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Pasta Masterclass with Chef Luca Ciano of Barilla

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by Lionel (subscribe)
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Casarecce with Italian Sausage, Vegetables in Ricotta Sauce
luca ciano
Luca Ciano / Photo courtesy of Luca Ciano

Italian cuisine is one of the world's favourite food and none more well known than the humble pasta. Popular Italian pasta company, Barilla, produces more than 120 shapes and sizes for those who love Italian cooking. I caught up with Milan-born friend and chef Luca Ciano at The Good Food & Wine Show in Melbourne.

Luca's culinary experience included stints in 2 Michelin-starred restaurant" Il Luogo di Aimo e Nadia" in Milan, London's Millennium Gloucester Hotel and Relais & Chateaux in Bermuda. In Australia, he worked at the Sheraton on the Park, Westin Sydney and Cypress Lakes Resort in the Hunter Valley.

Luca was awarded a Bronze medal for Senior Pasta Class in the Salon Culinaire International de Londres Competition, and a Merit Award in the Nestle' Master Chef Grand Prix in 2001/2002. A number of his signature dishes from his London days have been published in Chefs of Distinction 2003 and 2004 editions.

Luca has been participating since 2008 in cooking demonstrations for Barilla and BBC Good Food Magazine at the Good Food & Wine Show. I wanted to try my hand at his Barilla pasta masterclass before heading off to Sydney.

Casarecce with Italian sausage, pan roasted winter vegetables, Ricotta sauce and Salted Ricotta
Amateur version of Luca's recipe at the Barilla Masterclass

Luca has also agreed to share with readers his simple and delicious recipe for 'Casarecce with Italian sausage, pan roasted winter vegetables, Ricotta sauce and Salted Ricotta' that serves 4 people. So here it is:


350gm Barilla Caserecce
1 jar Barilla Ricotta sauce
2 Italian sausage, skin removed, 0.5cm pieces
15gm onion, 0.5cm small diced
leeks, 0.5cm small diced
100gm pumpkin, 0.5cm small diced
100gm parsnip, 0.5cm small diced
2handful, baby spinach roughly chopped
40gm salted ricotta, grated
30ml extra virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper
barilla masterclass with luca ciano
Photo courtesy of Barilla Australia

Cooking Method:

- Bring plenty of salted water to the boil (7gm salt to 1 lt water), when boiling add pasta and cook accordingly to packet's instruction.

- Meanwhile in a hot frying pan add oil, then onions, leeks and cook for 2 minutes, then add pumpkin and parsnips and cook for a further 3 minutes, add salt and pepper.

- Add 3 tbs of cooking water to the pan and allow the vegetable to simmer for 2 minutes.

- Add Italian sausage and cook through, then add the Barilla ricotta sauce and simmer for 1 minute.

- Drain pasta 'al dente' and toss with the sauce, add spinach and toss for 30 seconds.

- Serve with grated salted ricotta and a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil.

For a vegetarian option, omit the sausage before combining the ingredients in a pan. For a Gluten Free option, substitute the Casarecce pasta with the Gluten Free Elbows.

You can meet Luca live in person at the Barilla Masterclass in the Good Food & Wine Show in Sydney, Perth and Brisbane. Each of Luca's class runs for 45 minutes and he will be demonstrating the recipe. Participants will get to replicate the dish, enjoy eating their pasta and walk away with a Barilla gift bag each.
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Why? This pasta recipe by Chef Luca Ciano of Barilla is simple and tasty
When: Refer to website
Where: Good Food & Wine Show in Sydney, Brisbane and Perth
Cost: Refer to website
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