The Kids in the Front Row: Cooking School at Coccaro

There’s cooking schools – and there’s cooking schools: Coccaro chef Donato has done many of them – but he rarely worked with a group as curious and talented as the one this morning. Especially since he was expecting only one lady and found himself with three ladies and four kids instead, each of them thrilled to learn and practise Puglia cuisine! Experienced as he is he didn’t lose his patience though: Father of a daughter himself he knew exactly how to cope – and let them play: working pasta dough, cutting vegetables, fry peppers and tomatoes etc. Just to give you an idea how entertaining these two hours were, take a look at our pictures. And for those who want to try out at home (kids birthdays, cooking parties etc.), here’s Coccaro’s basic pasta recipe:

Fresh Orecchiette Pasta

500g semolina flour (yellow in colour), plus extra for dusting
250ml water, room temperature

In a large mixing bowl add the water, a little at a time, to the flour while mixing the dough using your hands. Stop adding water once a dry dough is produced. Use an untreated wood cutting board when kneading and rolling the dough. Finished wood will cause the dough to stick.
Roll into a log shape. Flatten slightly with hands. Cut the dough like a loaf of bread into 2-3cm slices, the pasta dough is ready to be formed into a variety of shapes.