Cooking with Lucas

Cooking classes in Vicenza lucas@cookingwithlucas.com

Dear friends! This blog is under re-construction! Soon you will have access to all the recipes for free anywhere and anytime! :)

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12:37 AM

Cooking classes in Vicenza, Italy.

Looking for cooking classes in Italy!?



  A chance for you and your friends to get together and create a private cooking class.  You reserve the day, decide the menu, and together you discover new recipes or how to make your favourite dish.
 For information on how to book a class, send en email to lucas@cookingwithlucas.com
 
The classes are hands on, includes wine, ingredients for the menu, and finished with Italian coffee, all while having a lot of fun!
 
All the recipes will be available on the website for free for everyone that wants to replicate the recipes wherever you are in the world!

The class is located in Vicenza just 30 min from Venice and 30 min from Verona.

Vicenza is also a great city to visit if you are staying in Venice or Verona. I can give you some tips in where to go and what to do here! Cooking with Lucas is one of the best rated cooking classes in Italy according to Trip Advisor reviews!










Cooking with Lucas Recipe Book


Bread, pizzas and focaccias


Antipasti

Primi Piatti (First courses)
Secondi Piatti (Second courses)

Side dishes and Salads

Dolci

Brazilian Food


EASY ACESS FROM VERONA AND VENICE!




8:31 AM

Meat Brazilian empanadas


Meat empanadas in Brazil is called Pastel. You can find in any farmers market from north to south. Is very simple and delicious to make. I learned to make those in Florianópolis, Brazil with some friends. The recipe was brought to Brazil many years ago with Japanese immigrants, now is a popular Brazilian street food.


Pastel Dough (Massa para Pastel)

Enough for 25 pasteis



1.1 lb (1/2 kg) flour
1/2 Tbsp. salt
1/2 Tbsp. lard

1 Tbsp. cachaça
1 cups warm chicken broth, approximately
--------------------------------------------------------------------------
Mix the flour and salt, then add lard. Add the cachaça to the warm broth, and add to the dough in 1/4 cup quantities, mixing in thoroughly and stopping just when the dough forms a ball. Do not over mix or add too much broth.

Form into a ball, then let rest for 15 minutes.

After 15 minutes, dough for the empanadas is ready for rolling out, filling and fried as desired.


Meat filling
Ingredients
  • 2-3 Tablespoons olive oil or vegetable oil
  • ¼ medium yellow onion, small diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 pound ( 454 g) lean ground beef, thawed
  • Salt to taste (about ¼ to ½ teaspoon)
  • ⅛ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • ½ Tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 Tablespoon red wine vinegar or fresh juice of ½ lime
  • 2 Tablespoons chopped green olives (optional)
  • 2 Tablespoon chopped cilantro or parsley
Instructions
  1. In a medium skillet, heat the oil and sweat the onion over medium heat for about 2 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the garlic and let cook for about 1 minute, stirring occasionaly (NOTE: The purpose is to cook the onion and garlic, NOT to brown them). Increase heat to medium-high and brown the ground beef, stirring every now and then. Stir in both the salt and pepper, and then the tomato paste. Stir in the vinegar or lime juice. Let ground beef cook, uncovered, for about 5-7 minutes or until cooked throughout, stirring occasionally. Stir in the olives (optional) and the chopped cilantro or parsley. Let cool a bit before filling the pasteis.
  2. Place the pastel wraps on preparation surface. Fill each with ½ to 1 Tablespoon of the cooked ground beef mixture and brush the egg white around the edges.
  3. Overlay another dough on top on the filling and seal edges well, pressing firmly with your fingers. Using a fork, make a pattern over the edges.
  4. Heat a heavy-bottom pot to 350 degrees F (about 180 degrees C). If you don't have a thermometer to measure the temperature, dip a small piece of pastel into the heated oil. If you hear a sizzling sound, the oil is ready. Fry the pastel, a few at a time, turning them while frying so that they brown evenly on both sides. The first and second batches will take about 3-4 minutes while the next batches will only take 1-1/2 to 2 minutes to fry because the oil will be hotter. They should be lightly golden and crisp. They will darken further once they are draining on paper towels.
  5. Transfer pasteis to baking sheet lined with a double layer of paper towels to absorb any excess oil. Serve hot by themselves, with ketchup or rosé sauce, or accompanied by guaraná soda, cane juice, or beer.
1:41 PM

Food for thought, China.



