Vegan Cooking Class in Italy with I Love Ferrara

posted in: Blog, Europe, Ferrara, Italy, Tours, Vegan, Video | 12

Vegan Cooking Class in Italy with I Love Ferrara

While planning our trip to Italy, we discovered that our blogging friend, Agata of the travel blog, Null & Full, was going to be there around the same dates we were traveling. I was very excited to meet her. When she suggested that we spend the day in Ferrara and join her for a cooking class, I was thrilled at the prospect. Agata offers small group guided tours in Ferrara, including bicycling tours, wine tastings, and cooking classes at ILoveFerrara.It. Even though it was her first time attempting it, Agata offered to teach us how to make authentic, Italian cuisine prepared completely vegan! We couldn’t resist.

Agata and her husband, Andrzej picked us up at the train station and brought us back to their place. They were staying at a home in the oldest part of Ferrara with an adorable backyard where we later enjoyed our feast. Though Agata is originally from Poland, she has fully immersed herself in Italian culture and considers Italy to be her second home. Having attended school in Milan and living for years in Ferrara, she gained many insights about the town, its history, and its people. Agata told us many fond stories about Luisa, a woman who lived in her neighborhood. They spent many hours together as Luisa taught her how to cook traditional Italian food. Agata offers cooking classes using these tips that have been passed down through generations of women.

Vegan Cooking Class in Italy with I Love Ferrara
Agata prepping ingredients for the pasta

Although Agata had never prepared this particular meal without meat, dairy, or eggs, she was up to the challenge. Her and Andrzej prepared a filling ahead of time, with the primary ingredient being the red leafy vegetable, radicchio. Every time I think about radicchio, I think about the time a girl working at the grocery store check-out counter exclaimed to me as I purchased it, “Radicchio? That’s rad-eek-u-lous!”. The pasta filling was also prepared with onion and fresh sage.

The most important part in preparing the fresh pasta was making sure the dough was just right. Without using eggs, we created a dough out of flour and warm water. Agata was a very patient teacher and explained each step clearly along the way. It was really easy and fun to make the pasta! I used a fork to work the flour and water together.

Vegan Cooking Class in Italy with I Love Ferrara

Vegan Cooking Class in Italy with I Love Ferrara

Then, the dough had to be kneaded for several minutes. Afterwards, the dough was placed inside a plastic bag for a short while to keep it moist. In the meantime, we prepared a fresh green salad topped with cherry tomatoes, olives, spices, balsamic vinegar, and olive oil.

As we cooked, Agata told us many stories about her time in Ferrara – learning how to cook, learning a new language, and making new friendships. Although she learned a very traditional method of rolling out the dough with a giant rolling pin, we decided to use a pasta machine instead. The pasta machine worked like a dream. The dough rolled through the machine with ease until it was thin enough to be decoratively sliced into squares. A small amount of filling was placed on each square, and those squares were artfully folded into shapes. The pasta was cooked in boiling water. Fresh sage was sauteed and placed on top of the pasta with a drizzle of olive oil.

Vegan Cooking Class in Italy with I Love Ferrara

Vegan Cooking Class in Italy with I Love Ferrara

Vegan Cooking Class in Italy with I Love Ferrara

In addition to the fresh salad, we also enjoyed a sweet treat of strawberries dressed with sugar and lime juice. Justin and I brought Agata a gift from Canada – maple syrup, of course! She made one “Italian” version of the strawberries and one “Canadian” version using the maple syrup in place of the sugar.  The four of us enjoyed our meal together outside in the garden. It was a beautiful, sunny day. We sipped some wine and shared stories. It was such a lovely day and one of my fondest memories of traveling in Italy.

Vegan Cooking Class in Italy with I Love Ferrara

Vegan Cooking Class in Italy with I Love Ferrara

Vegan Cooking Class in Italy with I Love Ferrara

Vegan Cooking Class in Italy with I Love Ferrara

Vegan Cooking Class in Italy with I Love Ferrara

Vegan Cooking Class in Italy with I Love Ferrara

We put together a short video that truly captures our experience taking a vegan cooking class in Italy.

