover the activities on Lake Como Italy with us, click here discover our tours! or ask about our tours in Lake Como
info@slowlakecomo.com mobile +39 392 027 9675.

NOT TO MISS:

The tours, courses, and events promoted by Slow Lake Como allow you to sample local products coming into contact with farmers, artisans and producers of local foods. 

Lake Como cooking classe how to make pizza 2

Pizza is a traditional Italian food and Lake Como is a great place to learn how to make pizza and also to taste it. Pizza can be found in different variations and it is so appreciated that in 2017 it has become a UNESCO heritage. It is interesting to learn about the real history of pizza: it is said that it was invented by the chef Esposito in 1889 for the visit of Queen Margherita of Savoy. The originality of the pizza was that it looked like the Italian flag with red made of tomatoes, white from mozzarella and green of basil and it was named in honor of the Queen Margherita. However, pizza appears also before in 1866 in the book “Customs and Traditions of Naples” from De Bouchard, and it is said that it was invented for the working class, who required inexpensive food that could be consumed quickly but it was the Esposito’s version that made it popular and symbol of Italian food culture.

Nowadays, there are many versions of pizza form the cheapest ones to the most expensive ones like the one invented by the pizzaiolo Renato Viola, named Luigi XII, which is worth 8,300 euros. The ingredients are biological certified flour and Australian pink salt, three types of caviar, red prawns, lobster, sea cicada, fish eggs and Cognac Louis XII Remy Martin. Moreover, it is also served with a champagne bottle. Another version of pizza very famous in Naples is the fried pizza, which was born after the war as a response of the Neapolitan people. In fact, after the world war, eating pizza was expensive not only because of the ingredients but also because bombings destroyed the ovens. The dough of fried pizza is the same, the only difference is that instead of being cooked in an oven, it is soaked in red-hot oil.

Since 2009, Pizza Margherita was given the Traditional Guaranteed Speciality EU label together with other two pizzas’ types: Pizza Marinara with garlic and oregano, and Margherita Extra made of mozzarella di Bufala DOP, tomatoes and basil.

Lake Como cooking classe how to make pizza

Source: pizza in the wood-brick oven  https://www.italymagazine.com/featured-story/pizza-margherita-history-and-recipe

These pizzas are certified because in order to make them it is necessary to use quality ingredients and a special procedure: first of all, 3 mm thick disk of dough with 1-2 cm of crust are needed. Moreover, the pizza should be made by hand without machinery and the pizza needs to be cooked in a wood-brick oven at 485°C for about 90 seconds.

Here it is the original Pizza Margherita recipe registered in the “Disciplinare di Produzione della Specialità Tradizionale Garantita Pizza Napoletana”. To make the dough you have to mix flour, salt, water and yeast and it should be smooth and extensible. After letting the dough to rest for 2 hours it should be divided in portions of 180 grams each and let them rise for other 4-6 hours. After this, when the dough is ready, you need to roll it until it becomes 3 mm thick and has 1-2 cm edge. For the filling, take 70 g chopped tomatoes and put and spread them in the center of the disk of dough. Then, add DOP mozzarella and some basil leaves. At the end, put some extra virgin olive oil and cook at a temperature between 450C° to 480C°. pay attention to change the position of the pizza frequently so that the heat is spread.

Lake Como cooking classe how to make pizza 2

Source: the original pizza Margherita https://www.italymagazine.com/featured-story/pizza-margherita-history-and-recipe

Slow Lake Como organizes unique cooking classes in the Lake Como area. How to make pizza is one of our most appreciated experiences. The philosophy behind is that food is not only nutrition but also culture, history, and passion. With the teacher, you will make your own pizza and of course taste it is the perfect way to finish the class.

References:

Mariya,
Discover the activities on Lake Como Italy with us, click here discover our tours! or ask about our tours in Lake Como
info@slowlakecomo.com mobile +39 392 027 9675.