Every year two million people die from unsafe food and water around the world. Food safety experts warn these deaths may be caused by human design, and nowhere is this trend more prevalent than in China. Tracing the making of a bowl of wonton noodle soup, an investigation exposes the toxic stew this iconic dish has become. From tainted additives in noodles, to growth hormones in pork, to industrial filler posing as meat, presenter Steve Chao finds that anything is possible for producers looking to cut corners and make a fast buck.

2:27 PM

Brazilian carrot cake

Brazilian Carrot Cake, know as Bolo de Cenoura, is one of my favorite desserts and one of the most popular and traditional in Brazil. It is unlike any regular carrot cake you have seen before in Europe or USA, if you have not tried it and is truly a unique carrot dessert. It is rich in flavor and texture and is perfectly coated with a delicious signature chocolate sauce. Here is a simple and easy way to make this traditional Brazilian carrot cake dessert without all the fuss.


Ingredients for Brazilian carrot cake:


For the carrot cake:
1/2 cup vegetable oil
3 carrots grated
4 eggs
2 cups sugar
2 1/2 cups flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon vanilla
For the Sauce:
1 tablespoon butter
3 tablespoons cocoa powder or chocolate of your choice.
1 cup sugar
4 tablespoons milk
Directions for the Brazilian carrot cake:
1) On a blender beat the carrots, eggs and oil for one minute; add the sugar and continue beating for another minute.
2) Take the mixture out of the blender and place in a big bowl, incorporate the flour.
3) Incorporate the baking powder slowly.
4) Pour into a greased baking mold and bake in the oven at 180C/355F for 40 minutes.
5) Once done, take out of the oven and cover with the chocolate sauce.
For the Sauce:
1) Combine all ingredients in a saucepan, bring to the boil.
2) Once it reaches a syrup like consistency, it is ready.
3) Pour over the cake, serve and enjoy!
6:22 PM

Chicken with oranges and lemons

Super easy dish to put together when you don't have a lot of time but you want to impress anyway! This chicken with oranges and lemons dish is a quick, inexpensive and healthy option. The chicken will turn out citrusy, tender and will melt in your mouth.



1 whole chicken cut in pieces
1/4 cup olive oil
1 lemon, sliced
1 orange, sliced
1 red onion, sliced
3 cloves garlic, chopped
1 tea spoon of crushed red chilli peppers
10 fresh sage leaves
Salt & Pepper

In a baking dish combine all the ingredients together. Using your hands or a big spoon, mix all the ingredients very well. Place the chicken skin facing up, so you have a tender and moist chicken. Bake in 200C/390F for about 30 minutes or until the chicken is brown. Serve with baked potatoes, rice or anything you like.

Tip: leave the whole dish marinating overnight. The next day the dish will taste much better.


6:29 PM

Zucchini curry with coconut milk, lemongrass and ginger

This Zucchini curry is delicious, healthy and vegan. This is a very easy dish that for sure you will impress all your family and friends! Delicious served with barley, quinoa, buckwheat or rice. Perfect for making on the summer, when you find the best tasting zucchini.



3 tbsp coconut oil
3 garlic cloves, chopped
1 onion, chopped
2 tbs ginger, chopped
3 kaffir lime leaves
1 lemon grass leaf
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp tumeric
1 tbsp curry paste (you can pick, green/orange or red)
1 can coconut milk
500g / 1lb Zucchini (smaller the zucchini are better they taste, I used baby zucchini)
4 roma tomatoes
1/ cup orange lentils
Red chilli peppers, by your taste
Fresh cilantro
Lime to serve
Peanuts

Heat the oil on a big saucepan over medium heat and fry the ginger, garlic, onion, kaffir leaves and lemon grass leaf for about 2 minutes.

Add two cups of water and the lentils, increase the heat and combine as well the cumin, turmeric, curry paste and the chilli pepper, keep in high heat for another 2 minutes (this process will help to extract the flavours of the kaffir leaves and the lemon grass leaf. Add the tomatoes, coconut milk and cook in medium heat for 10 minutes.

