"We put the pasta on the fire without the water, we thought it was cooked like that," the students said.
Firefighters arrived at the scene to extinguish the blaze and told the exchange students they also weren't aware that boiling water was required to cook pasta.
Florentine chef Fabio Picchi sought to right the issue by offering the women four hours of Italian cooking lessons in one of his restaurants.
"They will have lunch in our restaurant with two of my extraordinary cooks," Picchi said. "They will teach them the simple basics that are very good if done well. I think this can be useful to them, but also to us. Understanding is what is beautiful and necessary."