 

Stay tuned for part two of our day in Ferrara where we tour around the town with Agata. We highly recommend that you travel on one of Agata’s organized tours in Ferrara. For reasons that I’ll explain in our next article, Ferrara is a unique, historic town (a UNESCO World Heritage Site) that isn’t frequented as often by tourists. You can enjoy small group tours with a local showing you all of the best spots. The cooking tour can be catered to your personal dietary needs, such as a vegan diet. It’s not too often that we come across vegan cooking classes, so it was very refreshing to be able to participate in this activity! Please visit ILoveFerrara.it for the latest information regarding booking a cooking class or a tour.

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Ferrara

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Ferrara 44.838124, 11.619787 Vegan Cooking Class in Ferrara, ItalyVisiting Ferrara with a LocalFerrara, Province of Ferrara, Italy (Directions)

Vegan Cooking Class in Ferrara, Italy

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Have you ever taken a cooking class while traveling? Do you know of any great vegan cooking classes? We’d love to hear about them!

12 Responses

  1. Yum, this meal looks simple and awesome. I would love to take a cooking class in Italy, and great to see vegan choices there in the land of cheese and fish!!
    Katie
    Katie @worldwidevegetarian.com recently posted…What I ate in BerlinMy Profile

  2. Lyn - A Hole in my Shoe
    | Reply

    Yum, this looks delicious Lauren. Steve and I would love to spend a day cooking in Italy, great you got to do with a blogging friend.
    Lyn – A Hole in my Shoe recently posted…Photolane by ZoominMy Profile

  3. Monique
    | Reply

    That looks like a great way to spend a day. My husband would be happy if I attended one of these classes and were able to improve my cooking skills 😉
    Monique recently posted…9 hours in FrankfurtMy Profile

  4. Looks delicious! We love taking cooking classes and love when we can meet up with fellow bloggers! Great that it was able to be customized for a vegan menu too. Can’t wait to read about the tour!
    Carolann & Macrae – One Modern Couple recently posted…Travellers’ Views Of Cultural TaboosMy Profile

  5. Looks like a delicious meal! Having an at-home cooking lesson is the best experience! We did something similar in Cortona, Italy and highly enjoyed.

  6. Franca
    | Reply

    The fresh stuffed pasta looks incredibly tasty and I’m glad you enjoyed making it from scratch, I also finding it fun when I do it with my mum. Now I just miss Italian food 🙁
    Franca recently posted…The Ancient City of Pompeii – A Guided Tour with Walks of ItalyMy Profile

  7. Fairlie
    | Reply

    We’ve taken cooking classes in Vietnam and it was so much fun. I’d love to do one in Italy too!
    Fairlie recently posted…10 of my best-kept tips for travelling with older kidsMy Profile

  8. Oh how fun! I love cooking classes but never took them while travelling yet- and never vegan; but your photos make me crave these vegan creations:)
    Victoria@celebratetheweekend recently posted…Weekend in the Berkshires: 2-day itinerary (with or without the kids)My Profile

  9. Yummy! That looks so delicious, especially the salad. I’m glad that Agata was able to easily adapt her recipes to be vegan. I think that taking a cooking class is a wonderful way to immerse yourself in a culture, and what better place than Italy to do it.
    Michele {Malaysian Meanders} recently posted…Our Great Big Western USA RoadtripMy Profile

  10. Sarah Lynn
    | Reply

    What a great experience! Cooking with Italian friends in Italy was definitely one of the highlights of my trip as well.
    I actually spent an afternoon in the city of Ferrara and thought it was a great city to experience a more authentic version of Italy, away from the tourist heavy city’s of Rome and Venice.
    Great post!
    Sarah Lynn
    Sarah Lynn recently posted…The best thing about memories is making themMy Profile

  11. […] though we only had a day in Ferrara (the earlier portion of which was taken up by our vegan cooking class), Agata knew all of the best spots to take us. This gave us a great impression of Ferrara and […]

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