Add the zucchini cut in sizes not bigger than a cherry, the zucchini cooks very fast so after you add the zucchini, close the lid and turn off the pan. Let rest for five minutes, the heat of the curry will cook the zucchini without getting soggy.

To finalise, open the lid add the chopped cilantro and squeeze one lime. Serve with rice, quinoa or anything else you prefer.

For serving, squeeze more lime on the top of the zucchini curry and serve with some peanuts.
8:02 PM

Contact us!

For more information on hours and prices for the cooking classes and events send an email to lucas@cookingwithlucas.com


4:55 PM

Cherry tomatoes, Zucchini, Almonds and Tarragon sauce

500g 1,1 pound cherry tomatoes (cut in half)
2 garlic cloves (chopped)3 zucchini, chopped
1 cup chopped almonds
60ml 1/4 cup olive oil
60ml 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
Salt & Pepper
Fresh Tarragon

In a baking dish combine all the ingredients. Mix all very well and bake on convection mode (200C/390F) for about 25 minutes. After baked, if you desire a more saucy texture break the tomatoes using a wood spoon. Mix very well with the pasta and serve with good Parmiggiano on top.
This recipe goes very well with Asiago cheese Ravioli. You can find the recipe in this link. <<<Ravioli with Asiago>>>




4:50 PM

Ravioli filled Asiago cheese

For the dough:

3 cups 00 flour (cake flour in USA)
3 organic fresh eggs

For the Asiago filling:

1 cup grated Asiago mezzano
1 cup ricotta
Pinch of lack pepper
Pinch on nutmeg
Pinch of salt

Making the Asiago filling:


Mix with a fork the ricotta and the grated Asiago. Season with the salt, pepper and nutmeg. If the filling is dry, add some milk and olive oil.


Making the Pasta:


Pour the flour into a bowl or table, then the eggs in the middle.
Mix with a fork to thoroughly blend the eggs with the flour. Do not add salt!
Knead the dough with your hands until it is completely smooth and consistent. If the dough is too dry, add some water; if it is too sticky, add some flour. Perfect dough should never stick to your fingers, if the dough stick to your fingers it will stick on the pasta machine, and that will be a disaster!
Continue kneading the dough by hand and break it up into little pieces. 



Set the adjustment knob of the machine to number 0, so that the two smooth rollers are fully open. Feed a piece of dough through the rollers while turning the crank clockwise.

Lightly dust both sides of the pasta sheet with flour and fold it in half. Feed the pasta sheet through the smooth rollers several times, until it is long and regular in shape.
Cut ravioli sheets with a ravioli cutter. Using a brush, brush with egg yolk around each ravioli if the dough is not sticking. Place 1 teaspoon filling in the center, close to expelling the air, sealing the edges properly. Make sure the edges is very well stick together, pinch hard as you would pinch a really bad child.
Boil the Asiago ravioli for about three / four minutes and mix with the sauce you like. I suggest to make the sauce for the Asiago Ravioli with cherry tomatoes, zucchini and almonds.

Click in this link for the recipe! <<<CHERRY TOMATOES, ZUCCHINI AND ALMONDS SAUCE>>>>>
11:46 AM

Cherry tomatoes sauce with almonds, basil and mozzarella


 This is a very different way to make your tomatoes sauce, you will bake it in a oven instead of cooking on stove top. This sauce is very versatile and you can always add pretty much anything you think is good with it.
 I learned to make this one day when I was just talking to a friend in front of my house when I was bringing my dog for a walk. Simple and casual sauce, learned in a very casual way.


500g / 1,10 pound cherry tomatoes (cut in half)
2 garlic cloves (chopped)
1 cup chopped almonds
60ml 1/4 cup olive oil
60ml 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
Salt & Pepper
Basil
Fresh mozzarella di Bufala

In a baking dish combine all the ingredients, except the cheese. Mix all very well and bake on convection mode (200C/390F) for about 25 minutes. After baked, if you desire a more saucy texture break the tomatoes using a wood spoon. Mix very well with the pasta and serve with the fresh mozzarella and fresh basil leaves on the top.

