Cooking Classes in NYC

Rustico Cooking Class Calendar

Join one of our hands-on cooking classes in the heart of NYC. Just click on any class on our calendar for the full menu and to sign up!

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Gift Certificates

Celebrating a birthday , holiday, wedding, anniversary, graduation, or promotion? Whatever the occasion, give a gift certificate for a Rustico Cooking hands-on class in New York City. Your gift will be remembered long after the class is over! We’ll email you a printable copy within hours of your purchase. Complete the gift by adding a Rustico Cooking apron or The Best Pasta Sauces cookbook!

Gift certificates value - $110 or $120?

Some of our cooking classes cost $110 and others cost $120, so we offer certificates at these two values. You can purchase either; if there is a difference between the value of the certificate purchased and the class selected, the recipient can simply pay an upgrade upon reserving the class, or use the remaining balance towards aprons, cookbooks or another class...

$110 Gift Certificate & Options

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$120 Gift Certificate & Options

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Using Your Gift Certificate

Ready to use your gift certificate? It's easy! Redeem it online by clicking Redeem your gift certificate at the bottom of each class description. A new window will open, allowing you to select the class and enter your information. We process the requests manually, usually within less than 24 hours of your request, and we'll send you a confirmation by email. We’re looking forward to cooking with you!

Upgrading your Gift Certificate

Want to attend a class valued at $120, but you have a certificate valued at $110? Have a gift certificate valued at $120 but want two people to attend a class of $110? It's easy; just upgrade your gift certificate to make up the difference and you'll be all set!

Aprons

Add an apron to your gift certificate or cooking class purchase ... You or the lucky recipient will receive one of our Rustico Cooking aprons upon signing in at the class! Note that we do not ship the aprons.

The Best Pasta Sauces Cookbook

Micol's third cookbook "The Best Pasta Sauces: Favorite Regional Italian Recipes" is now out! Published in October 2014 by Ballantine Books (a division of Random House), the 256-page book is filled with gorgeous color photography, 80 recipes for regional Italian pasta sauces, fool-proof techniques, and entertaining anecdotes... It is sure to become a favorite on your cookbook shelf. You can order copies from Amazon, Barnes & Noble or Indiebound, or you can purchase from us and get extra goodies! We are now offering shipping on the book and quantity discounts if you purchase 4 or more... Read on!

Purchase The Best Pasta Sauces direct from Rustico Cooking

Purchase the book direct from us and you will receive:

Limited-Time OfferPurchase 4 or more copies from us and we'll pay the shipping fees: save $8 per book and pay just $25 per book. We'll ship all the books to your address. It's like getting 4 books for the price of 3! Or even more by placing an order of 4 or more cookbooks that you can pick up at Rustico Cooking...

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You can also save on the book when bundling it with a gift certificate plus an apron, or a cooking class plus an apron. When purchasing a gift certificate or a cooking class, look at the options in the dropdown menu.

Ten Best Pasta Sauces # 1 -

  • Spinach Linguine in Savory Leek Cream
  • Bucatini in Chili-Pancetta Sauce
  • Tuscan Penne in Walnut-Garlic Sauce
  • Orecchiette with Fresh Ricotta, Basil, and Diced Tomatoes
  • Fusilli in Spicy Fennel-Sausage Sauce
  • Conchiglie with Spicy Broccoli & Pecorino
  • Mom's Rigatoni Gratin with Gorgonzola Cream
  • Linguine in Fragrant Basil Pesto
  • Cavatelli with Tuna Sicilian-Style
  • Gemelli with Shrimp, Asparagus, and Saffron

Is there any food that lends itself more to weeknight meals and impromptu dinners with friends than pasta? Pasta is not only healthy and versatile, it takes mere minutes to cook. But many of us have a limited repertoire of pasta sauces, relying on easy stand-bys like marinara sauce or ragu. In this informative and fun class, I'll unveil the secrets of cooking pasta (no spaghetti thrown on the wall to test for doneness, please!), then show you how to pair a variety of pasta shapes (some well known, others less so) with their ideal sauce. Next, we'll cook ten flavorful, authentic Italian pastas suited to everyday eating and simple entertaining, and enjoy them family-style with some fabulous white and red wines. The 10 pasta sauces you'll learn to make in this hands-on class are sure to change the way you cook and eat on a daily basis... They've become my absolute favorites over years of cooking, and they're sure to become favorites in your kitchen too. Reserve your spots now!

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Ten Best Pasta Sauces #1 | Friday July 10, 6PM to 8:30PM

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Techniques learned:

  • Making cavatelli pasta
  • Knowing which types of flour to use for different doughs
  • Using a pasta machine
  • Cutting tagliatelle
  • Stuffing and shaping ravioli
  • Making basic tomato sauce
  • Making ragu
  • Making biscotti

Fresh Pasta for Beginners -

  • Basic Egg Pasta Dough
  • Fresh Tagliatelle
  • Three-Cheese Ravioli
  • Basil-Scented Tomato Sauce
  • Mom's Classic Two-Meat Ragu
  • Mixed Greens in Balsamic Vinaigrette
  • Crunchy Almond Biscotti

