Nonnas Teach Cooking Classes in Italy at Tuscan Women Cook

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  • February 19, 2023
the landscape of Tuscany
What could be better than learning to cook authentic Italian food from the grandmothers (nonnas) of Tuscany? One of my favorite ways to experience the lifestyle in different cities and countries is to explore their culinary world. From restaurants to home cooking to cooking classes to food markets and beyond, there are so many ways to immerse yourself in the culture. 
women cooking Tuscany
Located in the heart of Tuscany, Tuscan Women Cook celebrates the food and culture of the Italian region with their popular culinary vacation. Ensconced in the beautiful village of Montefollonico, Tuscan Women Cook offers an immersive cooking program to their guests.
During each day of the week-long program, a group of 16 participants learn to cook authentic Italian recipes from some of the best cooks in all of Italy…the local grandmothers, or “nonnas of Montefollonico.” These extraordinary women teach their cooking classes sharing family recipes that have been handed down from generation to generation.
Los Angeles-based owner and host, Coleen Kirnan works closely with the businesses in Montefollonico creating new class experiences, fun and relaxing side trips and activities for her guests.
dining outdoors in Tuscany

“Tuscan Women Cook is proud of our deep relationships forged with the residents and businesses of Montefollonico. We’ve been here since 2000 and feel deeply connected to this community,” Coleen says. “The warm welcome our guests receive from the residents and the personal ties we have with the very best vintners, restaurateurs, and, of course, our cherished nonnas, gives our guests unparalleled, exclusive access to a true Italian culinary experience.”

While staying within the walls of the magical village of Montefollonico, guests stay at the beautiful I Castagni Hotel.  Perched at the very top of Montefollonico, guests enjoy spectacular views of the Chiana valley and the picturesque village from their suites and I Castagni’s well-appointed expansive outdoor terrace.

“Families, friends, couples, and solo travelers of all ages from around the world join us every spring and fall for this life-changing experience,” Coleen states.  “Join a group of accomplished cooks, the culinary curious, and grateful, happy eaters who may very well become your new foodie friends for life. Where better to launch a new friendship than relaxing with a glass of Super Tuscan wine while admiring the breathtaking view of the Tuscan countryside?”

After a day of cooking, eating, and wine tasting, participants are taken on shopping and sightseeing trips to the many beautiful villages and towns of Tuscany. With a little more wine tasting and afternoon gelato sampling, the day ends with a memorable gourmet dinner in the region’s top locales.  

For those wanting to learn more about the recipes being made, check out the cookbook created by host, Coleen Kirnan, Tuscan Women Cook: Nonnas ▪ Memories ▪ Recipes. With a forward by Valerie Bertinelli, the cookbook celebrates the generational recipes shared by the nonnas of Montefollonico during the week-long Tuscan Women Cook culinary program.

ribollita Tuscan Women Cook

Tuscan Women Cook’s week-long program runs during the months of May, June, September and October. For more information, visit TuscanWomenCook


Ribollita Ribollita means “re-boiled” in Italian; another way of saying, “Wow, this will taste even better tomorrow!” When the bread has an extra day or two to absorb even more of the flavorful broth, Ribollita will thicken and taste creamy. Feel free to add your favorite vegetables and herbs to this recipe. There are no hard and fast rules for Ribollita, except to reheat and enjoy, day after day.Recipe and photo reprinted with permission of www.TuscanWomenCook.comfrom the Tuscan Women Cook cookbook Course: Main Course, Side Dish, Soup Cuisine: Italian Keyword: ribollita, soup, Tuscany Cook Time: 100m Servings: 8 – Colander – Stock Pot – 2 cups dried small white beans, washed – Parmesan cheese rind, small piece – 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil – 1 large yellow onion, diced – 4 large carrots – 3 celery ribs, diced – 28 ounce whole peeled tomatoes, undrained can – sea salt – black pepper, fresh ground – dried oregano – 3 large Swiss chard leaves, chiffonade – 1/2 medium white cabbage, chopped – 8 slices dry day old or toasted Italian bread – Parmesan cheese, garnish – Olive oil, garnish 1) Rinse the beans in a colander and pick out any debris or small stones. Place in a medium stockpot and add cold water to cover the beans by about 2 inches. Cover and soak overnight. 2) Drain the beans and cover them with fresh water. Add the Parmesan cheese rind. Over medium heat, simmer until the beans are tender, about 30 minutes. Set aside. 3) Heat the olive oil in a large Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the diced onion, carrots, and celery (soffritto). Cook, stirring occasionally until the onions are translucent, for about 10 minutes 4) Stir in the tomatoes, the beans, and their cooking liquid. Season with salt, pepper, and oregano. Add the chard and cabbage. Add water, vegetable, or chicken broth as needed to completely cover the chard and cabbage.   5) Bring the mixture to boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 1 hour. Adjust the seasonings to taste.   6) Place a piece of bread in each bowl. Ladle the soup on top of the bread. Top each serving of the soup with some Parmesan cheese, a dash of olive oil, and pepper. 

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