You can always modify this recipe adding other ingredients like capers, olives, pine nuts, cilantro. coconut milk, cream, zucchini, eggplant, peppers, tuna, mussels, shrimps and whatever you think will taste really good with tomatoes.


8:30 AM

Tiramisu


Tiramisu


3 eggs
3/4 cup of sugar
1/2 pound of Mascarpone
1/4 cup of strong coffee
Rum
Chocolate powder
1 package Lady fingers cookies

In a large bowl, using an electric mixer with whisk attachment, beat egg yolks and sugar until thick and pale, about 5 minutes. Add mascarpone cheese and beat until smooth. In a separate bowl, whisk the white eggs until peaks. Mix everthing creating the Mascarpone cream.
In a small shallow dish, add espresso and rum. Dip each ladyfinger into espresso for only 5 seconds. Letting the ladyfingers soak too long will cause them to fall apart. 

Arrange half of soaked ladyfingers in bottom of a 7x11 inch dish. Spread half of tiramisu cream mixture over ladyfingers, then half of the tiramisu cream Repeat layers and sprinkle with cocoa. Cover and refrigerate 4 to 6 hours, until set.









10:33 AM

Chocolate Salami (Salami di cioccolato)

Chocolate Salami


Chocolate salami is a perfect recipe to make your kids. It is funny, quick and delicious. The idea of eating a chocolate salami is a little gross, but it taste like just like any good chocolate dessert.  You can serve the Salami with whipped cream and strawberries, it will taste delicious. 
Ingredients
  • 7 oz / 200g dark chocolate, chopped
  • 3 oz / 85g unsalted butter
  • 1/3 cup / 70g white sugar
  • 1 large egg plus 1 large egg yolk
  • 6 oz / 170g plain cookies (tea biscuits, digestive cookies), crushed not to small
  • 2 tablespoons powdered sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons / 30ml dark rum or amaretto liquor
  • 1 cup mixed nuts, toasted and roughly chopped
Instructions
  1. Mix chocolate and butter in a pot and melt it over another pot of boiling water.
  2. In a bowl, combine vanilla extract, sugar, egg and yolk. Add to the chocolate mixture and mix well. Stirring frequently, continue to cook until sugar has dissolved and the mixture is smooth (about 4-5 minutes). It should be hot to touch. Remove from heat.
  3. Add crushed cookies, rum and chopped nuts to the chocolate mixture and stir with spatula until well combined. Leave to cool and thicken slightly.
  4. Divide the mixture evenly between two sheets of parchment paper. Roll it up to form two logs. Twist the ends tightly and leave in a fridge overnight.
  5. Unwrap the logs and coat with powdered sugar. You can tie them like a real salami with string or just leave it normal. Cut into slices and serve. 
  6. Chocolate Salami can be stored well wrapped in a fridge for up to 1 week or for up to 1 month in a freezer.
4:49 PM

Spaghetti alle Vongole

Spaghetti alle Vongole, a classic dish from Italy. Found on all the coast of the boot and Islands, some make good some make very blend, some make OK, but is hard to mess it up. Usually Spaghetti alle Vongole is served very simple, just with olive oil and white wine.
This is my version of the Spaghetti alle Vongole, the way I like. Adding a little bit of tomatoes, spice and why not some cilantro?



Spaghetti alle Vongole

1kg/2,2 Lbs fresh Vongole (Clams, from a clean sea)
1/2 chopped onion
4 cloves of garlic, sliced (No necessity to be super thin)
1 can tomatoes, crushed (Don't go cheap on that)
1 cup, dry white wine
4 tbsp Olive Oil
Crushed red peppers - Pepperoncini (Optional)
Hand Full of Fresh Parsley or why not cilantro?


