I’ve been in Rome now for two weeks and it’s been an adjustment. Everything is different. It’s a new city after all and a new house, a new language...a new routine. Plus I went to Portugal for a few days which completely threw me off the loop but at least it made me miss Rome.
I guess it’s starting to feel like home now!
Though it’s starting to feel better being here now, things were a bit rocky for the first few days. Rome is a touristic city and thus its practically bound with tourist traps. Something I am very serious about avoiding.
And even though my research is deep and detailed, I am still no Italian. I have been in Italy for about 14 days which is no where near in comparison to someone who is an Italian and has been for generations.
In these last couple of weeks, I did have the chance to taste some traditional Roman dishes like cacio e pepe and gricia with alla carbonara and all' amatriciana still left to try. They were good, but I was feeling deflated and uninspired because I still felt like I wasn't tasting the real deal. I starting doubting the sauce, the pasta...was this the real deal or was I being tricked?
So I came to the conclusion that I needed something more than a dinner. I needed someone who could do more for me than just serve me a plate of pasta to eat. I wanted to learn about the sauce itself, the history, and most of all the pasta, the real hand made pasta.
And so with a little luck, I found Grano & Farina, a cooking school in Trastevere, not a touristy one but a traditional one. After all I am here to learn not to be entertained right? I found that they offered a variety of classes from that were broad to more regional concentrated ones like "The 4 Roman Pastas" class where you learn how to make all of the four typical pastas of Roman cuisine.
For my first class, I did a more broader class, "Mother's Sauces." Let me take you through my day with Chef Pino and Sfoglina Julia.