Al fresco dining in Italy! Dining under the sky in Italy somehow makes a great food and wine experience even more special! You feel warm air wafting around you. Besides enjoying the artful look of your food on your plate and inhaling the perfume of your wine, you may immerse yourself in magnificent views of vineyards spilling over hills, or a stream of life parading by in a piazza, or a live volcano throwing its fire into the night sky......

Find more reviews on TripAdvisor for cooking classes in Tuscany
Tuscookany started giving cooking classes in Italy in Casa Ombuto well over 12 years ago and after great success added Torre del Tartufo 8 years ago.   As interest grew, we realised last year that it was time to find a new villa to add to the Tuscookany group.  We spent over nine months of intensive research to find the right villa with at least the same level of luxury and atmosphere as Casa Ombuto and Torre del Tartufo and YES we have FINALLY found a spectacular villa which will leave you speechless!  We are happy to announce that we will be giving the one week  cooking classes in Italy with Laura Giusti from 2013 onwards at:

Bellorcia is a grand Tuscan villa, renovated with impeccable taste. This luxurious villa, with its very colourful contemporary style, has a 360-degree spectacular view of the surrounding typical Tuscan landscape with rolling hills, wheat fields and cypress trees. It is situated in the breath-taking Orcia valley, which was classified as a UNESCO World Heritage site in 2004 and is everything you have ever imagined Tuscany to be and an ideal location for your next cooking classes in Italy. Looking out each window in the villa is like looking at a framed painting.
Bellorcia is positioned 1 hour from Siena, 1½ hours from Florence and 2 hours from Pisa and Rome. The closest train station is Chiusi, which is 25 minutes by cab.

Laura Giusti, who has over 6 years of experience working with Tuscookany will be the Italian chef for Bellorcia and her extensive knowledge and passion will inspire you. For more details regarding Laura and her fabulous menu please visit the Tuscookany website.  

Another new course we will be offering from this year is the:
Three day Italian cookery course at Casa Ombuto

We discovered that the three day cooking classes in Italy which we offer at Torre del Tartufo has become so popular for those guests who have limited vacation time or too many other places to see that we have decided to also offer three day cooking classes in Italy at Casa Ombuto from 2013 onwards.  Laura Giusti will be giving this three day Italian cookery class at Casa Ombuto for limited weeks.  Have a look at availability on the website.

We invite you to visit the Tuscookany website to read more about Bellorcia and our new courses.

Cooking Pasta: Important PointsFirst point: “cooking pasta” means actually cooking the pasta and the sauce. While cooking the pasta itself is basically made by only one step “throw pasta in boiling water”, the sauce can be a more complicate affair. I will give you the recipes for two easy sauces, very popular in Italy. Since the basic steps are more or less the same, you can go on and create your own sauce from there.

Second point: each kind of pasta has a cooking time, usually indicated on the package. Cook pasta for less than the cooking time, and it will remain hard. Go over the cooking time and it will become softer and softer. Go well beyond the cooking time and congratulations! You have inedible glue!

We Italians like our pasta “al dente”, that means a little hard. You usually get it “al dente” by cooking it for exactly the indicated cooking time. Learn to cook Pasta at ccBut beware: since foreigners often prefer their pasta soft, you may find on the package a cooking time that reflects this and advises you to cook the pasta for much more time than an Italian would. Since pasta is cheap, you can throw away a little and experiment until you find your perfect cooking time.

Third point: Just do me a favor, no ketchup. No ketchup. Repeat with me: “No ketchup. Ever.

For all the Italian cooking lovers, Tuscookany near Chianti, near Florence, organizes Tuscany cooking classes dedicated to small groups of people. There's no better way to improve one's cooking skills while having a really enjoyable cooking classes in Tuscany holiday near Chianti. Together with the chef is possible to prepare the dishes of the traditional Tuscan cuisine, from home-made pasta to desserts, and taste the excellent wine produced by the wine-growing farms around. For more info visit Cooking classes in Tuscany
Although Thanksgiving isn't officially celebrated in Italy, Italians still give thanks during the month of November for their olio e vino novello, new olive oil and wine production.Vino novello is made using a different fermentation process than that of typical red wine. When harvested, the grapes are transferred uncrushed to a sealed barrel or steel vault. The winemaker then introduces carbon dioxide. With little oxygen and increased presence of CO2, the fermentation process is accelerated. The sugars in the grape are quickly converted into alcohol resulting in a fizzy, fresh, red berry aroma all in less than 20 days!
Produced in most regions, vino novello is most common in Veneto, Trentino, Alto Adige, and Tuscany make a visit when cooking classes in Tuscany. The most popular grapes for producing vino novello are Barbera, Dolcetto, Cabernet Savuignon, Merlot, and Sangiovese. Officially put on the Italian market November 6, consumers will savor this wine through January. But don't try to add a bottle to you cellar collection: lacking in natural preservatives from the tannins, vino novellowon't last. Drink it young and slightly chilled.
The lightweight, bright and more acid forward wine is a perfect pairing for richer holiday meals...and most under $10, they're a great value too!