This class was designed for anyone who wants to perfect the art of making fresh pasta from scratch. You'll begin by kneading your very own egg pasta (the ratio is simple and foolproof), working alongside your class companions as you master the timeless techniques of incorporating egg into flour and working the dough into a supple and silky mass with your hands. After the dough rests, we'll roll it out into thin lasagna sheets and finish it two ways: cutting it with the aid of a pasta machine, into picture-perfect tagliatelle; and stuffing it with a luscious three-cheese filling, yielding delicate ravioli worthy of elegant entertaining. We'll also learn to prepare two classic sauces of the Italian kitchen: a light, herb-laced tomato sauce, and a delicate ragu slow-cooked with plenty of herbs and wine. We'll also learn to make crunchy, addictive almond biscotti. And after the cooking is done, we'll savor our fresh pasta paired with our homemade sauces, followed by a light green salad and our just-baked biscotti. The techniques you'll learn in this class will serve you whenever you make any type of pasta: long or short, flat or filled, from lasagne and ravioli to pappardelle and tagliatelle.

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Fresh Pasta for Beginners | Saturday July 11, 12PM to 3PM

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Techniques learned:

  • Making fresh egg pasta
  • Knowing which types of flour to use for different doughs
  • Using a pasta machine
  • Cutting tagliatelle
  • Stuffing and shaping ravioli
  • Making basic tomato sauce
  • Making ragu
  • Making biscotti

Italian Home Cooking -

  • Handmade Cheese Tortellini with Red Wine-Laced Tomato Sauce
  • Filet Mignon with Garlicky Rosemary Rub & Chianti Glaze
  • Roasted String Beans with Sundried Tomatoes & Fresh Thyme
  • Fennel & White Wine Risotto
  • Dark Chocolate & Hazelnut Torte with Vanilla-Scented Whipped Cream

Home cooking is often the best cooking of all: tasty, satisfying, never pretentious, it delivers great flavor and a comforting sense of being taken care of. In Italy, home cooking varies from region to region, town to town, cook to cook. This class features five typical home-cooked dishes from Tuscany, Lombardy, and Piedmont, ideal for summer entertaining: and best of all, most of the preparation can be done entirely ahead of time, leaving you free to relax with your guests over a glass of wine. We'll begin by making fresh pasta dough for cheese tortellini, a Tuscan specialty we'll serve with a delicious red wine-laced tomato sauce. Our main course: rosemary-rubbed filet mignon (aka beef tenderloin), roasted to rosy perfection and served with a rich, garnet-hued Chianti wine glaze. Roasted string beans make a fabulous summer side dish, and risotto is always impressive, especially when it's flavored with caramelized fennel and white wine as in my native city of Milan. For dessert, we'll bake a decadently rich (yet totally flourless) hazelnut and chocolate cake, a heavenly offering from northern Piedmont, where chocolate and nuts are kitchen staples.

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Italian Home Cooking | Friday July 17, 6PM to 9PM

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Techniques learned:

  • Making fresh pasta dough
  • Using a pasta machine to roll out dough
  • Shaping tortellini
  • Making tomato sauce
  • Roasting filet mignon
  • Making a red wine reduction
  • Roasting vegetables
  • Making risotto
  • Cooking fennel
  • Whipping egg whites for lighter desserts
  • Whipping cream

Essentials of Tuscan Cooking -

  • Fresh Ricotta & Spinach Ravioli in Light Tomato Sauce with Fresh Arugula
  • Lemony Chicken with Slow-Cooked Onions & White Wine
  • Braised Cannellini Beans with Garlic and Sage
  • The Ultimate Roasted Rosemary Potatoes
  • Crispy Almond Biscotti with Cranberries & Pistachios

A playground for the rich and famous from all corners of the globe, Tuscany has attracted tourists and visitors since the golden age of Michelangelo, Leonardo, and the de' Medicis. From the Renaissance marvels of the Uffizi Gallery in Florence to the colorful costumes of the horse Palio in Siena and the splendors of its hilltop towns, Tuscany combines art, culture, architecture, and natural beauty in a seamless tapestry. And there may be no better time to explore Tuscan cuisine than in the summer, when the markets offer a bounty of fruit and vegetables ready to be transformed into memorable meals. Our Tuscan summer menu features ripe tomatoes, fresh herbs, creamy Ricotta, homemade pasta, and tender chicken, cooked in true Tuscan form and served with fabulous wines. We'll begin our Tuscan taste journey by stuffing fresh pasta with creamy Ricotta and spinach, making agnolotti (round ravioli) that are the very essence of summer tossed with a vibrant, light tomato sauce. Our main course combines tender chicken morsels with slow-cooked onions, just right served alongside braised beans with garlic and herbs and heavenly roasted rosemary potatoes. And for dessert, we'll bake crispy lemon-scented almond biscotti, a true Tuscan treat.

