As the heat of the summer comes to Italy, don't expect to see lots of pasticcio and tiramisu being served.
Even so, Vicenza Military Community women packed the kitchen at Army Community Service May 21 for a summer Italian cooking class presented by Julia Sibilla, ACS Community Programs manager.
"I'm going to teach you the secrets of Italian cooking," said Sibilla, who is married to an Italian and has lived in Italy for more than 12 years. "When cooking here in Italy and using fresh ingredients, you need to add salt. You have to get it out of your head that it is bad for you."
The menu for the evening included bruschetta for an antipasto or appetizer. In addition to cooking, Sibilla took the time to explain the correct pronunciation of Italian words. For the primo, or first course, which is typically rice or pasta, the group cooked fusilli pasta with a pesto sauce.
One of Sibilla's top tips was to use large pots of boiling water when cooking pasta.
"Even though the box says to cook for 11 minutes, you need to get it off the stove after around eight minutes because it will continue to cook. You want to cook it al dente or 'to the tooth,' which means still firm," she said
The main dish, or secondo, was an insalata caprese instead of a meat dish. Sibilla brought two different kinds of bufala mozzarella cheeses, one made locally and one from southern Italy to demonstrate regional variation.
F2F participants included Soldiers, civilians and family members, both men and women. Two of the participants had been in Vicenza for less than a week and learned of the event while navigating their inprocessing.
"This event is very helpful to a new Soldier, who needs to get to know their fellow female Soldiers," said 2nd Lt. Rambalina Williams, Brigade Support Battalion, 173rd Infantry Brigade Combat Team (Airborne). "The atmosphere was amazing and very positive."
Upcoming F2F events include an apertivo gathering, which will investigate the longstanding Italian after work tradition. The gathering takes place June 14 from 6:30-8:15 p.m. To sign up, call 634-8828.