NOT TO MISS:

The tours, courses, and events promoted by Slow Lake Como allow you to sample local products coming into contact with farmers, artisans, and producers of local foods. 

cooking class Slow Lake Como + Abroad a foreigner

Italy is the perfect place where you can learn how to make homemade pasta, at Slow Lake Como, in the Lake Como area we have fantastic cooking classes. One of the most appreciated types of fresh pasta we teach how to make is called tagliatelle.

cooking class Slow Lake Como + Abroad a foreigner

Tagliatelle has an interesting story and origin: the name “tagliatelle” comes from the Italian word cut “taglio” made on the thin dough. The origin is from Emilia Romagna, a region in the central-northern part of Italy but it is spread all over the country. Already in the ancient past, the poet Orazio mentioned the special dough used to make tagliatelle, giving us the first historical reference about it.
According to a legend, tagliatelle were invented in 1478 by mastro Zefirano, the personal chef of Giovanni II Bentivoglio for the wedding of his son with Lucrezia, the daughter of Ercole d’Este. The chef was inspired by the beauty of Lucrezia and created the tagliatelle. A curiosity is that during fascism, Filippo Marinetti, writer inventor of Futurism, proposed the abolition of tagliatelle and maccheroni, as he considered them not so masculine, but it was a never listened to provocation.

To be perfect its width must be 8 millimeters corresponding to the 12.270th part of the Asinelli tower in Bologna (and about 7 mm when it is raw). The Confraternity of Tortellino and the Italian Academy of Cuisine in 1972 deposited the measure at the Chamber of Commerce of Bologna. And it is in the Palazzo della Mercanzia that there is a reproduction of an 8 mm gold tagliatella. However, there is no coding for the thickness, usually between 6 and 8 tenths of a millimeter. The tagliatella should be enjoyed strictly with meat sauce (“ragù”). The Bolognese one is so tasty because it is slow-cooked for hours on the stove.
There are different options of tagliatelle: in Lazio, this type of pasta is called Fettuccine, it is narrower in size than Emilian noodles, but they are usually seasoned with ragù. In Tuscany the most commonly used condiment is porcini mushrooms or wild boar ragu, while in the Marche they are considered a typical dish and are seasoned with various types of ragù, including duck. In Veneto they are used to prepare pasta and beans.

cooking class - fresh pasta - Slow Lake Como - Como

Here is the recipe of tagliatelle dough:

  • Flour 300 g
  • Eggs 3
  • Salt 1 pinch

For the ragù:

  • Beef 200 g
  • Bacon 50 g
  • Onion 1/2
  • Carrot 1
  • Celery 1
  • Tomatoes
  • Red wine 1 glass
  • Broth
  • 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt to taste
  • Pepper as needed

Here is the procedure: brown the bacon in a few tablespoons of oil, add a mixture prepared with vegetables. Finally, add the meat and brown it until it has reached a nice uniform brown color. Sprinkle with wine, let it evaporate and add the tomato paste, salt, pepper, and a little broth. Cook over low heat for a couple of hours, adding more broth if necessary. Mix the flour with the eggs and a pinch of salt, working the dough until you get a mixture of firm consistency. Roll out the dough into very thin sheets and cut into strips about one centimeter wide. Boil in plenty of salted water, drain it al dente and season with the previously prepared sauce.

Thanks to Slow Lake Como anyone can become a chef for a day and make homemade tagliatelle using healthy quality materials provided by local farmers. Making of pasta is a form of art: it is not only about cooking and eating but also understanding the products used in the recipes and the local traditions.
https://slowlakecomo.com/product/lake-como-cooking-classes-how-to-make-homemade-pasta/?lang=en

Lake Como food info from:

Mariya,
Discover the activities on Lake Como Italy with us, click here discover our tours! or ask about our tours in Lake Como
info@slowlakecomo.com mobile +39 392 027 9675.

NOT TO MISS:

The tours, courses, and events promoted by Slow Lake Como allow you to sample local products coming into contact with farmers, artisans and producers of local foods. 

Hostaria La Costa_Slow Lake Como partner

One of our favorite food partner on Lake Como is the inn La Costa, which cooperates with Slow Lake Como for many gastronomic events linked to the local cuisine. This tavern has an interesting history going back to the 17th century when it was a typical Lombard farmhouse. Then at the beginning of 1900, it became an inn and was visited by farmers who wanted to drink some wine and enjoy themselves after the hard work on the field. After them, it was the time for day laborers to come to La Costa. In the ’60s the inn was transformed into a pizza restaurant and now it is not only a pizzeria but also a restaurant and it has a more modern look, however, it has a link to the past thanks to the investment done to restore the furniture.

