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! :)

Recent posts

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!




8:58 PM

Pumpkin and porcini risotto

  • 225g Parmigiano Reggiano, plus extra, to serve
  • 40g dried porcini mushrooms
  • 1 litre stock (vegetable or chicken)
  • 4 tbsp olive oil
  • 300g Arborio or Carnaroli rice (risotto rice)
  • 1 bunch rosemary, finely chopped
  • 300g pumpkin or butternut squash, peeled, deseeded and cut into small chunks
  • 150ml dry white wine
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepe
This wonderfully creamy risotto makes the most of simple, classic ingredients to create a fabulous meal.

1. Finely grate the Parmigiano Reggiano and set to one side.
2. Put the dried mushrooms into a heatproof bowl. Mis with the wine or the stock, let absorb for 30 minutes.
3. When ready to cook, heat the olive oil in a deep frying pan or large saucepan. Add the rice and sauté it gently over a medium heat for about one or two minutes, until it looks translucent, though not browned. Add the spring onions and pumpkin or butternut squash and cook gently, stirring often, for another two or three minutes.
4. Pour in the wine and let it bubble up for a few moments, and then add the soaked mushrooms and about two ladles of stock. Cook gently for about 20-25 minutes, adding more stock as needed, until the rice is tender and creamy.
5. Stir in the Parmigiano Reggiano and season to taste. Add shavings of Parmigiano Reggiano, or freshly grate some more onto each portion, then serve.
Tip: The secret of great risotto is to start off with good quality rice, so that it absorbs the flavours, yet still keeps its shape.
10:32 PM

Arrosto Misto delle Marche


Arrosto misto delle Marche

Very simple, delicious and healthy meal. The origins of this dish come from the peasants farmers, they would hunt and gather what they could for their meals combining different meats, to make a complete dish.


700gr of poultry or rabbit
300gr of sausage
2 onions (quartered)
5 cloves of garlic, whole and unpeealed
1 red pepper (quartered)
3 carrots (peeled and cut in half)
1 cup of your favorite olives
1/4 cup capers
2 bay leaves
Fresh herbs of the season (Basil/Rosemary/Oregano/Parsley/Time)
1/3 cup Olive oil
1/3 cup balsamic vinegar 
Salt and freshly ground pepper and crushed red peppers if you like a little spice.

In a bowl combine the chicken, the sausages, the balsamic, olive oil and herbs. Let rest for few hours. In a big baking tray you will combine together all the other ingredients, and mix well. Note that all the ingredients needs to be cut in similar sizes pieces. Bake everything together after mix all the ingredients very well with your hands. All the chicken skins should face up for a better result. Bake for about 40 minutes in 220C / 420F moving the meat occasionally if starts to get to brown. 
2:56 PM

Olive oil cake with limoncello and rosemary

1/4 cup melted butter
1 3/4 cup flour
1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup extra virgin olive oil
3 tbsp greek yogurt
4 eggs
1/2 cup brown sugar
finely grated zest of two lemons

For drizzling:
2 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp water
2 tbsp sugar
6 tbsp limoncello

Pre heat the oven to 180C/355F. Butter and flour a cake pan.
Into a medium bowl, sift together the flour, rosemary, baking powder and the salt. In another bowl, whisk the olive oil, the yogurt and the butter.
In a large bowl using a hand mixer, beat the eggs, the sugar and the zest until get fluffy. Then add the dry and wet ingredients in the bowl and mix very well.
Bake the cake until is golden brown, it will take around 25 minutes.
After the cake cools down, using a mixer blend very well the olive oil, the limoncello and the water. Then start drizzling the cake with the mixture and serve.
Serve with a rosemary leaf.



2:30 PM

Panna cotta al pistacchio

250ml heavy cream
250ml milk4 tbsp pistacchio cream
2 gelatine leafs
1 tbsp sugar

Put the pistacchio cream, heavy cream, milk and sugar in a pan over medium heat. As soon as the bubbles appear, turn the heat down to very low and cook for 5 minutes.
Meanwhile soak the gelatine leafs in a bowl with cold water for two minutes.
Lift the gelatine from the cold water and stir into the hot mixture to dissolve. Remove from heat.
Divide the mixture into 4 ramekins and let to cool for two hours. After cooled put in the fridge for about 5 hours.
To turn down, dip the bases of the ramekin very briefly in hot water. Serve with chocolate if you desire.

