What a hoot! The class consisted of three friends from here in Nashville: Jane, April and Bess. They had one request - that all of the menu items be vegetarian friendly. Now, they weren't 100% vegetarians, but with the meat fest that is usual for the holidays, they wanted some non-meat ideas for when the holidays were over, and regular eating would commence.
I was happy to oblige!
My appetizer was my favorite white bean dip with white vinegar spiked pita chips (recipe in a previous post), which was consumed whilst I prepared the minestrone. Minestrone is by far my favorite soup, and so versatile, since you can throw whatever veggies in that you might have on hand. My Nonno used to collect various veggies from other dinners and save them in a bowl. Then, at the end of the week, he would make his minestrone, and we would happily eat it, because it was the best soup ever!
The minestrone was accompanied by a thick slice of bread. The bread came from an obliging Panera in my neighborhood, and was placed under the broiler for a quick toasting, and then rubbed with a clove of garlic.
Because garlic just makes everything better folks.
Whilst the soup was simmering and doing its thing, I prepared the mozzarella in carrozza, which are Italian grilled cheeze sandwiches. Except they are fried and not grilled...oh and we of course use mozzarella and not cheddar.
No one cared about these technicalities. They were inhaled!
Dessert was simple and scrumptuous. Strawberries generously slathered with marscapone. Everyone left with full bellies and happy memories. Vegetarian challenge complete!
And now on to my next class. Since it is winter my thoughts again turn to comfort food. I'm thinking polenta with some sort of braised meat, or perhaps a combination of meat piled on top of the soft, cheezy polenta. I have some time to ponder....
Anyhoo if you are interested in taking a class in January shoot me an e-mail! Mangia molto e bene!