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Rome Cooking Class

Rome Cooking Class

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Rome cooking class was special. There is no other cooking experience in Rome that will leave you with the sensation that you had been on the receiving end of a huge Italian hug, than Cooking with Nonna.

For this one evening, no matter where you grew up, you are part of Nonna’s big Italian family. And that is a very good thing.

The minute we walked into the apartment we were warmly welcomed by Nonna (Grandmother) Bruna and her assistant/translator Alexandra. 

The fact that Nonna doesn’t speak a word of English did not slow her down or diminish her command of the small group of participants for a moment.

Cooking With Nonna

Being welcomed into the kitchen

Cooking with Nonna

Nonna immediately ushered us in and poured us some prosecco. From the first moment the party had begun.

Nonna offered us a seat at the kitchen table and prepared a snack of bruschetta. In this case, a toasted crusty bread, topped with olive oil, sprinkled lightly with salt and joined by fresh ricotta cheese.

He explained that we’d need a little bit to eat to start us off since we were going to be helping to make the dinner. Since that involved making fresh pasta from scratch, that would take a while.

Bruscetta with fresh ricotta

Bruscetta with fresh ricotta

Making Tiramisu

Then, as promised, Nonna put us to work. We started by making individual cups of tiramisu so that they would have time to set and chill by the end of the meal.

I had always thought that this classic dessert was made with whipped cream. But the creaminess in the dish is actually accomplished by beating egg whites and yolks separately.

The ingredients are then gently combined  back together before layering them with espresso soaked finger cookies.


Tiramisu with cocoa and chocolate chips

Nonna oversaw each step, making sure that we didn’t over-stir as the egg whites and yolks were recombined.

Making Pasta from Scratch

Next, and my favorite part of the evening, we made pasta from scratch. This involved combining flour slowly with eggs, scrambling the eggs in the center of a flour well.

The flour is then gradually incorporating, using more flour from the sides until it became a firm ball of dough.

She showed us tricks to knead the dough properly so you don’t end up with a grainy lumpy mass of inedible goo at the end.

making fresh pasta

The humble beginnings of our pasta dish

Honestly, Nonna had to take over kneading our dough ball which was dangerously close to becoming just that.

By the time she finished with our goo ball it was a shiny round ball of perfection. Alexandra explained that Nonna frequently has to do this, exclaiming, “Don’t worry, Nonna always fixes them.”

Making fresh pasta with Nonna

Rolling out the pasta with Nonna

We used a classic Atlas manual pasta maker to shape and cut our dough into strands that were lightly covered in flour and put aside to dry.

Then we were ushered into the next room to use the sink to clean off our sticky hands. All the while Nonna shaking her head and gesturing dismissively. How could an architect make a kitchen with a sink in the next room? Mamma mia!

Main Course – Veal Saltimbocca alla Romana

Nonna then turned our attention to the main course, Veal Saltimbocca alla Romana. Which translates literally to “jump in your mouth.”

This dish involved pounding thin slices of veal, adding a slice of prosciutto ham and securing them with a toothpick skewered with a sage leaf.

The veal is then lightly coated with flour and sauteed in butter and olive oil.

Nonna at the stove

Nonna at the stove using a strainer to drain the pasta – why didn’t I think of that?

Each of dishes that we made had very few ingredients, which is typical of Italian cooking. In Italy they choose the best and freshest ingredients and use techniques to highlight the flavors – not mask them. But the proof is in the tasting…



We ate dinner family style, drinking wine and laughing. And, everything was as good as it looks, if not better.

Veal Saltimbucca

Veal saltimbucca with Italian broccoli

Fresh pasta with tomato and basil

Fresh pasta with a fresh tomato sauce garnished with basil.

We left feeling like we had just had dinner with old friends. My only complaint is that I may now be spoiled for store bought pasta. And you may be too. But I’d suggest taking the Cooking with Nonna class anyway and experiencing the best dinner of your stay in Rome.

Related Articles about things to do in Rome that you might enjoy! 

missy skoog

Thursday 1st of February 2024

Good afternoon! I am a travel agent and I am looking for a cooking class for my honeymoon couple who will be in Rome June 2/3rd they have availabiliy? It doesn't have to be private.

Where is your location? Do you have availability these dates? What is the price? Can they pay in advance?


Thursday 1st of February 2024

Hello Missy. We don't provide bookings for this class, we just wrote about our experience when you took the class. You can find a link to their site in the post. I hope that your clients enjoy their stay in Rome.


Tuesday 27th of December 2016

What a wonderful experience! Homemade pasta is truly the best. And what a fun time. Thanks for sharing!

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[…] For more cooking classes in Rome, check out Cooking With Nonna. […]

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[…] can also have a go at cooking with nonna in […]

Meg Jerrard

Tuesday 21st of April 2015

This sounds like a blast! And fitting too because I'm about to have some lasagna for dinner - I didn't make it from scratch, though perhaps I'll soon learn!