7:22 PM

Tiramisu al Limoncello

1 cup condensed milk
1 cup heavy cream
2 squeezed lemons
Lady finger
Limoncello

First step is to mix the condensed milk, heavy cream and lemon juice. It will get thicker, taste and see if needs more lemon juice if you prefer a more tart taste.
Soak the lady fingers very quick with the limoncello.
Make the tiramisu with two layers and zest lemon or white chocolate on the top.

2:32 PM

Lucas Ragu


Lucas Ragu

5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
3 tablespoons butter
1 carrot, finely, diced
1 medium onion, diced
1 rib celery, finely diced
1 clove garlic, sliced
500g veal, ground
500g pork, ground
1/4 pound pancetta or slab bacon, ground
1/2 tube tomato paste
1 cup milk
1/2 cup chopped almonds
1 cup dry white wine
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
Parmigiano-Reggiano, for grating


In a 6 to 8-quart, heavy-bottomed saucepan, heat the olive oil and butter over medium heat.
Add the carrots, almonds and a table spoon of salt and wait the carrots and almonds to be brown. Add the pancetta and cook for another five minutes.
Add the onions, celery, and garlic and sweat over medium heat until the vegetables are translucent and soft but not browned, about 10 to 15 minutes. Add the veal and pork and stir into the vegetables. Add the meat over high heat, stirring to keep the meat from sticking together until browned. Add the wine and mix very well, the wine will deglaze the pan. Add the tomato paste, milk and simmer over medium-low heat for 1 to 1 1/2 hours. Season with salt and pepper, to taste, and remove from the heat.
10:31 PM

Some of the best cheeses of Italy


                                             

Mozzarella:
Mozzarella is developed from the cultured and fermented solids that result from the first step in the cheese making process: the separation of the curd (clumps of solidified milk protein also known as farmer’s cheese) from warm liquid whey using an acidifier such as rennet, citric acid or yogurt.






Mozzarella di Bufala: Made with rich Italian buffalo milk from Campania instead of domestic cow’s milk, mozzarella di bufala has twice the fat content as its conventional counterpart and packs in twice the flavor. About twice as expensive as regular mozzarella, bufala’s sweeter, milkier nuances and fluffy, buttery texture are widely prized and famously used alongside important Italian San Marzano tomatoes and fresh basil for authentic pizza Napoletana and heirloom caprese salads, and serve as a natural pairing for ripe fruit. Mozzarella made in this style but from the freshest, highest-quality cow’s milk is known as fior di latte. Both should be consumed as soon as possible after making.





Burrata:
This succulent treat is essentially a mozzarella shell encasing “cream of mozzarella,” or a mixture of the soft scraps from mozzarella-making process soaked in
cream and boasting a butterfat percentage that will at once thrill and intimidate you. With a name like burrata — literally translated as “buttered” — you’ll need at least one partner to finish a standard eight- to ten-ounce portion. Break the outer shell and watch the creamy center creep out, then scoop up with a piece of crusty Italian bread and drizzle with olive oil (just forget the fat content at this point) or let the goodness cascade over ripe tomatoes, roasted beets, stone fruit or grilled squash. Serving sweet potatoes during the holidays? Turn your back on marshmallows forever and usher in a glorious era of burrata. Once broken open, burrata doesn’t stay fresh, so make sure you finish it all. Good news: You won’t have any trouble there.

Caciotta:
Describes a wide range of simple, rural cheeses from central Italy that can be made with either ewe's, cow's, goat's, or buffalo's milk. The cheese is aged for a brief period.Beneath the soft, yellow rind is a white or yellowish body which has a soft texture and mild flavour. Both artisanal and industrial produces of Caciotta are available.







Asiago: Is a cow's milk cheese, produced only on the Asiago plateau in the Veneto foothills in Italy. The cheese-making tradition in the provinces of  Vicenza and Trento dates back to more than thousand years. Traditionally, it was made from sheep's milk but today it is produced from unpasteurised cow's milk.

