The Turin Epicurean Capital 2017 cooking class was taught by Chef Marco Giachello at Associazione Culturale Qubi' in a vibrant and growing neighborhood of Turin.
Chef Giachello has been a Turin Epicurean Capital supporter since our very first edition in 2014 and we are really happy we could work with him again.
Chef and sous chef, Margherita Frari thought of an easy yet traditional menu our guests can replicate at home in their kitchens. Marco explained that we were going on a journey around Piedmont: from the mountains we would have the creamy cheese, from the Langhe wine district a scrumptious risotto with barolo wine and from the Roero wine district aka the orchard of Piedmont: baked peaches with amaretto cookies and chocolate 😋 because, after all, in Piedmont we are natural epicureans 😎
|Chef Marco Giachello explaining our culinary journey|
The first thing we got to was making bagnet verd or bagnetto verde in standard Italian aka green little bath.
We chopped by hand the parsley, we soaked the bread in vinegar, we added the cut anchovies and mixed everything by hand with a fork.
As Margherita was directing us through this preparation (video here), Marco showed us how a completely different texture this green sauce gets if you hand blend it.
|Jan Egan demoing how to hand whisk the bagnet verd|
For the cheese part in Piedmont we use fresh tomini, basically any alpine round soft cheese. This recipe calls for an unsalted cheese because when you top it with bagnet verd you should feel the contrast of the creaminess with the slightly crispy and savory sauce. For this recipe you make a cream cheese by adding milk to the tomino
|Margherita Frari instructing about the cheese|
|here's our stylish tomino al verde, creamy, savory and crips|
After working hard with the fork in the bowl, Marco brought over to the table some Roero yellow peaches. The Roero hills are less steep than the Langhe ones so the fruit is very fragrant and aromatic. Yellow peaches have more pulp than the white ones and, this is an important detail, because after halving them you have to scoop out a bit of their pulp to create the cup where you'll set the chocolate, amaretto cookie, rum and peach flesh mix before baking.
|depitting the peaches and scooping out a bit of the peach pulp|
|Chef is adding the rum in the cocoa, amaretto cookie and peach pulp filling|
|Bill Goldstein is filling up the peaches|
This is really an easy-peasy recipe that can be made also with other kinds of cookies like corn meal cookies, and wines. The cocoa powder though should always be high quality 😉
Bake at 180C - 375F for about 20min.
|Marco explaining us the first steps of the risotto making process|
As our peaches were baking in the oven we moved over to the stove for the risotto.
Making risotto is like writing poetry and in Piedmont it is one of our staple dishes so we definitely pride ourselves for our risotto techniques.
First of all Marco explained that because the onion cooks differently from the rice, he blends it and cooks it separately.
More than a dish, risotto is really a cooking technique that preserves the single rice grain texture, this means you have to tend to your risotto pot and stir it (video here) as frequently as you'll be frequently adding a ladle of stock whenever it gets absorbed.
Our stock was vegetable, made with water, carrot, celery and onion.
We used Carnaroli rice because risotto calls for a short grain rice, however, as risotto is a cooking method, you can also use other rice varieties.
|for 1kg of rice, Marco poured a whole bottle of Barolo wine (1l.)|
The perfect risotto should be al dente evenly cooked and slightly crunchy, if the grains are fully cooked then the risotto is overcooked. Risotto should be creamy, fluffy and not runny at all because it is not a soup.
Marco shaking the risotto to add in air making it fluffy:
At the end of the cooking process you should add some butter and parmigiano reggiano.
|Thanks Patty Boner for grating our parmigiano!|
|Risotto final step: fold in butter and grated parmigino cheese|
You can't really substitute the cheese because no imitation can provide the same flavor 😞
And so we made it to the dinner table and enjoyed our very Piedmont menu.
|Margherita plated our peaches|
Piedmont cuisine has many winter flavors but as you can see risotto is always in season 😋
Thank you Marco, for teaching us how to cook in the real Piedmontese way with fun and thank you Margherita, for sharing with us your tricks of the trade!