Evenings at the convent are focused on the Rieti area, with discussions of olive oil production (with a visit to traditional oil mill), enology (wine tasting), a pasta making demonstration and cooking "pasta alla amatriciana" (from nearby Amatrice).
Visit to the Oil Mill Capofarfa, expecialized on Cold Extraction olive oil
Malaxation takes place on the same day of olives harvest, by the action of two couples of granite millstones strictly on cold temperatures.
The extraction temperature is very important due to its effect on olive oil quality. High temperatures decrease the more volatile aromas and increase oil oxidation, giving lower quality oils.
Cold extractions let the polyphenols, antioxidants, and vitamins are not reduced during the process, and it guarantee the best quality olive oil.
Enology is the science that studies the wine and the winemaking, expecially wine properties as microbiology, chemical and sensory characteristics.
Wine tasting is the last step of the whole set of techniques developed to estimate the qualilties and the organoleptic characteristics of the wine, and it is designed to determine all the characteristics in an objective manner, as far as possible.
Silvana teach students the general rules about running a tasting, and the phases of sensory analysis:
1. visual analysis
2. olfactory analysis
3. analysis of taste
After completing the three phases of analysis there's the final phase: to describe the sensations derived from the set of general parameters.
Food: homemade pasta, and cooking "pasta all'amatriciana"
Pasta is the most famous and renown food of italian cuisine. In the convent students have a great opportunity to learn and taste the italian homemade pasta.
Maria and Laura provide this rare chance teaching how to knead the dough, how to roll it out, and how to cut the pasta into strips, in the traditional way of the homemade pasta recipe. Homemade pasta is quite different and better than the shop bought, it contains eggs, it's known as fresh pasta and allows to make precisely the shape you want, and make specially flavored pasta.
The homemade fresh pasta prepared during the demonstration will be coocked as "Pasta all'Amatriciana", a traditional recipe from the nearby Amatrice village.
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 medium onion, sliced thin
3 cloves garlic, sliced
1/4 pound guanciale, in 1-inch slivers 1/4 -inch thick
3 cups canned San Marzano tomatoes (about a 28-ounce can)
1/2 teaspoon red chili flakes, or to taste
1/4 cup grated aged pecorino cheese, more for serving
1 pound pasta
1. Heat oil in a 12-inch skillet. Add onion and garlic, and sauté over medium heat until transparent. Add guanciale and sauté until barely beginning to brown.
2. Break up tomatoes and add. Cook about 15 minutes, crushing tomatoes with a spoon, until sauce has become somewhat concentrated and homogenized. Season with chili and salt and stir in 1 tablespoon cheese. Remove from heat.
3. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil, add bucatini and cook until al dente, about 9 minutes. Drain and transfer to skillet. Gently reheat contents of skillet, folding pasta and tomato sauce together until they are heated through and pasta is well-coated, about 5 minutes. Fold in remaining cheese. Check seasoning and serve with more cheese on the side.