Nowadays, La Costa offers a cuisine based on the seasonal proposal, maintaining a close link with the territory. Its pride is the production of local salame and fresh homemade pasta, all the ingredients are carefully researched and selected. 70% of the products are produced and grown by the inn, as it tries to be more independent from suppliers. Pizzas are made with the best ingredients and respecting the tradition by cooking them in a wood oven. Some of the local dishes include meat, risotto, local cheese, gnocchi, lasagne, pizzoccheri, hand-made cakes, and regional wine.

Hostaria La Costa_Slow Lake Como partners

Moreover, there is the possibility to organize banquets, refreshments, business lunches, private parties and wine tasting evenings to satisfy every customer request. In fact, Slow Lake Como often organizes gastronomic events at La Costa. One example is the event about the local dish Paradell, which was eaten by farmers as it uses simple ingredients such as flour, eggs, water or milk, and sugar/salt. Today we use to cook it using sugar but in the past, it was a salty dish and for this reason during the event participants have the opportunity to cook it traditionally using salt. Here is the recipe: mix white flour in milk or water with a pinch of salt, adding a whole egg until everything is well blended. Then put a pan on the fire with seed oil and pour the whole mixture into it, adding as desired, a good fresh or dried American grape. When browned on one side, the Paradell is turned upside down for complete cooking. Then it is cut into slices.

The environment where the restaurant-inn La Costa is located and where the events are held is in the Mills Valley (Valle dei Mulini): it is where many mills once worked and where the authenticity and traditions are still kept alive. The inn is an example of how to maintain local flavors and be modern at the same time: a place where different generations can meet, ideal for locals to rediscover the past and for tourists to discover the food of Lake Como in a different light.

Hostaria La Costa_Slow Lake Como partner

The inn in the past, Facebook site of hostaria la costa

Mariya,
Discover the activities on Lake Como Italy with us, click here discover our tours! or ask about our tours in Lake Como
info@slowlakecomo.com mobile +39 392 027 9675.

NOT TO MISS:

The tours, courses, and events promoted by Slow Lake Como allow you to sample local products coming into contact with farmers, artisans and producers of local foods. 

Slow Lake Como cooking classes how to make risotto

Slow Lake Como activities are exploring everything that is local and interesting, today we are glad to share more about Lake Como cooking classes and risotto.

Origins

The legend says that the risotto alla Milanese (literally translated into rice of Milan) has its origins back in 1574 with the artist Valerio from Flanders and his assistant, who was called Saffron as he was used to mixing yellow with all the colors in the artistic creations of Valerio. At the wedding of Valerio’s daughter, Saffron wanted to make a joke by adding the spice saffron in the rice to make it yellow. However, the guests liked both the taste of it and its color as it was cheerful and perfect for the wedding.

Saffron is the secret ingredient of the “risòtt giald” (another name of the rice in dialect, which means yellow rice). It is a plant whose flower can be light violet or purple with three red threads, from which the yellow powder comes from. This powder has also other useful applications such as in liquors and as digestive. The countries where it is grown are the warmest one such as India, Persia, Greece, and Spain but later also in Italy (Sardegna and the territory around L’Aquila). In fact, the Sforza family used saffron for their rich Milanese banquets as it was considered a symbol for material and spiritual richness, abundance, prosperity, and joy. Moreover, the yellow color is associated with immortality. It was considered such a precious spice that a half kilo of saffron was exchanged for a horse!

Another funny legend says that the yellow risotto is a relative of Arancini: a typical dish from Sicily. The legend is about a cook who moved from Sicily to Milan and wanted to make Arancini, but because she didn’t have all the ingredients to fill in the dish, she used the yellow rice of Milan.

Slow Lake Como cooking classes how to make risotto_arancini

Photo1. Slow Lake Como cooking classes how to make risotto (source www.ilgiornaledelcibo.it)

Here below you can find a comparison of both the traditional and the modern versions of the recipe.

How to make risotto: Original Recipe

Ingredients for 6 people:

  • 30 g of beef marrow or minced beef
  • 2-3 l of hot broth
  • Two tablespoons of dark and light beef roast fat (if missing put the marrow up to 60 g)
  • Small onion finely treated
  • A tuft of saffron pistils or a bag of saffron
  • Salt
  • Grated parmesan cheese
  • 50 g of butter

This recipe is approved and registered with the status De.Co. in the City of Milan since 2007, which means that the dish is belonging to the territory of Milan. This recognition makes it possible to spread the risotto alla Milanese abroad but also conserving its roots. For this reason, the risotto was the protagonist at the famous exhibition EXPO 2015 in Milan.