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Essentials of Tuscan Cooking | Saturday July 18, 12PM to 3PM

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Techniques learned:

  • Making fresh pasta dough
  • Making fresh pasta dough
  • Using a pasta machine
  • Shaping ravioli by hand
  • Making fresh tomato sauce
  • Braising chicken
  • Caramelizing onions
  • Roasting potatoes
  • Making nut biscotti

Neapolitan Favorites

  • Focaccia with Olive Oil & Tomatoes
  • Neapolitan Three-Cheese & Meat Lasagna
  • Shrimp in "Crazy Water" (with Spicy Tomato-Garlic Broth)
  • Roasted Broccoli with Garlic
  • Silky Espresso Tiramisu over Drunken Ladyfingers

Join us for a taste of Naples right here in Manhattan, a chance to explore the cuisine of this lively southern Italian city without getting on a plane. We'll begin our Neapolitan feast with a timeless classic: handmade focaccia topped with fresh tomatoes and oregano, the perfect starting point for any Italian meal. Next up: fresh lasagna layered with cheese and a hearty sausage ragu; and while you can buy ready-made lasagna noodles if you are short on time, we'll make the pasta dough from scratch in this class, giving you the foundation to making fresh pasta confidently at home in the future. Our main course: shrimp poached in a lightly spicy broth with capers, parsley, and garlic, just delicious with a side of roasted broccoli with garlic and chili oil. A classic Neapolitan dessert featuring liqueur-soaked ladyfingers and a silky espresso custard closes the meal on a decadent sweet note. BONUS: Free bag of Lavazza coffee to bring home for each class attendee!

SOLD OUT Neapolitan Favorites | Friday July 24, 6PM to 9PM

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Techniques learned:

  • Making focaccia dough
  • Working with yeast
  • Making meat sauce
  • Making fresh pasta dough
  • Layering lasagna
  • Cooking shrimp
  • Roasting vegetables
  • Making custard
  • Whipping cream

Fresh Pasta Workshop: Summer Favorites -

  • Reginette with Crab, Saffron, & Shallots (The Veneto)
  • Ricotta Gnocchi with Arugula & Olive Pesto (Tuscany)
  • Cavatelli with Roasted Broccoli and Crispy Garlic Bread Crumbs (Basilicata)
  • Mixed Greens in Balsamic Vinaigrette
  • Crunchy Almond Biscotti

Italians are world-famous for their pasta, and with good reason: whether it's light, ethereal egg noodles from the Veneto, rich, cheesy gnocchi from Tuscany, or rustic semolina creations from southern Italy, fresh pasta made the traditional Italian way rarely disappoints. And while a few recipes have won the hearts and stomachs of many, there are hundreds of other, lesser-known treasures that few gourmets have had the pleasure to taste. In this class, we'll learn to make three ideal summer pastas from three different Italian regions, and pair each with their ideal sauce. From the Veneto: silky reginette (curly tagliatelle) in a saffron-scented crab sauce. From Tuscany: light Ricotta gnocchi tossed with a fragrant, peppery arugula and olive pesto. From Basilicata, in Italy's south: handmade cavatelli made only from semolina flour and water, sauced with an abundance of roasted broccoli and topped with golden garlic-kissed bread crumbs. And to round out the meal, we'll enjoy a refreshing salad and some homemade biscotti...

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Fresh Pasta Workshop: Summer Favorites | Saturday July 25, 12PM to 3PM

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Techniques learned:

  • Making fresh pasta dough with eggs and flour
  • Making ricotta gnocchi
  • Making cavatelli dough from semolina flour and water
  • Cooking crab
  • Making arugula and olive pesto
  • Making tomato sauce
  • Roasting vegetables as a sauce for pasta
  • Making biscotti

Pizza Workshop -

  • Make your own custom Pizza - choose from dozens of toppings, plus:
  • Classic Pizza Margherita
  • Pizza Rosa with Speck, Arugula, Truffle Oil & Mascarpone
  • Pizza Dolce with Apricot & Chocolate

I've been teaching Italian cooking for years, and the thing that seems to scare people off more than anything is working with yeast. Maybe it's the fear that, left to its own devices, yeast will take over the kitchen--just think of dough ballooning out of the oven in that episode of "I Love Lucy". But I've found that once people get their hands into the dough and get familiar with how yeast works, the fear disappears. All it takes is understanding a few rules, getting comfortable with basic techniques such as kneading and shaping the dough, and a reliable recipe. Whether you're making bread, focaccia, pizza, or any other yeast-risen dough, the principles are the same. It's all about temperature, ingredients, and technique. If you've ever wanted to bake crisp, thin-crust pizzas, this hands-on class is for you: I'll take you through the essential techniques of kneading, rolling, topping, and baking pizza dough and demystify the process of working with yeast. We'll bake Italy's most famous pizzas, starting with the classic tomato- and Mozzarella-topped Pizza Margherita, then set our imaginations free and combine various toppings for a true pizza-lover's fantasy. We'll even make a sweet pizza... delicious with a glass of sweet wine at meal's end!

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$110 | Pizza Workshop | Friday July 31, 6PM to 8:30PM

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Techniques learned:

  • Working with yeast
  • Kneading dough
  • Shaping pizza
  • Controlling oven temperature
  • Ideal pizza topping ratios
  • Incorporating bread-making into a busy schedule

Tuscan Summer Classics -

  • Herbed Shrimp & Cannellini Beans over Peppery Arugula Salad
  • Spinach- & Ricotta-Stuffed Chicken Bundles in Fresh Tomato Salsa
  • Light-as-Air Potato Gnocchi with Roasted Mushrooms & Sage
  • Roasted String Beans with Sundried Tomatoes & Thyme
  • Fresh Berry Mousse with Limoncello

Get ready for an unbelievable taste of Tuscan food... Light, yet full of flavor, this menu will transport you to the Tuscan countryside on first bite. Our starter: an elegant marriage of herb-marinated shrimp, creamy cannellini beans, and peppery arugula spiked with olives and lemon zest; this salad is so delicious, in fact, you'll find yourself making it time and again for guests on lazy summer days. Our main course is a stunning chicken involtino (bundle in Italian) stuffed with fresh Ricotta, spinach, and Parmigiano, dredged in egg, rolled in sesame seeds for extra crunch and flavor, and baked rather than fried... just perfect with a refreshing tomato salsa accented by summer-sweet basil, a side of pillowy potato gnocchi, and some roasted string beans. For dessert, we'll whip up an addictive mousse of Mascarpone and Limoncello, topped with fresh summer berries.

