We do not have to cook our first dinner with Tuscan Women Cook.

We do not have to cook our first dinner with Tuscan Women Cook. Whew! I get the sense some of the guests are pretty jet lagged. We drive up the hill in our little town of Montefollonico to our first dinner together at Gobbi 13, a local favorite spot. Their house specialty is Cacio e Pepi; fresh, hot pasta tossed in a giant Pecorino cheese wheel by the owner and his handsome son. Ah, what could be better than fresh, cheesy pasta prepared and served by handsome Italian men? The aroma alone has me light-headed. I carefully twirl my first forkful of these silky noodles, gently freckled with fresh ground black pepper and the taste makes me swoon. Coleen confides that they love this dish so much they came here for lunch before we arrived. I get it. This is definitely a dish I could eat multiple times a day. I enjoy every delicious bite and slow down as I catch a peek of the bottom of my bowl. I see the other entrees served family style on heaping platters. There’s a roasted herb chicken and vegetables. There is also fresh baked bread but I only have eyes for my disappearing bowl of Cacio e Pepi. I definitely want to learn to make this delightful dish. We are told we will be taking a cooking class here at 13 Gobbi later in the week. Please, oh please include this dish amongst the featured recipes.
Our group is split between two long tables and everyone is so outgoing with wonderful, personal stories to share. We are all immediately comfortable with each other and chatter effortlessly between bites of delicious food. A deep love of food and travel has brought us together. We have much in common even though we are basically strangers ranging in age from 19 to 70-something. We come from all over America. Two of the group members are college students. One is an elementary school Special Education teacher. One was gifted this trip for her birthday by her sweet husband. One guest raises chickens and supplies eggs to a Southern California bakery. One guest is a meeting planner who once rented out the Palace of Versailles for an event for 800 guests. We even have an Ob/Gyn who has delivered over 30,000 babies! Lucky for him, none of us are pregnant!
A few in the group are contemplating retirement. One couple is about to celebrate their 25th anniversary and several of us are single. I look forward to getting to know everyone and I am already sure about one thing:
No one is going hungry this week.