Lake Como cooking classes: Risotto alla Milanese 2.0

Ingredients for 4 people

  • 400 g of carnaroli rice
  • 1/2 white onion
  • A glass of still white wine
  • 2 bags of saffron from Abruzzo or Sardinian
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • 240g of butter
  • Parmigiano Reggiano or Grana Padano (grated)
  • A good meat broth

The difference between the traditional recipe and the new one is in the use of fat instead of wine: the traditional version uses an animal fat, while in the modern version the fat is substituted by the wine.

Slow Lake Como cooking classes how to make risotto

Photo2. Slow Lake Como cooking classes how to make risotto alla Milanese, source:.italiasquisita.net

Personally I love traditions and keep things like in the past, but in this case, I am happy about the 2.0 version of the risotto using wine instead of meat fat. It still keeps the main ingredients with a slight modification: both modern and tasty, which aligns also with our Lake Como cooking classes’ values.

References:

Mariya,
Discover the activities on Lake Como Italy with us, click here discover our tours! or ask about our tours in Lake Como
info@slowlakecomo.com mobile +39 392 027 9675.

Lake Como cooking classes are:

Homemade pasta 
Homemade pizza
Let’s make risotto

NOT TO MISS:

The tours, courses, and events promoted by Slow Lake Como allow you to sample local products coming into contact with farmers, artisans, and producers of local foods. 

lake como cooking classes oil

The Como area has an ancient olive growing tradition. This is thanks to its particular micro climate. The lake mitigates the rigid winter temperatures.  A group of Greek settlers following Julius Caesar’s army might have started the cultivation of olive trees in the area.
Taste the oil of this land and learn about it’s ancient production and tradition during Lake Como cooking classes by Slow Lake Como.

In 1997 it obtained the coveted recognition of Protected Designation of Origin (PDO) Laghi Lombardi, sub-designation Lario from the European Union. The rigid  production guidelines demand  manual harvesting of olives to maintain the high quality of the product using small mechanical tree shakers, usually in the month of November. The production zone includes 29 municipalities in the province of Como, situated along the western shore of the Lario, in particular in the so-called Zoca de l’Oli (or Oil Basin) between Sala Comacina and Ossuccio, and in the North Lake area, in the Triangolo Lariano (between Bellagio and Oliveto Lario) and on the shores of Lake Lugano (Porlezza and Valsolda). Local olives are pressed at one of the two mills on the lake: one in Lenno on the Como shore of the lake and the other in Bellano. 

lake como cooking classes oil

Lake Como cooking classes:

Home made pasta
Home made pizza
Home made bread
Farmhouse made cheese

The tours, courses and events promoted by slow lake como allow you to sample local products coming into contact with farmers, artisans and producers of local foods. 

lake como cooking classes - cheese making

Cheese making is the most important activity for farms in the Como area, discover how to make it with Lake Como cooking classes by Slow Lake Como.

Both fresh and mature cheeses are made using cows’ milk, goats’milk or a combination of both.

Cows’milk cheeses include typical Semuda, magro di Bellagio, Lariano di latteria and Lariano di alpeggio, whilst goat’s cheeses include Lariano di capra (both fresh and mature) and goat cheese obtained with lactic and presamic coagulation. 

Mixed milk cheeses include Zincarlin, made from whey or ricotta with the addition of herbs and pepper. Semüda is made from unpasteurized skimmed cow’s milk, rennet and salt. Its shape is usually cylindrical (average diameter 20-30 cm), with a maximum height of 8 cm and a weight of 2 – 4 kilograms.

Pastures of the Lake Como  area boast great quality and variety in terms of composition of vegetation and flora, which have been selected over time by the mild and temperate climate.

Moist and fertile soils that are slightly inclined, altitudes that are never too high and sunny slopes are very  favourable conditions.

Over the centuries, the practice of taking animals to mountain pastures has become increasingly popular among small local communities that, have selected autochthonous cow and goat breeds and chosen dairy and cheese-making techniques that are deeply rooted in the food culture and habits of their lands of origin.

