Friday, May 7, 2010

Start with Bellinis

Class always starts with a cocktail. It's one of the joys of cooking with Titina. Students sit around the long bar in Titina's kitchen, put on their name tags and enjoy one of Titina's homemade drinks. It's an ice-breaker, a way to shed their nervousness and ease into a fun evening.

A whiskey sour, Sangria with fresh fruit or a Bloody Mary made with her own San Marzano tomatoes--Titina's drinks, like her meals, are all made from scratch with the best ingredients. And they are delicious.

One of her most popular drinks is the Bellini. Titina vacuum packs and freezes local peaches to make this golden concoction from Venice.

And right now, back in Southern Italy where she and her husband Costanzo grew up, peaches are coming into season.

“Albicocche Vesuviani, vesuvian peaches are very popular, and will be ready to eat by the end of this month," reports Francesca from outside of Naples. Francesca is married to the President of the Agrigenus co-op, a group of 9 Italian farmers who grow the heirloom San Marzano tomatoes for Titina's own label.
Francesca says spring weather in Southern Italy has been up and down this year. They hope summer will take hold soon so the peaches and tomatoes will be sweet.

In honor of Francesca's wishes for warmer weather and the ripening peaches of Italy, here's Titina's method for making delicious Bellinis and bringing people together to share the joys of good food.

3 ripe white peaches peeled and pureed in the food processor
Mixed with one bottle very cold Procecco (Italian champagne) and enjoy!!

Titina's spring cooking classes run for several more weeks. Menus and dates follow. Private classes are also available.


April 19, 23--May 17, 21--June 14, 18
Anellini con Melenzane (Anellini with Eggplant)
Pollo al Curry (Chicken Curry)
Piselli al Prosciutto (Peas with Prosciutto)
San Giuseppe Zeppole (Saint Joseph Cream Puffs)


April 26, 30--May 24, 28--June 21, 25
Malloreddus Con Dalsiccia (Malloreddus with Sausage)
Cozze Gratinate (Mussels au Gratin)
Carciofi alla Sarda (Sardinian Artichokes)
Sabadas’ (Ravioli with Honey)


April 12, 16--May 10, 14--June 7, 1
Pasta e Cannellini (Cannellini Beans with Pasta)
Roast-Beef con le Castagne (Roast Beef with Chestnuts)
Fava alla Piemontese (Piemontese Fava Beans)
Nodi D’Amore (Love Knots)


April 5, 9--May 3, 7, 31--June 4
Limoncello (Lemon Liquor)
Suffle di Formaggio (Cheese Souffle)
Aragosta alla Crema (Lobster in Cream Sauce)
Radicchio al Parmigiano (Radicchio with Parmesan)
Torta di Capri al Limoncello (Capri Cake with Limoncello)