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Tuscan Summer Classics | Saturday August 1, 12PM to 3PM

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Techniques learned:

  • Poaching shrimp in wine
  • Stuffing chicken
  • Making fresh tomato salsa
  • Making potato gnocchi
  • Roasting mushrooms to enhance flavor
  • Roasting vegetables
  • Using Mascarpone cheese in a sweet application
  • Making simple syrup

Northern Italian Favorites -

  • Classic Lasagna Bolognese
  • Herb-Rubbed Filet Mignon in Salsa Verde
  • Roasted Asparagus with Parmigiano
  • Sweet Summer Peppers with Basil & Garlic
  • Molten Chocolate Cake with Rich Chocolate Ganache

This class on northern Italian cuisine starts off with one of Italy's most beloved pastas: an elegant lasagna bolognese, prepared with handmade spinach pasta, layered with creamy bechamel and a sumptuous, slow-cooked ragu; once you've mastered the way to knead and roll out fresh pasta dough for lasagna, you'll be able to make all manner of fresh pasta from scratch at home. We'll roast an herb-rubbed beef tenderloin (aka filet mignon) until it is perfectly rosy, and serve it in hearty slices with a bracing caper-and-parsley sauce known as salsa verde in Italy; this recipe will not only demistify the cooking of filet mignon, it underscores the fact that a delicious, versatile sauce need not be difficult to make. We'll roast asparagus with Parmigiano, and sweet summer peppers with garlic and herbs, as a colorful side to our filet mignon. And for dessert, I'll share my favorite recipe for a nearly flourless, deeply molten chocolate cake... what a way to end our northern Italian feast!

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Northern Italian Favorites | Friday August 7, 6PM to 9PM

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Techniques learned:

  • Making fresh pasta dough with eggs and flour
  • Making bolognese ragu
  • Layering lasagna
  • Making bechamel sauce
  • Roasting filet
  • Making Italian salsa verde
  • Roasting vegetables
  • Making molten chocolate cake
  • Whipping cream

Summer Seafood Feast -

  • Homemade Cavatelli Pasta with Monkfish Amatriciana
  • Stuffed and Rolled Mediterranean Sea Bass (Branzino) with Three-Herb Pesto
  • Shrimp, Asparagus, & Chive Risotto
  • Caramelized Brussels Sprouts with Lemon & Garlic
  • Flaky Apple & Walnut Strudel with Vanilla Ice Cream

The Italian seaside: lush visions of blue waters, gentle breezes, golden sun... Take a virtual journey to the Italian seaside with me in this new class devoted to the pleasures of Italian seafood cooking. We'll start off with a pasta I sampled in Puglia, a pasta so good that I couldn't wait to recreate it in a cooking class upon my return to New York: a novel take on amatriciana sauce (the delectable trio of Pancetta, tomatoes, and chili) featuring chunks of tender monkfish and the merest hint of balsamic vinegar. We'll roll delicate fillets of branzino around sweet peppers and roast them in an elegant white wine broth, and serve a heavenly shrimp and asparagus risotto, and caramelized Brussels sprouts, alongside. We'll finish our seaside feast with a flaky apple and nut strudel garnished with a hearty scoop of vanilla ice cream; the dough for this strudel is made with extra-virgin olive oil rather than butter, and it bakes up flaky and light, the ideal complement to the sumptuous nut and fruit filling inside.

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Summer Seafood Feast | Saturday August 8, 12PM to 3PM

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Techniques learned:

  • Working with semolina flour
  • Making cavatelli pasta
  • Cooking with monkfish
  • Making tomato sauce
  • Stuffing fish filets
  • Making pesto
  • Stirring risotto
  • Cooking shrimp to perfection
  • Kneading sweet strudel dough
  • Rolling out strudel dough

The 10 Best Pasta Sauces #2 -

  • Cavatelli with Roasted Grape Tomatoes & Wilted Arugula
  • Orecchiette with Ricotta & Spicy Sausage
  • Spaghetti alla Carbonara
  • Spinach Linguine with Sauteed Wild Mushrooms
  • Campanelle with Garlic, Chili, & Toasted Bread Crumbs
  • Penne Gratin ai Quattro Formaggi (with Four Cheeses)
  • Tagliatelle in Vodka Sauce
  • Pappardelle with Peas, Prosciutto, & Cream
  • Angel Hair Pasta with Fresh Tomatoes & Basil
  • Rigatoni alla Puttanesca (with Tomatoes, Capers, Olives, & Chili)