Fill a large bowl with cold water and stir in enough salt to make it salty like the sea. Add vongole and let stand 30 minutes. Lift vongole from water and discard purging water; if there is sand in the bottom of the bowl, rinse it out and repeat this process until vongole no longer release sand into the water (usually 2 to 3 purging cycles). Discard any vongole that are gaping open and refuse to close when prodded.
In a large skillet, combine oil with garlic, onion and red pepper flakes. Cook over medium heat until garlic and onion are lightly golden, about 5 minutes. (Adjust heat as necessary to keep it gently sizzling).
Add white wine, tomatoes, pepperoncino and vongole, cover, and increase heat to high. Cook, checking every 30 seconds or so and transferring clams as they open to a large heatproof bowl, until all vongole have opened, about 5 minutes. Remove skillet from heat.
Allow vongole to cool slightly, then pull meat from shells; save a few shell-on vongole per serving for garnish. If vongole meat is large (for example, from larger littleneck vongole), you can roughly chop it.
In a pot or large skillet of salted water, cook pasta until just shy of al dente (about 1 minute less than cooking time on package). Transfer pasta to skillet with white-wine sauce, add a few tablespoons of pasta cooking water, and cook over high heat, stirring and tossing rapidly, until sauce has reduced and is beginning to form a creamy, emulsified coating on the noodles. Add more olive oil, and both vongole meat and shell-on vongole. Cook, stirring, vongole are heated through, about 1 minute; add more pasta water, 1 tablespoon at a time, if sauce over-reduces and becomes dry or greasy. Season with salt if necessary. Remove from heat.
Stir in parsley or the cilantro and a drizzle more fresh olive oil. Transfer to bowls and serve right away.

4:42 PM

Coffee Liquor

450g / 2 cups espresso coffee
450g / 2 cups sugar
5ml / 1 tea spoon Vanilla extract
450ml / 1.9 cups your favorite rum

You will need a moka pot or a espresso maker in order to make a strong enough coffee for this recipe.
In a sauce pan, combine the sugar and the coffee in low heat for five minutes until the sugar is completely dissolved. After the sugar is dissolved, let it cool down completely. After is completely cool down combine the Rum and the Vanilla extract. Bottle the liquor and keep for 2 days before drinking.


12:16 PM

Coffee & Bailey's Semifreddo


A fusion of Ireland and Italy in one cup!?
This is a very simple semifreddo to prepare.

Adapted from traditional Coffee Semifreddo recipes that we can find in every cook book from Nonna's across Italy. We add Coffee liquor and Bailey's to the recipe instead of just coffee. If you would like to make the traditional recipe instead just substitute the 1/4 cup of Bailey's and 1/4 cup of coffee liquor for 1/2 cup of strong espresso coffee.
It's also possible to transform the Coffee & Bailey's semifreddo in a mousse. For making the mousse instead of the semifreddo, just let cool in the refrigerator instead of the freezer. Other use for this delicious dessert is to use as a cake filling. Just imagine how delicious a cake can be with coffee and Bailey's! 


So here is the recipe for the Coffee & Bailey's Semifreddo:


200g whipping cream
70g Mascarpone
70g Condensed milk
1/4 cup coffee liquor
1/4 cup Bailey's
Cocoa powder for dusting

In a big bowl, mix the condensed milk with mascarpone until is all incorporated. Then add the coffee liquor and Bailey's.
Using a mixer whip the cream until is firm. You can test it turning the bowl upside down.
Fold the whipped cream with the coffee & Bailey's mixture, fold very carefully to make it most fluffy as possible.
You can set the semifreddo in espresso cups in the freezer for about two hours.
Before serving, dust cocoa powder in the top and add a little bit more whipping cream.
It's possible to keep the Coffee & Bailey's semifreddo for six weeks on the freezer.

*For the coffee liquor you can use any type, but you can easily make your own following the recipe here in this link.
10:12 AM

Chicken stuffed with pears wrapped in Parma ham with truffle cheese sauce

Ingredients for the chicken:
700gr / 1.5 pounds chicken breast in fillet
1 pear
200g/ 0,4 pounds Parma ham or black forest ham sliced
Olive oil or butter
Fresh sage (optional)

Ingredients for the sauce:
200g / 0,4 pounds truffled cheese or other cheese you like
200g / 0,4 pounds mascarpone
1 cup milk
1/2 cup white wine
1 tbsp flour
Truffle oil
Salt and pepper to taste

