Last year my family treated me to cookery course near Lecce. Stile Mediterraneo is run by Cinzia and Marika Rascazzo, sisters who have very complementary skills. Marika is a cardiologist at Lecce Hospital and informs students of the nutritional benefits of the Pugliese diet and Cinzia is a sommelier and olive oil taster.
I enjoyed the course so much I offered my services to help them promote the school and the region in a small way.
The course was very hands on… we made the pasta, meat balls… all the dishes in fact. A German couple Karin and Jurgen told me this was not always the case. They have been on courses where they are just observers and watched chefs ‘show off’. Here we made potato foccacia, salt baked Sea Bream (very simple but a great show stopper for dinner parties!) aubergine polpette and my absolute favourite Stuffed Calamari… simple and sensational!
The ladies have also published an e-book with a lot of the traditional recipes and also a very informative essay by Marika on the medicinal benifits.
We had a lovely time eating what we had produced on the balcony of the schools charming (almost Palazzo like) premises in Squinzano. And Cinzia produced some great vino choices to accompany the meals.
Marika and Cinzia were very patient with us and very generous in passing their knowledge on to us… it was just a very pleasant few days!
Below and above are a few videos we made (quickly) demonstrating a few very simple recipes… do try them!