Try Out These At-Home Italian Cooking Lessons

Ingredients for an at-home cooking class with Alessandra Meschini.

By Wini Moranville

Alessandra Meschini, who normally teaches her Cooking with Alessandra classes out of a snug East Village workshop, has started offering cooking classes to go. The timing couldn’t be better for those of us who continue to look for gratifying, hands-on activities to do at home while we wait this thing out.

Each class focuses on one Italian specialty or technique; you can learn how to make homemade pasta, focaccia, breadsticks and pizza dough, or even go “all in” with an entree and dessert kit featuring Cacio e Pepe Spaghetti (spaghetti with pecorino and pepper) and tiramisu.

No need to chase all over town looking for the specialty ingredients (e.g., the exquisite mozzarella di bufala for the breadsticks-antipasti class): You order the classes online, then pick up the cooking-class kit at her storefront on Thursdays, Fridays or Saturdays from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Each kit includes just about everything you need to make the specialty, except a staple or two, like olive oil or salt.

The best part, aside from learning how to cook something new, is the link to a YouTube video that Meschini provides with each kit. Bring your device into the kitchen and, for example, watch her show you exactly how to mix the water into the dough, knead the dough, slice it thinly for the breadsticks and bake.  

You’ll learn true-to-Italy techniques and more: Watch Meschini rhapsodize about flour and you’ll gain a whole new love for the staple. “Touch the flour,” she says as she lifts a handful from the bowl and allows it to slip from her hands. “Let it cascade.”

“Flour makes me so happy,” she enthuses.

Flour will make you happy, too, as you touch it, smell it baking, and enjoy it in your homemade grissini (breadsticks) and other creations.

Learn more about Cooking with Alessandra Classes to Go on her website.

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