Cooking Classes with Chef Sara Jenkins at Nina June

Sara Jenkins, chef/owner of the Rockport restaurant Nina June has just released as schedule of upcoming cooking classes.  The topics will take a trip around Italy, visiting some favorite regions and towns and their culinary delights. Classes will be held for at least six people and a maximum of twelve, and include dinner with a glass of wine. Cost is $150 per class (plus tax), or three classes for $400

Monday, February 5, 2018
4:30pm – 7:30pm

This is one of Sara’s two home bases in Italy (the other is Rome see below), where she grew up and learned to cook from her Tuscan grandmother Mita Antolini. We’ll make some typical Tuscan country delights, including a pinzimonio of raw vegetables with fresh new olive oil, crostini from the farmhouse table, potato gnocchi, arista di maiale along with cavolo nero, Tuscan kale, braised with chestnuts.

Monday, February 12, 2018
4:30pm – 7:30pm

Sara spent a week in Naples in October and found it still the most exuberant city in all of Italy. We’ll celebrate Napoli with typical little fried things as well as stuffed peppers from a favorite restaurant for antipasto, plus spaghetti with colatura (a surprising ingredient), la genovese (a Neapolitan tradition that has nothing to do with Genoa despite its name), and a midwinter salad that lasts for days. (We’ve scheduled this class a week ahead because the following week is school vacation when many folks will want to get away.)

Venice & The Veneto
Monday, February 26, 2018
4:30pm –  7:30pm

Venice, with its warren of canals, is surely the most romantic city in Italy. Sara loves the Venetian custom of an 11 a.m. break for a glass of prosecco and a stand-up snack at a local bar, called a bàcaro. We’ll be making bàccala mantecato, a dish that’s a favorite in our favorite bàcaro near the Rialto market. We’ll also work on other Venetian delights including inky black risotto nero, polenta with greens, and of course pesce in saor, a delicious spicy-tart fish that’s as perfect for dinner parties and as it is for picnics.

Monday, March 12, 2018
4:30pm – 7:30pm

Sicily, as the largest island in the Mediterranean, is a nation unto itself, quite apart from Italy, the mainland. We’ll work with several of the dishes that illustrate that specialness, including sfincione, a very distinctive take on focaccia; polpettine—meatballs, except made from vegetables; caponata, that icon of the Sicilian kitchen, and finally a fish dish and a salad that take special advantage of Sicily’s finest olive oil, lemons, garlic and anchovies, all uniqely characteristic of Sicilian cuisine.

Monday, March 26, 2018
4:30pm – 7:30pm

Rome is Sara’s second home in Italy, where she went to school and learned to speak the rough local dialect. Despite being Italy’s capitol, Rome is not known for fancy cuisine. Instead it’s as rough as the Roman manner of speaking, with hearty, humble dishes based on simple preparations: fritters of all kinds and pasta with sauces made from the butcher’s off-cuts. We’ll try a delightful chicory salad with a pungent sauce, and another great dish for this time of the year, Easter: abbachio, very young, tender lamb, roasted in the oven with potatoes.

Monday, April 9, 2018
4:30pm – 7:30pm

On Italy’s northwest coast with a benign climate and a springlike atmosphere all year round, Liguria is home to what may be Italy’s most famous sauce, pesto genovese. We’ll try something different, a pesto bianco, white pesto, made to be served with the distinctive corzetti, stamped out pasta, along with a distinctive Ligurian savory onion pie, and farmhouse rabbit served with another, lesser known Ligurian sauce, aggiata, named for the garlic (aglio) that characterizes it.

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