Thursday, January 21, 2010

Italian Days at The Italian Culinary Academy

On January 13 and 14, The Italian Culinary Academy and Dean of Italian Studies Cesare Casella hosted the launch of the 2010 International Day of Italian Cuisine (January 17).

The festivities started off with workshops and a showcasing of Italian food products with a VIP Gala Dinner (see photos below) with master chef Chicco Cerea of Michelin 3-star Da Vittorio in Bergamo, Italy. Italian and non-Italian chefs gathered after the gala to celebrate the excellence of Italian food and wine at the New York Chef's Night Out.

The festivities continued the next day with more tastings, cooking demos, and ingredient showcases. Guest chef Chicco Cerea made the featured dish for the event with chef Daniele Minarelli of Antica Osteria in Bottega, Bologna, Italy: Tagliatelle al Ragù alla Bolognese. It was a great way to celebrate the rich heritage of Italian food and cooking. Here are instructions for two of the dishes at the event. Buon Appetito!

Tagliatelle al Ragù alla Bolognese

Start off the dish by making a soffrito with carrots, celery, onions, and a little bit of garlic. Cook it in a hot pan with oil until tender before adding ground beef and pancetta. Continue to cook until the meats are brown then add tomato paste and a lot of olive oil. Cook over low heat for 2 hours. Just before the dish is finished cooking, boil some fresh tagliatelle in a pot of salted water. Drain the pasta. Strain the meat mixture. Combine pasta and beef in a large pasta dish. Sprinkle with freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano, and serve!

Fried Pasta Chips
1 lb. penne pasta
Canola oil, for frying
Smoked paprika
Freshly ground black pepper
1. Bring a pot of salted water to a boil; add pasta; cook until tender (45 minutes to 1 hour). Drain pasta in a colander, and place on a wire rack set over a baking sheet. Let dry out completely.

2. Heat oil in a pot to 365°F. Add dry pasta in batches to avoid overcrowding the pan; cook until pasta puffs and floats to the surface (it should not take on any color), 2 to 3 minutes. Remove from pot with a spider. Season with spices. Serve immediately as an appetizer.

Gala Dinner photo gallery:

From left: Dorothy Cann Hamilton, school founder, with Cesare Casella and Lidia Matticchio Bastianich (TV show host, cookbook author, and restauranteur—Becco, Del Posto, Esca, Felidia, Lidia's)

Food Network stars Anne Burrell, Secrets of a Restaurant Chef (left),
and Claire Robinson, 5 Ingredient Fix

restauranteur Sirio Maccioni (Le Cirque 2000, Osteria del Circo)

pastry chef Robert Truitt (left) and chef/owner Paul Liebrandt of Corton, NYC

Adam Corey with Mark Ladner chef/partner of Lupa and Otto and executive chef at Del Posto, NYC

Dorothy Cann Hamilton with FCI dean André Soltner

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