There’s a terrific cooking school in New York, the Institute of Culinary Education (ICE), which along with its professional culinary program, offers hundreds of recreational cooking classes. I’ve enjoyed every class I’ve taken, but my favorite ones are Italian (surprise!). And my favorite Italian cooking instructor is Daniel Rosati who in addition to teaching at ICE and other U.S. cooking venues, is the owner of La Villa Cucina which offers culinary travel programs in Italy. A pro on many levels, including artisanal breads and pastry arts, Daniel is an expert on all things Italian and I always learn something new in his class.
Last week, our program was Italian Easter Feast and we prepared several of Daniel’s original recipes including my new personal favorite – Colomba di Pasqua. A sweet yeast bread made with candied orange rind and unblanched slivered, toasted and whole almonds, it translates to Easter Dove as it’s formed in the shape of a dove….sort of. Imagination helps.
In class, Daniel free formed the dough and got a bit creative with the tail and eyes using more almonds and orange peel. Or you can bake it in a paper mold (Amazon was sold out when I checked but Golda’s Kitchen in Canada ships worldwide).
It was fun and rather relaxing in a Ihavetowaitforthedoughtoriseandcantgoanywhere kind of way. And little did I know the versatility and longevity of this luscious baby – aside from simply slicing it and eating it (warm, please), it’s even better the next day (warm again, please) and as French toast, in bread pudding or as the filling holder for a decadent sandwich.
Daniel’s recipe isn’t difficult, it just takes time because the dough needs to rise. And I’m categorizing this in a new recipe category of “Wow” because you can’t help but say it when you take it out of the oven. It looks spectacular!
I’m not just enthusiastic about travel—I live travel, each and every day. From plotting out my clients’ next great escape, to logging airmiles on my own adventures (I always have a suitcase packed and at the ready!), travel drives me in everything I do.
I’ve learned a few things along the way, and I’d love to share them with you. Learn a bit more about my journey to founding my own travel agency—it involves quite a few glasses of Italian wine!
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