When it comes to cooking my approach is find a recipe and stick with it until I become bored and need to find a new one – currently courgetti features heavily, my talent (debatable) lies in baking. So when I was asked to join a cookery class at Mamma Anna’s in West Kensington I of course said yes, ready to learn new recipes, ready to become the next Nigella.
Just down from West Kensington station, Mamma Anna’s is a wonderful little deli which also offers private dining, cooking classes and soon takeaway coffee. Run by Anna and her children Fabrizio and Guilia with the help of award-winning sommelier Marco, it’s a real family affair. They chat in a mix of Italian and English, telling little anecdotes about life in Italy and the food there – me jealous? Of course not…get me on a plane now.
The classes run on Saturday afternoons for about an hour (or around that) – it doesn’t sound like long but you’ll be amazed at how much you’re able to do. Centred around different themes such as canapés, summer in Florence and meatballs, they’re suitable for anyone who just wants to become a bit more confident in the kitchen or wants to learn something new.
Knowing the size of a typical London kitchen is comparable to that of a matchbox, we all worked side by side along a counter which proved you barely need any space to cook and also highlighted how messy I normally am. They also made sure that none of the equipment or ingredients we used were expensive or hard to come by, because I hate it when you find a recipe and then half way through they say you need some sort of powder or plant that costs £10 for a pinch.
The theme of our class was Italian picnic and working with a basic pastry that we made, we learnt how to make a spinach and ricotta pasqualina, sweet and savoury panzerotti and little canapés. Whilst we were waiting for them to cook, Anna made us some cheese twists and Marco took over, having selected the perfect wine for a summer day – a gold Gavi de Gavi he gave us an introduction to the wine and of course let us have a glass or two. I mean had I not had to go on somewhere else I would have bought a bottle straight away and gone to Green Park and drank it in the sunshine. It was the perfect pairing.
After we were given the recipes so we could recreate the recipes at home and armed with our goods we stepped out into the sunshine after a thoroughly enjoyable afternoon.