 First step is cut the pears in wedges, in a plate add one slice of Parma ham then put the chicken breast on the top. With the pear in the middle roll it.
 Bake the involtini in a cast iron skillet or copper pan with a little bit of olive oil or butter for about 30 minutes in 180C / 360F.
 When the involtini is cooked take them out of the pan. On the same pan you cooked the chicken add the sage and white wine and cook for about five minutes in medium heat or until the alcohol of the wine evaporates. Then, mix the mascarpone, the cheese and the cup with milk mixed with the flour. Let cook in low heat for five minutes. After the sauce is thick, add the chicken and few drops of Truffled olive oil!
4:05 PM

Gluten free pasta dough

Ingredients

  • 150 g gluten-free rice flour , plus extra for dusting
  • 50 g potato starch
  • 1 tablespoon corn flour
  • 2 tablespoons xanthan gum
  • ¼ teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 3 large free-range eggs
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

    Method

    1. Place the ingredients in a food processor and blitz to a rough dough. Tip out onto a flour-dusted surface and knead for 3 to 5 minutes, or until smooth.
    2. Cut the dough into four pieces, then carefully press a portion out flat with your fingertips and start to roll it out using a pasta machine. Start at the widest setting and roll the dough through it, lightly dusting with the rice flour if it sticks. Roll the pasta through the widest setting a second time, then click the machine down a setting and roll the dough through again.
    3. Now, start clicking the settings down, rolling the pasta through each setting twice – gluten-free pasta isn’t as elastic as standard pasta, so make sure you avoid using the two narrowest settings, otherwise it may rip. Once you have a thin sheet of pasta (about 2mm thick), set aside on a flour-dusted surface and cover with a damp tea towel to avoid it drying out, then continue with the remaining dough.
    4. Now’s the time to transform your dough into whichever variety of pasta you like. If you want to make tagliatelle, roll the pasta through the tagliatelle setting on your pasta machine, or use a sharp knife to slice the pasta sheets lengthways into long strips (roughly 7mm thick), placing on a flour-dusted tray as you go. To cook, place in a pan of boiling salted water for around 3 minutes, or until al dente, then serve how you like it.
3:52 PM

Garganelli dough


Ingredients
  • 1 ½ cup (7 oz) all purpose flour
  • 1 ½ cup (7 oz) semolina flour
  • 4 eggs
  • Pinch of salt
  • More flour for dusting
Instructions
Fresh pasta dough
  1. Sift both flours on work surface (preferably wooden).
  2. Scoop a well in the center and pour in slightly beaten eggs.
  3. Add a pinch of salt and start mix all ingredients using a fork or a dough scraper until a crumbly dough forms. You can do this using your hands only if you’re OK getting s a little messy.
  4. Continue to knead the dough with your hands until the dough is smooth, elstic and no longer sticky. Wrap the dough in a plastic wrap and let rest for 15-30 minutes or even overnight (in a cool place or in the fridge).
Rolling the dough
  1. Cut off a piece of the dough and slightly flatten it with your fingers.
  2. Sprinkle lightly with flour.
  3. Option 1 (rolling pin)
  4. Using a rolling pin roll the dough into approx 1 millimeter thick sheet.
  5. Option 2 (Atlas Marcato Pasta Machine)
  6. Set machine on the widest setting (0) and pass the dough for the first time.
  7. Fold the dough in half and pass again on the same setting.
  8. Adjust to the next-narrower setting, until you rich thickness of approx 1 mm or position 6 on Marcato Atlas Pasta Machine.
  9. Return machine to original setting for each piece.
  10. Arrange ready sheet on a lightly floured work surface.
  11. Cut each sheet into 1.5x1.5 or 2x2 inch squares and let dry for 10-20 minutes. This will prevent garganelli from flattening when they’re ready.
Shape garganelli
  1. Place a pasta square on a well floured gnocchi board (gnocchi paddle).
  2. Fold a corner of the square over the garganelli pin.
  3. If you don’t have a special pin, try using a simple chopstick or even a round wooden pencil.
  4. Holding both ends of the pin roll it towards you. Apply pressure to imprint the ridges on the garganello and seal it at the same time.
  5. Be careful not to press too hard to avoid the dough sticking to the board but apply enough pressure to seal and imprint the ridges.
  6. Repeat the process with remaining squares and ultimately with the remaining dough.
  7. Let shaped garganelli dry for about 15 minutes before cooking or let them dry completely overnight and store in a sealed plastic bag.Garga