Thursday, March 12, 2009 Taormina and the cooking lesson

Aurelio, Maria e Giovanni

Originally uploaded by marymompics

Our hotel is way up on a cliff overlooking the Ionian Sea. In order to get down to town, you have a few options. You can call for a taxi, you can take the bus or you can walk down the maybe 5000 steps (John’s hyperbole) to get to the center where there are important things like a place to eat lunch. For some unknown reason we walked down the steps. Of course that made justifying eating pizza for lunch much easier.

Today was the big cooking lesson. We met Aurelio, the chef, around 7 PM. The kitchen was tiny. We decided that John would be the designated cook and I would be the photographer. So the lesson was part actual participation and part demonstration and explanation. It was a good thing that Aurelio spoke pretty good English. First we made caponata alla Arabica which was eggplant, onions, raisins, and pinenuts in a sweet and sour sauce. Next we made casarecce alla Norma. This was pasta in a tomato, garlic and eggplant suace. Then we made involtini with veal and oiled, parmesan breadcrumbs. Aurelio had also made eggplant parmesan.

After all the cooking the three of us sat down and Aurelio dealt out all the stuff we had made. You should have seen the size portion he gave to John! The pile of pasta had to be at least 5 inches high. We also ate the caponata, the eggplant parmesan, and the involtini. Also wine. Also some almond dessert wine. And the whole time we got to talk to Aurelio about his life here in Taormina. It was an outstanding experience.

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