Texture wise, Asiago goes through many changes, assuming different textures, according to its aging. There are two types of Asiago - fresh Asiago (Asiago Pressato) has a smooth texture while the aged Asiago (Asiago d'allevo) has a crumbly texture. Asiago d’allevo is matured for different time periods; Mezzano for 4-6 months, Vecchio for more than ten months and Stravecchio for two years. On the other hand, Asiago Pressato made with whole milk is matured for a month and sold fresh as a softer, milder cheese.
Depending on age, the rinds of Asiago can be straw coloured and elastic to brownish gray and hard. The paste can be white to dark yellow, with small to medium irregular holes. Based on the aging, Asiago can be used for grating, melting, slicing on a variety of salads, sandwiches, soups, pastas, and sauces.

Gorgonzola: Is one of the world's oldest blue-veined cheeses. The Cheese is mainly produced in the northern Italian regions of Piedmont and Lombardy, Gorgonzola. Unskimmed cow's milk is used while preparing the cheese. Generally it takes three to four months to attain full
ripeness.
This cheese has crumbly and soft texture with nutty aroma. It can have a mild to sharp taste depending on its age. Gorgonzola Dolce (also called Sweet Gorgonzola) and Gorgonzola Piccante (also called Gorgonzola Naturale, Gorgonzola Montagna, or Mountain Gorgonzola) are its two varieties, which vary in their age.
Gorgonzola can be consumed in many ways. It is served with wines like Bordeaux Blend (Red), Zinfandel and Sauternes.



                                   8 Differences between Parmiggiano and Grana Padano


1.    Grana Padano is made over a much larger area – partly because of this the price tends to be lower. About 4,800,000 wheels of Grana Padano are produced each year (compared to about  3,400,000 wheels of Parmigiano-Reggiano), making this Italy’s most  produced cheese.

2.    The cows are grazing on different pastures, different soil. This translates into the cheeses to produce slightly different tastes. The flavor also changes according to the age of the cheese and the time of year in which the cheese is made.

3.    Parmigiano-Reggiano cows must only feed off grass and cereals grown in the area – they are not given silage (a fermented, high-moisture fodder).

4.    The cows providing the milk for Parmigiano Reggiano must be milked twice a day – once in the morning and once in the evening – and the milk is not allowed to reach a temperature less than 18°C. The milk for Parmigiano-Reggiano must be delivered to the dairy within two hours of the completion of milking. Ensuring that the temperature of the milk does not fall below 18°C is important for the mesophilic lactic bacteria which is responsible for the ripening of the cheese. The cows providing milk for Grana Padano production are also milked twice a day, but the milk only needs to arrive at the cheesery 24 hours after milking and therefore it has to be cooled (although not below 8°C).

5.    Preservatives are not allowed in the production of Parmigiano-Reggiano, whereas in the production of Grana Padano they are allowed – the preservative usually used is lysozyme.

6.    Grana Padano (made entirely from partially skimmed milk) has a lower fat content than Parmigiano-Reggiano (made from a mix of whole and skimmed milk).

7.    Grana Padano, therefore, matures more quickly. It’s made to three stages of maturity:
a)    9-16 months – when it has a delicate, milky taste and a soft texture, it hasn’t yet developed the graininess for which it’s knownb) 1
b)    6-20 months – at this stage the cheese tastes of ‘an aroma of hay and dried fruit’. It has developed the grainy texture but the crystals are still not much in evidencec)
c)    20-24 months – the cheese now has a rich buttery flavour and crystals are also there. Parmigiano Reggiano on the other hand takes a minimum of 12 months to mature, and the older varieties take up to 36 months. Any cheese older than two years is known as ‘Stravecchio’. This is another reason why Parmigiano Reggiano is more expensive than Grana Padano. It also results in cash flow problems for the 350 or so Parmigiano Reggiano producers, so sometimes they leave their cheese with their bankers as collateral – the banks have special vaults for storing the cheese.


8.        Obviously there are flavor variations within the individual types of cheese so comparing them directly is not straightforward. The fresh and rainy climate of the high-altitude pastures produces a softer, cleaner flavored cheese than that produced in the valleys.  But overall the consensus seems to be that Parmigiano Reggiano has a stronger, more complex, perhaps nuttier and saltier taste –  while Grana Padano has a softer, subtler taste. For this reason Grana Padano is more usually used in cooking, while Parmesan is more often grated on top of a dish…. and eaten in chunks with prosecco.