For several years I have been leading a cookery week in northern Umbria, close to Citta di Castello and on the doorstep of the Piero della Francesco trail. Autumn in Italy is always a beautiful time; it is still warm, it is less crowded with tourists and more importantly it is a season with an abundance of produce, the most obvious being mushrooms. However last time, there hadn’t been a drop of rain to help the mushrooms grow, so instead of going out on a fungi foray we went truffle hunting instead. I don’t think I have ever seen so many truffles, not to mention a truffle dog at work. Other outings fitted in with the busy class schedule were a visit to a town market, another to an amazing fishmonger and of course plenty of tourismo, visiting Perugia , Assisi and Sansepolcro.
Of course the strength of this cookery week is the expertise of our Italian chefs who teach many of the classes. To top it all off, the beautiful house where we stay for the week is truly luxurious. It all lends itself to a great week, good cooking and learning and real conviviality. So if you would like more information about Cooking with Class in Umbria in October 2013 please get in touch. In the meantime here is one of the recipes from the class. Serve as a first course.
SALAD of PEARS and PECORINO CHEESE serves 4
Ingredients 4 ripe pears, 200g (7oz) mature pecorino cheese, 125g (4oz) rocket
Dressing 3 tbs extra virgin olive oil, 2 tbs lemon juice, pepper and salt
Method Peel, quarter and core the pears, then cut into slices.
Cut the cheese into dice and mix with the pears.
Mix the dressing ingredients together and pour half over the pears.
Wash and dry the rocket and serve with the pears, pouring over the last of the dressing.