Learn Authentic Italian Cooking at the Heinz History Center

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Screen Shot 2013-08-22 at 10.27.08 PMBy Nicky D Cooks

One of the greatest treasures that Pittsburgh has to offer is the Heinz History Center. When I first moved to the city, a visit to the History Center was on my list of the must things to do. While there I was able to gather in one place what a rich history the Steel City has to offer. I was glad that I had made the trip to the history center. I was so impressed! This city had so much to offer. With its diverse neighborhoods and foods, friendly people and great sports teams, I knew that I could raise my family here and proudly call Pittsburgh my new home.

Over the years, I have embraced the Pittsburgh lifestyle. As a foodie, this town has so many great places to eat.  It has so many little gems and hidden treasures, it is just amazing. I now refer to the Liberty tunnels as the Liberty Tubes, and frequent Primanti Brothers to get my favorite sandwich; the Cap, Egg and Cheese (hot capicola, fried egg and provolone). I love going down to the strip and eating the street food, while buying my cheese, Italian cold cuts and dried pasta from The Pen Mac Co. I also manage to sneak in a pepperoni roll from Mancini’s Bakery, and I do bring some of their delicious bread home too.

I don’t bleed black and gold yet, but I get giddy with excitement over the pending Steeler and Penguins seasons. I love the fall here in Pittsburgh. It means cold weather cooking, football parties and watching the Pens play hockey.

This fall I am excited for another reason because I will add something new to my repertoire. I will be teaching a cooking class at the Heinz History Center.

I have taught many cooking classes before, but when the opportunity arose to teach a class at the Heinz History Center, it was a dream come true. So many of Pittsburgh’s culinary elite have taught and cooked there, how could I say no.

I would teach what I know best and what I know my fellow Pittsburghers like during the chilly months that the Steel city is so famous for, comfort food. The comfort food I am talking about is the ultimate comfort food; Italian American Peasant Food.  Italian American Peasant Food is a simple, uncomplicated food with huge flavors and minimal ingredients. It is food that warms the heart and soul; it is a food for everyone to enjoy.

What will make this class different from the others? I will show you how to cook an authentic Italian American meal in 30 minutes. It will be a new twist on some classic peasant dishes. Come and learn to make a Caprese Salad, Garbanzo Bean Soup with Pork in a Red Sauce, Garlic Bread and Italian Ice Cream Sandwiches for dessert.

Bring an appetite because I will be providing samples of what I am cooking. I promise that it will be a night fun and good food.

Italian American Collection Cooking Workshop: 30-Minute Italian Meal will be held at the Heinz History Center on Thursday, Sept. 19, 2013, 6:30 – 8:30 p.m. For more information, follow the link to the events page at http://www.heinzhistorycenter.org/events.aspx?EventID=339.

Or contact Melissa Marinaro, curator of the History Center’s Italian American Collection, at 412-454-6426 or memarinaro@heinzhistorycenter.org.

Workshop admission is $15, or free for History Center members. Workshop attendees will receive a pass for free admission for a future visit to the History Center.

Ciao Pittsburgh publisher, Jack De Leonibus, and Outreach Manager, Jeff Fanala, will also be on hand representing the Ciao Pittsburgh team, along with Nicky.