Italian Pizza Workshop

On our first anniversary, I gave DT a gift certificate for us to take a cooking class together.  Cute, huh?!

A year and a half later….

We FINALLY took it.

Last night we participated in Cooks of Crocus Hill’s Italian Pizza Workshop with Chef Antonio Cecconi.

We got some education.  😉

Cooks of Crocus Hill 1

Cooks of Crocus Hill 2

The class was three hours long and there were just over 20 people who came to make – and eat – some ‘za.

Chef prepping before class

Look at our snazzy aprons!

DT, apron

me and my apron

pizza ingredients

Chef Antonio started the class with an introduction and his culinary background.  What an interesting life – born in Sardinia, now lives here, consults with General Mills on Italian recipes, teaches cooking classes, and owns a catering company.

AND – cookbook author:

Betty Crocker Italian Cooking

So I guess the guy knows a thing or two about pizza!

The class was participatory, so we took turns rotating through each of the six stations.  Our creations were shared with our classmates.

We began with the foundation of pizza:  the dough.  How to properly activate the yeast and add to the flour, knead the dough, seal into a loaf, let it rise, knead some more, and roll out into a crust.

BTW, kneading dough is like therapy.

Chef Antonio used some of the dough to make breadsticks seasoned with dried oregano, basil, pepper, and sea salt.

The dipping sauce was also what we used for the pizzas and it was to DIE.  Tomatoes and olive oil, more oregano and basil, garlic, Parmesan cheese, salt and pepper.  It was like smelling summertime freshness – tomatoes, garlic, fresh basil….ahhhhhhh!

breadstick and sauce

The one other vegetarian in the class and I got to make the first meatless pizza.

making a veggie pizza

me at the cooking station

Chef Antonio and me

Chef Antonio gives me some tips.

Here was our creation:

veggie pizza

Mozzarella, provolone, green and red peppers, artichoke hearts, Roma tomatoes and zucchini pizza.

10 minutes later in a 500-degree oven:

baked veggie pizza

veggie pizza slices

OMG, soooo gooood!

eating my pizza

DT and I also made a veggie pizza of our own with peppers and onions:

pizza with peppers and onions

DT slides our pizza into the oven.

DT slides our pizza into the oven.

Ahhhhhhhhh!

second veggie pizza

slice of pepper and onion pizza

Holy buckets, our stomachs were BURSTING when we left the class!  When we finally deflate (yes, it’s now been nearly 24 hours), we’ll be putting our new skills to work for some homemade pizza goodness.  What a fun night!

DT and me, aprons

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