A Spritz is a classic Venetian drink that is made with either Campari or Aperol. I prefer the latter as its slightly less bitter and has a lovely citrusy flavour note. You can make it with either white wine or a sparkling wine like Prosecco. It’s not necessary to use Champagne or Cap Classique here as it would be overkill, but I definitely like the fizzy aspect. You then top it up with a good splash of soda water and garnish is with a slice of lemon. In Italy, they sometimes add a large green olive (or two)– drained of its brine. I’m assured that this is utterly delicious and I wish I had added them here. It’s the perfect drink for summer.
Emma Freddi introduced me to this lovely aperitif a few weeks ago when I attended a pasta-making class at her home in Constantia. It was the perfect way to kick off a glorious afternoon of pasta making and eating.
I have written about Emma’s cooking classes before, and you can find her recipe for a delicious crostini with pork sausage here. Emma teaches authentic Italian cookery under the banner of Enrica Rocca and has just introduced an intensive pasta making class on the first Saturday of the month.
We learned how to make basic pasta dough and used it in 3 filled pasta recipes. My favourite was the large egg yolk and spinach ravioli which looks very tricky but is actually super easy to do. Not to mention outrageously delicious.
We cut smaller ravioli using the spinach filling and even learned how to make labour intensive but super tasty tortellini. At Emma’s classes, she does the demonstrating but you get a chance to get involved and feel like you are a part of the process without the hard labour. I Just love all the advice and tips along the way. It’s pretty much one of my favourite things to do. To cook, drink wine and talk about food to such a passionate person.
We learned how to make gnocchi and Emma divulged a few top tips on how to get it light and fluffy. All the dishes were served with a sauce which we made on the day too. Crispy sage butter, luscious tomato and a decedent creamy Gorgonzola for the gnocchi. Yum!
When it comes to buying speciality ingredients I always default to my favourite deli – Giovanni’s. This is where I bought my Aperol.
Recipe for Aperol Spritz (for one)
- 50ml Aperol
- 75ml sparkling dry white wine
- splash of soda
- slice of lemon
Fill a large glass with ice and add the sparkling wine. Top it with the Aperol and good splash of soda, finishing it off with a slice of lemon. You could, of course, mix it any way you prefer. Emma starts with 2 fingers of Aperol and then adds the wine than the soda and lemon.
Emma’s regular classes are 4 hours long and she prepares 4 courses. A starter course, pasta or risotto, a main with either meat or fish and a dessert. You eat all the food that is made while sipping wine throughout the class.
Classes are on Tuesday evening from 6 pm, Friday afternoons from noon and then her pasta class on the first Saturday of the month. She offers a wine pairing class from 6 pm on the last Saturday of the month too.
I look forward to connecting with you again in the future.