Guest Blogger, Sarah Hodge, Bundtlust

“Sarah Hodge is a blogger and food and travel writer. In addition to writing for several publications including Tokyo Weekender and Stars and Stripes Japan, she is also a frequent recipe tester and proofreader for upcoming cookbooks and has taken more than 100 hands-on cooking classes around the globe.”

Sarah will be testing and reviewing each of our Online School Menus over the coming months!

Hailing from a long line of talented Southern Italian cooks, Natalina Bombino Campagnolo’s experience from several years of living in Italy as well as leading food and wine tours to Italy and teaching hundreds of students in hands-on classes in her Guelph, ON cooking school results in a very natural on-camera style and presentation. Her love and respect for wholesome, authentic Italian food and culture really shine through in each of the 18 video recipe lessons. Best of all, Natalina’s Kitchen Online Cooking Classes make delicious, authentic Italian cuisine possible no matter where you are around the globe!

Featuring five different complete menus (Simple and Elegant, Light and Delicious, Family Favorites, Cozy and Casual, and Italian Comfort; options to choose a single menu or the entire 5 menu bundle), Natalina guides you step by step how to prep ingredients, check seasoning, cook, bake, braise, and best of all, even provides a detailed timing guide so you can get your complete menu on the table so everything is piping hot. Each recipe has downloadable ingredient and equipment lists, instructions, and alternatives for creating different flavor profiles (as well as some vegetarian substitutions).

The second class I tried in November was Simple and Elegant, which features:

Antipasto – Fried Wild Mushrooms with Vincotto or Balsamic Glaze

Primo – Squash Risotto / Asparagus Risotto / Mushroom Risotto

Secondo – Chicken or Veal Marsala with Sage & Mushrooms

Dolce – Amaretti-Stuffed Peaches

I opted to use a combination of shiitake and maitake (Hen-of-the-Woods) for the antipasto. For the primo, I made butternut squash risotto paired with chicken marsala served on a cheerful Italian platter I picked up in Kappabashi recently.

I love that the Natalina’s Kitchen menus regularly offer variations; for this menu, there are three options for the risotto (squash, asparagus, and mushroom, allowing you to customize it for seasonal veggies) and a choice of chicken or veal marsala (here in Japan, veal is not common, but chicken is).

And Natalina’s recipes are among the most user-friendly I’ve seen: she’s thought of everything that you may encounter when trying to cook along! I love that there are practical tips such as using canned peaches in place of fresh; sadly in Japan peach season is long past, but canned peaches are available year-round.

All of these are wonderful warming fall dishes enhanced by the earthy, meaty mushrooms and squash. The amaretti-stuffed peaches were a lovely blend of soft and crunchy (if you can’t find amaretti in your area, crushed Biscoff biscuits work great!).

Simple and Elegant is a great fall (or anytime) menu that looks stunning and like something from a restaurant, but thanks to the detailed timing guide (which is a great help, especially for novice cooks!), getting everything on the table is a snap.

This course would make a great gift for the Foodie on your Christmas list and right now you can enjoy a $15 USD Discount on the entire course with Coupon Code HAPPYHOLIDAYS2018… more information HERE

Looking forward to cooking my way through my next Natalina’s Kitchen menu… see you in the kitchen!

Sarah

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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