You can’t imagine how exciting we become every time we bring you another MasterClass. We already said this multiple times but we are huge fans of this platform. If you want to learn new things or perfect old techniques, MasterClass is the right place to learn them. For this week’s article, we decided to travel to Italy to bring you Massimo Bottura MasterClass Review.
Massimo Bottura, chef of the three-Michelin-star Osteria Francescana, treats his world-renowned restaurant as a laboratory of ideas. In his MasterClass, he shares how he transforms classic, regional Italian recipes into exciting modern dishes. You’ll learn how to make rich, flavorful tagliatelle al ragù, pumpkin risotto, and a MasterClass-exclusive Emilia Burger recipe. Develop your palate and embark on a culinary adventure.
If you already know and watch any of the MasterClass we reviewed you will realize that this one is slightly different. Besides recipes, techniques and all the good things that come with a MasterClass, Massimo will teach you how to use the most important tool you’ll ever have – your palate. You will learn how to use your creativity and instincts to evolve classic recipes for yourself, just as he did with the recipes from his youth.
Throughout this MasterClass, your palate will be the most important tool, as you make your way through the recipes. Don’t rely on the recipes as gospel – instead, do as Massimo does, tasting along the way so you know where you’re headed and how you can improve in the future. Call on your palate constantly to discern the flavors and the feeling of the ingredients in order to stay connected to your tastes and continue to evolve them.
This different approach is what we liked the most in Massimo’s MasterClass. We are always saying that techniques are far more important than recipes, but one thing is certain, is the palate that is more important than any technique.
01 – Introduction
Meet your new instructor: Massimo Bottura, chef of the three-Michelin-star restaurant Osteria Francescana. Massimo explains why he believes in evolving classic recipes, developing your palate, and embracing creativity in the kitchen.
02 – An Evolution of Pesto
Start learning how to experiment with traditional recipes as Massimo shares his unique take on pesto, using bread crumbs in place of pine nuts. Joining Massimo is Taka Kondo, his sous-chef.
03 – Tortellini Part 1: Broth and Sauce
In the Emilia-Romagna region of Italy, tortellini is the quintessential dish. Massimo shows you how to make the two classic tortellini accompaniments: il brodo, the rich, delicious broth, and a Parmigiano-Reggiano cream sauce.
04 – Tortellini Part 2: Dough, Filling, and Assembly
Some special guests join Massimo to help make a very traditional tortellini dough and filling. Learn how to assemble this essential Emilia-Romagna dish.
05 – Emilia Burger
Massimo shows you his interpretation of a burger that features regional ingredients from Emilia-Romagna. He then challenges students to create their own regionally-inspired burgers.
06 – Passatelli Part 1: Vegetarian “Broth of Everything”
Zero-waste cooking is one of Massimo’s guiding principles in the kitchen. Massimo demonstrates how a vegetarian brodo di tutto (“broth of everything”) makes beautiful use of vegetable scraps.
07 – Passatelli Part 2: Bread Crumb Pasta
Massimo shows you how he’s evolved his grandmother’s recipe for passatelli, fresh bread crumb noodles that are light and full of umami. The passatelli are served in the “broth of everything.”
08 – “Spin-Painted” Beet
Discover the secret ingredient in this striking vegetarian dish of roasted beets that is inspired by one of Massimo’s favorite artists, Damien Hirst. Its highly versatile sauces can be used in many other meat and vegetable preparations.
09 – Sogliola al Cartoccio (Mediterranean-Style Sole)
Massimo teaches you how to make a delicious parchment-baked sole using classic Mediterranean flavors: lemons, capers, olives, tomatoes, and parsley.
10 – Tagliatelle With Hand-Chopped Ragù (Meat Sauce)
Tagliatelle with ragù is the dish that put Osteria Francescana on the map. Massimo teaches you his version that uses hand-chopped (not ground) beef and time to maximize flavor.
11 – “Better Than Panettone” Soufflé
Massimo shows you how to transform leftover cakes and sweet breads into a delicious, light soufflé that’s better than the sum of its parts. In this recipe, he uses panettone, an Italian sweet bread with raisins and candied fruit.
12 – Pumpkin Risotto
Massimo teaches you a unique approach to risotto, using fresh orange juice and roasted pumpkin purée rather than the traditional white wine, butter, and onions. It turns out like a dessert, and you can riff on the recipe any way you’d like.
13 – Bonus: Tasting Demonstration
To help you develop your palate, Massimo walks through the tasting of three ingredients that are fundamental to his version of Italian cuisine: tomatoes, Parmigiano-Reggiano, and balsamic vinegar.
14 – Bonus: The Story Behind Two Dishes From Osteria Francescana
Massimo shares how he came up with the recipes for two signature dishes served at Osteria Francescana—The Crunchy Part of the Lasagna and Mediterranean Sole—and demonstrates how they each come together as final plates.
This MasterClass is different from the others we reviewed, not just because it’s focused on the palate, but because will make you look to old recipes, and traditions in a different way. As you make your way through the classes, and especially through the class cookbook, you’ll notice that each recipe falls under one of Massimo’s core cooking philosophies: evolving tradition, evoking memories and emotions, zero-waste cooking, drawing inspiration from contemporary art and music, and using ingredients from your own terroir.
The recipes in this MasterClass are a classic reinterpretation of traditional Italian cuisine. Recipes such as An Evolution of Pesto will change forever the way you look to traditional recipes. We already test many of the recipes in this MasterClass and we love them all. They are easy to make, and even if you don’t have any experience in cooking, if you follow the exact steps that you will find in the class cookbook, you will end up with a great dish.
Another thing that is slightly different in this MasterClass is the class cookbook. We have noticed that the quality of these books has been growing throughout each MasterClass. In this one, you’ll find very detailed recipes with clear instructions. But this is not all! At the beginning of each recipe, you’ll have the story behind each dish, and in the ending, you’ll find more information about the recipe itself or about a specific ingredient.
Massimo Bottura Teaches Modern Italian Cooking brings something new to MasterClass repertoire. The things that Massimo will teach you in this MasterClass are priceless. More than recipes, and techniques, he will try to teach you how to look at food and traditions in a different way. And the biggest lesson that you will learn is to “keep your mental palate in mind”. Only this way you can bring creativity into your kitchen and evolve recipes for yourself.
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Massimo Bottura Teaches Modern Italian Cooking is one of the best and most different MasterClasses we reviewed. With palate in mind, this is a MasterClass that will change the way you look to traditional recipes.