Cooking Class

By Hope Ladd

cooking-3Living with an Italian family provides an amazing opportunity for really emerging yourself in the culture here in Padova. Before you know you it you begin to feel like a true Italian! One of my favorite parts was cooking with my host Mom and spending time with her in the kitchen before meals. During my time in Padova, I kept a journal with recipes I learned from my host mom. I am sure it will be one of my greatest souvenirs! In addition, I had the opportunity to take cooking classes. It was an amazing cultural experience, and we learned hands on how to make delicious Italian food.

The course was three classes long, and each night we learned something new and wonderful! The first night we learned how to make an appetizer, homemade Ragu sauce, along with Pork Tenderloin.  The second night we learned how to make gnocchi (by hand!) baked in a cheese sauce, and Polpettine (a meat dish similar to meatballs and coated in breadcrumbs.) I had always wanted to learn how to make homemade gnocchi, and what better of a place than Italy! The third night, we made fish risotto (risotto is a very common northern Italian food, found throughout Padova.)  During the class, we would all cook together, drink wine, and enjoy each other’s company. Once dinner was ready, we would have a lovely sit-down dinner, along with our instructor and our fellow Italian cooks!


Here is a simple appetizer we learned how to make during the course:

Crostini with Ricotta
  • One container ricotta
  • 1 T Olive Oil
  • Pinch of salt
  • Juice of half a lemon
  • Pinch of pepperoncino
Instructions: Combine the above ingredients in a bowl with a mixing spoon. Toast sliced pieces of baguette style bread and spread a small amount of mixture on each. Enjoy!

Read other students’ testimonials on their experiences in Padua.