In the autumn-winter period and in early spring, milk was given to the rotational dairies of the area. Today, many farmers have opened their own small cheese-making factories in order to directly sell to the public.

lake como cooking classes - cheese making

Lake Como cooking classes:

Home made pasta
Home made pizza
Home made bread
Farmhouse made cheese

The tours, courses and events promoted by slow lake como allow you to sample local products coming into contact with farmers, artisans and producers of local foods.

Lake Como cooking classes - wine

The viticulture in the area around Lake Como has very ancient origins. The two most important production areas are the hills of Brianza, in the Montevecchia and Valle del Curone Park, and the North Lake Como. Since the end of the 1800 a number of reasons (HAS) caused the gradual abandonment of the terraces.

In recent years we have seen a new impetus to viticulture leading to achieve important awards. In 2008 the wines produced in the area  obtained the recognition of I.G.T.Controlled Origin Denomination “Terre Lariane”.

The procedural guideline includes both white and red wines.

IGT “Terre Lariane” wines once ready for drinking have the following characteristics:

  • “Terre Lariane” white: pale yellow color; a fine, floral and mineral scent; typical dry and savory flavor; 10,50% minimum alcohol by volume; minimum total sourness 5,00 g/l;
  • “Terre Lariane” red: ruby-red color; intense, fruity, spicy scent; typical savory and fresh flavor; 11.99% minimum alcohol by volume; minimum total sourness 4,50 g/l;
  • “Terre Lariane” rosé: cherry-pink color; a fine, floral scent; typical distinctive, dry taste; 11.00% minimum alcohol by volume; minimum total sourness 4,50 g/l.

The red grapes varieties are: Barbera, Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Croatina, Marzemino, Merlot, Sangiovese and Schiava. They produce fairly full-bodied red wines, to be drunk young, characterized by intense vinous aromas and hints of berries.

The white grapes varieties are: Chardonnay, Pinot Blanc, Riesling, Riesling Italico, Sauvignon, Trebbiano Toscano and Verdese. They produce white, mainly vintage, drinkable wines, characterized by good freshness and a discrete body. The scents that can be found are of wildflowers, fresh fruit and sometimes you can smell vague hints of sage.

Lake Como cooking classes - wine

Lake Como cooking classes are:

Home made pasta
Home made pizza
Home made bread
Farmhouse made cheese

The tours, courses and events promoted by slow lake como allow you to sample local products coming into contact with farmers, artisans and producers of local foods. 

 

Discover the specialty foods with lake como cooking classes

Visiting an area means discovering its history and  culture, but also enjoying the aromas and flavours that the local cuisine has to offer, we also suggest you to learn how to make it your own attending lake como cooking classes.

Lake Como offers a real gastronomic treasure, from lake fish to cheese, cold cuts and meat-based dishes.
Missoltini (sun-dried shad) Larian-style tench, pike fillets, risotto with perchmaltagliati with lavaret roe and famous traditional Lombard dishes such as casseoula all accompanied by  polenta uncia and tocc, and washed down with some good local red or white wine, are just some of the dishes that you will find in the Lake Como area.
In the mountains around the Lake  you can sample peasant cooking, essentially based on yellow taragna vuncia polenta. Polenta,mushrooms and chestnuts are the main foods in this simple but genuine cuisine.

Full fat cheese, a typical product of mountain dairies, is still made today in copper pans on wood burning stoves and the cheese is left to mature for at least three months in natural cellars. The mountains in Lecco area excel in cheese-making.The most famous product is taleggio but there are also stronger or more delicate cheeses, ricotta, rustic salami and excellent butter.
In the Brianza area there are hearty local dishes like verzata (pork and savoy cabbage), busecca or foiolo (tripe), polenta with small birds, cotechino with beans and, of course,  delicatessen products like filzette and cacciatorini.Typical of the area is also the original rustisciada,  made with pork loin and sausage browned with onions.
The Brianza area is also famous for the production of wine in Montevecchia hillside. There are also vineyards on the northern west end of the lake above Domaso.

Discover the specialty foods with lake como cooking classes

Lake Como cooking classes:

Home made pasta
Home made pizza
Farmhouse made cheese

The tours, courses and events promoted by slow lake como allow you to sample local products coming into contact with farmers, artisans and producers of local foods.