Once you've attended this class, you'll never cook pasta the same way again! After all, is there any food that lends itself more to weeknight meals and impromptu dinners with friends than pasta? Pasta is not only healthy and versatile, it takes mere minutes to cook. But many of us have a limited repertoire of pasta sauces, relying on easy stand-bys like marinara sauce or ragu. In this informative and fun class, I'll unveil the secrets of cooking pasta (no spaghetti thrown on the wall to test for doneness, please!), then show you how to pair a variety of pasta shapes (some well known, others less so) with their ideal sauce. Next, we'll cook ten flavorful, authentic Italian pastas suited to everyday eating and simple entertaining, and enjoy them family-style with some fabulous white and red wines. The 10 pasta sauces you'll learn to make in this hands-on class are sure to change the way you cook and eat on a daily basis... They've become my absolute favorites over years of cooking, and they're sure to become favorites in your kitchen too. Even if you already attended our Ten Best Pasta Sauces Class or our Ten Best Pasta Sauces Cookbook Edition Class, you'll learn plenty of new tricks and tips in this brand new class, and you'll enjoy a fabulous dinner while you're at it! Bonus: I'll sign copies of my new cookbook The Best Pasta Sauces: Favorite Regional Italian Recipes at a special price of $25 per copy.

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The 10 Best Pasta Sauces #2 | Friday August 14, 6PM to 8:30PM

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Techniques Learned:

  • Making vegetable-based pasta sauces
  • Working with fresh & canned tomatoes
  • Making pesto
  • Using wine & liqueurs in pasta sauce
  • Cooking pasta properly
  • Knowing when pasta is al dente
  • Saucing pasta correctly
  • Pairing various pasta shapes with the appropriate sauce
  • Making fresh cavatelli pasta

Fresh Pasta Workshop: Central Italy -

  • Cheese Ravioli in Red Wine-Laced Tomato Sauce (Tuscany)
  • Ricotta Gnocchi with Roasted Fennel & Tomatoes (Umbria)
  • Tagliatelle with Artichokes, Porcini Mushrooms, & White Wine (The Marches)
  • Mixed Greens in Balsamic Vinaigrette
  • Crunchy Nut & Chocolate Biscotti

Italians are world-famous for their pasta, and with good reason: whether it's light, ethereal egg noodles, pillowy gnocchi, or hearty filled pastas, fresh pasta made the traditional Italian way rarely disappoints. And while a few recipes have won the hearts and stomachs of many, there are hundreds of other, lesser-known treasures that few gourmets have had the pleasure to taste. In this class, we'll learn to make three ideal summer pastas from three different central Italian regions, and pair each with their ideal sauce. From Tuscany: hand-shaped ravioli filled with cheese, napped in a wine-laced tomato sauce. From Umbria: light Ricotta gnocchi tossed with a fragrant roasted fennel sauce. From the Marches: silky tagliatelle tossed with a delicate artichoke and mushroom sauce. And to round out the meal, we'll enjoy a refreshing salad and some homemade biscotti...

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Fresh Pasta Workshop: Central Italy | Saturday August 15, 12PM to 3PM

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Techniques learned:

  • Making all-purpose, foolproof pasta dough
  • Using a pasta machine
  • Cutting tagliatelle
  • Making light Ricotta gnocchi
  • Stuffing ravioli
  • Making tomato sauce with red wine
  • Cooking with dried porcini mushrooms
  • Roasting fennel
  • Making nut biscotti

Dinner in Piedmont-

  • Light-as-Air Yam Gnocchi in Sage Butter Sauce
  • Herb-Rubbed Filet Mignon with Leek & Red Wine Sauce
  • Roasted Eggplants, Zucchini, & Peppers in Basil-Scented Oil
  • Stuffed Summer Tomatoes with Herbed Ricotta Mousse
  • Flourless Hazelnut-Chocolate Cake with Dark Chocolate Sauce

My family has had a home in Piedmont, overlooking the Lago Maggiore, since I could barely talk. I grew up on the rich roasts, buttery pastas, creamy risottos, and cheese-laced polentas of the area; not to mention its famed chocolate desserts, sweetwater fish, and delectable farmhouse cheeses. This class explores Piedmontese cooking in all its glory, from its delectable gnocchi all the way to its memorable desserts. We'll begin by making the dough for gnocchi; while potato gnocchi may be the ones you think of first, yams, pumpkin, squash, and even sweet potatoes make the perfect starting point for gnocchi: as long as you handle the dough right and follow my foolproof proportions, you'll have the lightest gnocchi imaginable. As a main course, we'll roast a beef tenderloin and serve it with a rich red wine sauce; a side of roasted summer vegetables and my favorite stuffed tomatoes are ideal accompaniments. And for dessert, we'll bake a flourless, rich, not-too-sweet hazelnut chocolate cake; after all, Piedmont is renowned the world over for its chocolate and its hazelnuts.

