I feel that the frustrating feeling of not being able to accurately report an intuition, or distinct idea, occurs way more often than we would like in our lives.
I once told a dear friend that I considered his presence like that of fireflies: a marvel so ephemeral and fleeting, hardly ever visible, yet of the utmost beauty in its sparkling glittering, that sometimes I almost get the feeling it is hardly real at all. And what can you really write or utter when standing before something so spiritual and intimate?
Such are my few, dear friendships: ever glistening, bright as those fireflies in a moonless night, the wonder of which the mouth knows no words for.
I first met Zaira on a damp January day in Venice. Her steps in her black boots echoed through the fog-carpeted canals as we rushed towards each other.
From that first hug we exchanged, we never really let each other go, and I finally remembered what friendship felt like.
When she came to visit me here in Gradara, we found ourselves making plans about everything around uncertain days of sun and rain. In this facetious weather setting, we chatted, we cooked, we took photos. We talked about dreams and aspirations, travels, and life as it happens to two perfectly normal girls who have so much in common you would think they were nothing less than soul sisters.
Zaira, whose majestic aesthetics remind me of Vivaldi’s elegance and the tranquil yet harsh light of a Vermeer painting, is without doubt one of my biggest inspirations.
Zaira constantly reminds me of many aspects of beauty, as beauty is that which hits you harshly and sometimes pointlessly at the heart and is able to exist without the need of explanations.
We strongly believe that you cannot get rich if you are not willing to pour richness back into the world – wether it be material or spiritual, and because we would like to share as much beauty as we possibly can to the world, it is with pleasure that we announce that we will be hosting another workshop here in Gradara! Our July workshop with Betty Liu not only sold out, but received many requests for a backup as well. I would say his workshop is already half booked before being announced, so spots are limited. Make sure to sign up fast!
September 3rd – 4th, Gradara – Italy
Taught in Italian and English by Zaira and Valentina, in partnership with EatTravelTeam
Price: 195 Euros per day, 390 Euros for both days (you can register for both days or just one)
All lessons and discussions (cooking, styling, photography, editing, blogging)
2 sit-down lunches and dinners
Tools and utensils
A welcome gifts for our guests!
Transportation to and from Gradara
A full day of food photography (from ingredients to finished dish) and styling, in which we will learn all about ISOs, aperture, depth of focus and all the basics of photography and composition. as we cook, we will each be able to shoot a recipe start to finish. Once done shooting, will also post-produce the photos together and learn about the ways to bring out the best from each photo and find your own style.
A full day, morning and early afternoon, spent cooking a vegan menu (appetizers to dessert), foraging fresh ingredients from the vegetable gardens and from the countryside, and learning how to make the best out of fresh, seasonal ingredients. A photography and styling session will be held in the afternoon with the finished dishes.
Lunch is provided for each day, and we will reward ourselves with a nice sit-down dinner with the recipes we create.
Register by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com to reserve your spot.
FOR THE PASSATELLI
About 60g very fine breadcrumbs
About 60g pea flour (substitute any flour you prefer if you do not have pea flour)
3 large eggs
100 g grated Parmigiano or Grana cheese
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp to 1 tsp pepper
FOR THE BROTH
4 cups of your favorite, flavorful, organic veggie stock
1 cup shelled peas, fresh or frozen
To make the passatelli, combine all the ingredients in a bowl, and knead with your hands. You should get a dough that is soft, yet not sticky and easy to handle. If needed, add more or less flour to achieve the right consistency.
Wrap the dough in clingfilm and let it rest in the fridge for 20 minutes to overnight.
In the meantime, bring the stock to a gentle boil, and cook the peas until soft, about 15 minutes.
When ready, prepare the ‘ferro’ to make the passatelli: if all you have is a potato ricer, consider keeping the dough a little softer to make it easier to squeeze it through the holes. Squeeze the dough through and straight into the boiling stock, and let cook until they float to the surface – it should take about 3 minutes.
Serve immediately, or let cool a bit and enjoy warm. This dish is even better the day after, as the cheese intensely flavors the broth.
You can also cook the passatelli like regular pasta: instead of dumping them in broth, line them on a well floured tray and let dry for 15 minutes before boiling in salted water for a scarce couple minutes, and toss in the pan with your favorite pasta sauce (for this purpose, the dough should be a little more on the tough side.