If you are planning a trip to Sorrento, Naples, or Capri and cooking is your passion, consider adding a cooking class to your itinerary!
Over the past few years, a number of cooking classes and informal lessons have popped up, giving travelers an ample choice of options for hands-on experiences. You can join a professional chef or home cook to learn the basics of italian cuisine by preparing a number of classic dishes, and then enjoy the fruit of your labors over a celebratory tasting or meal. Recipes are generally straightforward enough to reproduce at home, and are based on traditional Mediterranean ingredients.
What better souvenir of your trip to Italy than the know-how to make a stellar Italian meal at home?
How to Book a Cooking Class in Sorrento?
Most cooking classes in Sorrento include the preparation of a traditional Sorrentine meal, including a starter, first course, second course, and often dessert. Italian meals generally center around both a pasta or rice first course and a meat or fish second course (there are also a number of vegetarian second courses you can prepare).
Traditional pasta first courses from Sorrento that you might come across in a cooking class include:
- Gnocchi alla sorrentina: potato gnocchi (dumplings) tossed with tomato sauce and mozzarella
- Ravioli caprese: fresh pasta stuffed with caciotta cheese and served with tomato sauce
- Scialatielli ai frutti di mare: a local type of fresh long pasta (like spaghetti) served with clams and mussels
Second courses may include:
- Pesce fresco all’acqua pazza: fresh sea bream, amberjack, snapper, or other catch of the day cooked with herbs and cherry tomatoes
- Parmigiana di melanzane: eggplant (aubergine) that is fried and then baked with mozzarella and tomato sauce
Capri on the Menu!
Many traditional island dishes are very similar to those found on the nearby Sorrentine Peninsula, including fresh ravioli stuffed with local caciotta cheese. Many island and Sorrentine dishes also feature local lemons, including pasta specialties like fettuccine al limone: fresh handmade pasta ribbons tossed with a lemon-infused sauce.
Cooking classes on Capri often also include the preparation of a dessert chosen among those most famous on the island, like “delizia al limone” or the beloved torta caprese, made with chocolate, almonds, and powdered sugar.
Family Fun in the Kitchen
Cooking classes are a fun activity for couples or the entire family! Kids love to make fresh gnocchi and pasta, and a family-friendly lesson makes for an unforgettable activity to remember their time in Italy by, as well as a fun way to sample new dishes from southern Italy.
Everyone loves pizza! This simple, tasty dish is easy to prepare and is one of the most beloved Italian culinary exports across the globe. Pizza was created first in Naples, so if you are in nearby Sorrento or Capri, don't just taste authentic pizza, but learn the secrets to preparing the perfect pizza yourself. Learn about the ingredients and techniques for making and rolling the dough and firing the pizza in a wood-burning oven with the toppings you choose.
Vegetarian Cooking Lessons in Sorrento and Capri
You may have noticed that many classic dishes covered in cooking classes are vegetarian, so don't present a challenge to those who don't eat meat or fish. Vegans may have more trouble, as dairy products such as cheese feature in most traditional dishes from Sorrento. For pizza lessons, it's easy to prepare a vegan version of pizza ("pizza marinara”, for example, is topped with tomato sauce, garlic, oregano, and extra-virgin olive oil).
Snap a Photo and Make a Toast
During most cooking classes, each participant watches the chef and copies the techniques and steps he or she demonstrates. At the end of the lesson, everyone samples their handiwork during an informal group lunch or dinner. Small-group lessons are a fun way to meet local chefs and mix with fellow travelers, taking photos to capture the highlights of your time together. Some cooking classes also offer the option of pairing a wine tasting featuring local varieties with the lesson.
Generally, cooking classes in Sorrento, Naples, or Capri are held with a small group of up to 12 participants and are in English. If you prefer, you can also request a private lesson for just you or your family or group of friends. Many cooking classes also offer a free pick-up service, especially if they are held in farms or private homes outside the town center.
Cooking Classes in Sorrento
If you'd like to spend a day in the countryside try this cooking class at the Antico Casale, a family farm set in the hills above Sorrento. Your day will begin with a walk through the vegetable garden and a presentation of the most traditional produce grown in Sorrento, and then you'll pick what you need to prepare lunch and enjoy a cooking lesson with Nonna Luisa.
Pizza School in Naples
Be a traditional pizzaiolo for a day with this pizza-making lesson organized by WorldTours in the historic center of Naples. The pizza class includes a city walk to the historic Neapolitan pizzeria, with a bit of pizza history and lore as well as a final pizza lunch.