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Dinner in Piedmont | Friday August 21, 6PM to 9PM

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Techniques learned:

  • Making yam gnocchi
  • Making sage butter sauce
  • Roasting filet
  • Making a red wine reduction
  • Roasting vegetables
  • Stuffing tomatoes
  • Making flourless chocolate cake
  • Making ganache

Summer Entertaining -

  • Classic Focaccia
  • Cavatelli Pasta with Burst Grape Tomatoes, Arugula, & Ricotta
  • Slow-Cooked Chicken with Olives, Rosemary, & White Wine
  • Tuscan Panzanella Salad (Bread, Tomatoes, & Basil)
  • The Ultimate Tiramisu

Join us for a brand new class and learn to prepare five classic dishes ideal for summer entertaining. First we'll knead dough for a moist, olive oil-kissed focaccia sprinkled with sea salt, then we'll learn to make fresh semolina flour pasta using a foolproof recipe; we'll pair our cavatelli pasta with a sumptuous yet light roasted tomato sauce, an ideal summer sauce that can be made a few days ahead and warmed gently when ready to serve. As a main course, we'll toss boneless chicken morsels with plenty of rosemary and slow-cook them with onions, white wine, and olives, perfect accompanied by Tuscany's famous panzanella salad, a vibrant mingling of tomatoes, cucumbers, bread, and basil. For dessert, we'll master the art of making the lightest, airiest tiramisu ever, always a favorite for hands-off summer entertaining since it can be prepared a day ahead.

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Summer Entertaining | Saturday August 22, 12PM to 3PM

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Techniques learned:

  • Working with yeast
  • Making focaccia dough
  • Making cavatelli pasta
  • Roasting tomatoes as a sauce for pasta
  • Slow-cooking chicken
  • Making Tuscan panzanella salad
  • Whipping cream
  • Making tiramisu

An Italian Feast-

  • Beet Ravioli with Smoked Mozzarella & Warm Poppy Seed Butter
  • Filet Mignon with Leek & Chianti Glaze
  • Ricotta-Stuffed Cabbage Bundles
  • Savory Mushroom & Sage Bread Pudding
  • Nonna's Dark Chocolate Cake with Whipped Mascarpone Cream

In Italy, home cooks create an amazing array of dishes drawing on regional ingredients and closely guarded family recipes. In this new class, we'll prepare five fabulous dishes that draw on the best of Italian home cooking from five distinct regions of Italy. From the mountainous reaches of the Veneto area, we'll prepare the most colorful ravioli ever, stuffed with a pink beet puree' and sauced with a delightful poppy seed butter. From the stunning countryside of Tuscany, we'll rub a picture-perfect beef tenderloin with rosemary and garlic, roast it until it's rosy inside, and serve it in generous slices with a Chianti and leek glaze. From the Austrian-influenced towns of Trentino-Alto Adige, we'll stuff Savoy cabbage with fresh Ricotta, Pancetta, and a hint of lemon zest. From the woods of Umbria, we'll whip up a sage-scented mushroom bread pudding. And from the kitchen of my very own grandmother in central Milan, Lombardy, we'll bake a chocolate cake with a touch of cinnamon and lemon zest, a family favorite topped with a cloud of whipped Mascarpone cream.

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An Italian Feast | Friday September 11, 6PM to 9PM

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Techniques learned:

  • Making fresh pasta
  • Using a pasta machine
  • Shaping & sealing ravioli
  • Roasting filet
  • Making a red wine reduction
  • Stuffing cabbage Italian-syle
  • Making savory bread puddings
  • Making a moist cocoa-based chocolate cake
  • Whipping cream

Fresh Pasta for Beginners -

  • Basic Egg Pasta Dough
  • Fresh Tagliatelle
  • Three-Cheese Ravioli
  • Basil-Scented Tomato Sauce
  • Mom's Classic Two-Meat Ragu
  • Mixed Greens in Balsamic Vinaigrette
  • Crunchy Almond Biscotti

This class was designed for anyone who wants to perfect the art of making fresh pasta from scratch. You'll begin by kneading your very own egg pasta (the ratio is simple and foolproof), working alongside your class companions as you master the timeless techniques of incorporating egg into flour and working the dough into a supple and silky mass with your hands. After the dough rests, we'll roll it out into thin lasagna sheets and finish it two ways: cutting it with the aid of a pasta machine, into picture-perfect tagliatelle; and stuffing it with a luscious three-cheese filling, yielding delicate ravioli worthy of elegant entertaining. We'll also learn to prepare two classic sauces of the Italian kitchen: a light, herb-laced tomato sauce, and a delicate ragu slow-cooked with plenty of herbs and wine. We'll also learn to make crunchy, addictive almond biscotti. And after the cooking is done, we'll savor our fresh pasta paired with our homemade sauces, followed by a light green salad and our just-baked biscotti. The techniques you'll learn in this class will serve you whenever you make any type of pasta: long or short, flat or filled, from lasagne and ravioli to pappardelle and tagliatelle.

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Fresh Pasta for Beginners | Saturday September 12, 12PM to 3PM

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Techniques learned:

  • Making fresh egg pasta
  • Knowing which types of flour to use for different doughs
  • Using a pasta machine
  • Cutting tagliatelle
  • Stuffing and shaping ravioli
  • Making basic tomato sauce
  • Making ragu
  • Making biscotti

Northern Italian Classics -

  • Homemade Potato Gnocchi in Fragrant Basil Pesto
  • Braised Beef Short Ribs with Caramelized Onions & Red Wine
  • Peas with Prosciutto & Scallions
  • Creamy Polenta with Sage & Nutmeg
  • Moist Marzipan Cakes with Whipped Cream & Bittersweet Chocolate Sauce

The northern Italian regions of Lombardy, Piedmont, and Emilia-Romagna are known for their excellent cow's milk cheeses (Parmigiano, Grana, and Mascarpone immediately spring to mind), their succulent meat dishes, their creamy risottos and polentas, their light and silky fresh pastas, and their elegant desserts. We'll start off with ethereally light potato gnocchi tossed with a fragrant basil pesto; I'll share my mom's foolproof gnocchi recipe, and you'll never find yourself buying gnocchi at the store again! We'll follow our gnocchi with tender, falling-off-the-bone short ribs in a rich red wine and Pancetta sauce, slow-cooked peas with scallions and Prosciutto, and a sage-scented polenta. We'll finish our northern Italian feast with a sumptuous marzipan cake bathed in dark chocolate sauce... a decadent finale to an equally decadent meal.

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Northern Italian Classics | Friday September 18, 6PM to 9PM

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Techniques learned:

  • Making potato gnocchi
  • Making basil pesto
  • Braising short ribs
  • Making a wine reduction sauce
  • Making lump-free polenta
  • Working with almond paste
  • Whipping cream
  • Making chocolate ganache

Hot & Spicy Italian -

  • Crispy Chili & Fennel Flatbread
  • Fusilli with Double-Spicy Calabrese Ragu
  • Wine-Poached Shrimp with Dad's Fresh Hot Pepper Sauce
  • Roasted Eggplants, Peppers, & Zucchini with Chili & Garlic
  • The Ultimate Chili-Laced Molten Chocolate Cake

Spicy, spicy, spicy... These five dishes all feature chili one way or another (yes, even the chocolate cake: after all, when the Aztecs used to brew their chocolate drink, they didn't add any sugar, but they did add chilies). But in true Italian fashion, the chili taste in these dishes is never overpowering, just flavorful enough to make its presence felt. Most of these dishes hail from central and southern Italy, where chilies (known as "diavolicchio", or The Little Devil) are abundantly used. A crispy focaccia from Molise will kick off this special menu: rolled out thin, scented with crushed chilies and fennel seeds, it is absolutely addictive. Next up: fusilli pasta with a Calabrese sauce featuring spicy pork sausage and plenty of garlic (after all, chili and garlic are meant to be together). As a main course, we'll poach succulent shrimp in a heady wine broth and serve it with my dad's very unique chili sauce and a hearty portion of chili-tossed roasted end-of-summer vegetables. And our chocolate cake will combine two Mexican dried chilies and two classic American spices to create a hauntingly flavored, deliciously different molten creation.

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Hot & Spicy Italian | Saturday September 19, 12PM to 3PM

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Techniques learned:

  • Working with fresh and dried chilies
  • Mitigating spice in chilies
  • Making savory crackers
  • Making cavatelli pasta
  • Making ragu
  • Poaching shrimp
  • Making fresh chili sauce
  • Making molten chocolate cake
  • Whipping cream

Tuscan Harvest Feast -

  • Tuscan Bean & Kale Soup over Garlic-Rubbed Bread (Ribollita)
  • Chicken with Porcini Mushrooms & Marsala
  • Light-as-Air Ricotta Gnocchi in Sage Butter
  • Caramelized Fennel with Parmigiano
  • Sweet Focaccia with Grapes & Crunchy Sugar

Harvest is a magical time in Italy. Nature offers a bounty of fruits and vegetables, and as the days get shorter and the autumn chill starts to descend, there's an instinctive need to cozy up in the kitchen with comforting foods that celebrate the abundance of the season. Join me for a class that pays homage to the Italian harvest and learn five of Tuscany's great countryside classics. We'll begin with one of the region's most amazing soups, a robust commingling of beans, vegetables, and bread that will leave you feeling like you had dinner at a Tuscan farmhouse (and I guarantee that when you make ribollita at home, you'll want to make a double batch just so you can warm up the leftovers the next day, in true Tuscan fashion: after all, ribollita means "boiled twice")! Our main course: tender, juicy chicken topped with a heady sauce of herbs, onions, dried porcini mushrooms, and Marsala wine. We'll make the lightest Ricotta gnocchi imaginable, and roast fennel to golden perfection under a veil of Parmigiano. And for dessert, we'll knead a sweet olive oil dough, top it with juicy grapes and sugar, and enjoy a typical autumn treat in Tuscany.

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Tuscan Harvest Feast | Friday September 25, 6PM to 9PM

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Techniques learned:

  • Making a Tuscan-style bean soup
  • Searing chicken
  • Cooking with dried porcini mushrooms
  • Making light Ricotta gnocchi
  • Making sage butter
  • Caramelizing vegetables
  • Working with yeast
  • Making sweet focaccia dough

Italian for Beginners -

  • Perfect Homemade Tagliatelle with Two-Meat Ragu
  • Chicken Scaloppine with Provolone & Prosciutto in Marsala Glaze
  • Roasted Broccoli with Garlic & Chili
  • Smashed Baby Red Potatoes with Chives & Smoked Paprika
  • The Ultimate Tiramisu

Although we designed this class with beginner cooks in mind, the techniques we'll be covering are so basic and so important to Italian cooking that anyone who enjoys Italian cuisine is sure to learn something new. We'll start off by making fresh egg pasta; I have devised a special formula that is foolproof and yields consistently delicious results, no matter what shape of pasta you're craving... it's all about which flour you use and how many eggs you add to your dough. We'll cook a perfect ragu sauce for our pasta, and there's a key to success here too, one that many advanced home cooks often skip, with disappointing results. As a main course, we'll brown chicken scaloppine, top them with cheese and Prosciutto, and finish them in the oven as we create a flavorful pan sauce with Marsala wine. Broccoli is first blanched, then roasted with garlic and chili to make a refreshing accompaniment for the chicken; sweet red baby potatoes are roasted until they are crispy on the outside and creamy within, then showered with fresh chives and a hint of smoked paprika (these potatoes are so ridiculously good that we promise you'll be making them time and again!). And for dessert, I'll share my foolproof recipe for tiramisu with you... it's so good, you'll never be able to eat the store-bought stuff again.

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$110 pp | Italian for Beginners | Saturday September 26, 12PM to 3PM

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Techniques Learned:

  • Making fresh egg pasta
  • Using a pasta machine
  • Cutting pasta sheets into tagliatelle
  • Making a classic meat ragu
  • Searing chicken
  • Making a wine reduction sauce
  • Boiling & roasting vegetables
  • Making a light, airy tiramisu

RUSTICO COOKING is located at 40 West 39th Street, Third floor, New York, NY 10018 - right between Fifth and Sixth Avenues, in the heart of Midtown Manhattan. When you get to the building, just press on buzzer # 3. Visits are by appointment only.

WHEN: Daytime lunch classes begin at 12 PM, (doors open at 11:45 AM) and Evening Dinner classes start at 6 PM (doors open at 5:45PM). Classes last 2.5 to 3 hours.

GETTING THERE: You can take the 4, 5, or 6 trains to Grand Central, or the F or V trains to Bryant Park-42nd Street. If you prefer the bus, take the M1, M2, M3, or M4 along Fifth and Madison Avenues, or the M6 and M7 along Sixth and Seventh Avenues. If you are coming by car, park at one of many parking lots in Midtown.

WHAT TO BRING: We supply all ingredients, tools, and, of course, recipes... Aprons are the only item NOT supplied. You can bring an apron if you like, or you can purchase a handsome embroidered apron for $20.

WHAT TO EXPECT: Class size averages 16 people. Before the class starts, finger foods and water will be available for the class participants. The instructor will give a brief introduction about the class, then participants will wash their hands and people with long hair will tie their hair back (we are extremely hygiene conscious since you will be eating the food that you are preparing!). Then everybody goes in the kitchen for the cooking portion (details on that below) which lasts about 90 minutes; At the end of the cooking, people are seated and the featured menu is served along with a taste of 2 to 3 wines.

COOKING CLASS FLOW: Classes are hands-on: participants will make everything on the menu, working together as a group. To ensure everyone learn the most important parts of a given menu, key techniques (such as making fresh pasta dough from scratch for instance) will be executed by class participants individually or in small teams of 2-3 people. Other parts of the menu may involve larger teams where individuals take turns in an activity; for instance, when making risotto in a class of 16 people, it would be impossible to have 16 risotto pans at the stove, so we would have 2 pans, and participants will take turns stirring. In order to allow class participants to spend more time focusing on the relevant techniques of a given class, washing, measuring and chopping of the majority of ingredients is done before students arrive. This way, class participants can spend a longer time mastering the trickier aspects of Italian cooking; we feel that people can more easily figure out how to measure ingredients and how to get from an onion to a chopped onion, compared to knowing the technique to make (for example) amazing gnocchi every single time - so we spend more time on these more challenging techniques.

WHAT TO WEAR: Flat shoes and comfortable clothing are required for your safety and comfort. Please avoid high heels and loose sleeves.

ONLINE PAYMENT: The easiest way to reserve a class is to pay online using the "Add to cart" buttons (quick, easy, & secure). Within 24 hrs you will get a reservation confirmation via email; we will ask for a phone number - Please note that the telephone numbers are not used for solicitation or marketing, they are only for reaching clients in the unlikely event that a class that they have signed up for needs to be rescheduled.

PAYMENT BY PHONE: You can also call 917-602-1519 and we will take a reservation. We accept VISA, MasterCard and Discover.

REDEEMING A GIFT CERTIFICATE: The easiest way is to use our online form under each class description; just fill up the required information and we will sign you up for the class of your choice unless it is sold out! You can also email us indicating the class(es) that you want to join, and the name of the person that gave you the certificate(s). We will then email you back with a reservation confirmation. You can also call 917-602-1519 in order to redeem your gift certificates.

PAYMENT BY CHECK: You can also send a check payable to RUSTICO COOKING LLC to: RUSTICO COOKING, 40 West 39th Street, 3rd floor, New York, NY, 10018. Please include a note with your name, telephone number, email address, and date of the class with your check. If you have made a check payment, please call 917-602-1519 to confirm your reservation 3 days before class.

To sign up or for further information, call 917-602-1519.

To purchase a gift certificate package, click here or call 917-602-1519.

CANCELLATION POLICY: No refunds issued, only credit. For regularly priced cooking classes: minimum 7-day advance notice. For cooking classes priced at more than $110 per person: 14-day advance notice. For groups of 4 or more: 21-day advance notice.

WINTER WEATHER CONDITIONS: The same cancellation policy applies during November through April, when snowfall and other inclement weather conditions are a possibility. We are just three blocks south of the Broadway Theater district. If Broadway shows are on, classes at Rustico Cooking are on. If you live outside of NYC and are concerned about winter weather conditions hindering your transportation to the city, we suggest selecting a Spring, Summer or Fall cooking class, as we will not be able to give you credit towards a future class with less advance notice than stated above