September 25, 2013

Gusto Italiano ~ Flavors of Italy Culinary Workshop at ToTT (Recipes Included!)

Last Sunday saw this PinkyPiggu making her way to ToTT at Dunearn Road to pick up some cooking tips from Chef Gabriele Piegaia of Burlamacco Ristorante! This Flavors of Italy Culinary Workshop is part of Gusto Italiano, a gastronomical festival which celebrate and showcase the food, culinary talents and produce of Italy from 1 September to 3 October 2013. Their exciting line-up of events also includes The Flavors of Sardegna and Wine of Argiolas Dinner at Forlino which I attended earlier last week. Much thanks to the organizers of Gusto Italiano for the invitations and giveaway of two pairs of tickets for PinkyPiggu's readers to attend this culinary masterclass too.

Chef Gabriele Piegaia looked all prepared to share his expertise when we arrived at ToTT's cooking studio. A charming man oozing much poise and confidence, his years of experience behind the apron is impressive. He started out at Michelin-star kitchens in Italy, namely Ristorante Antica Zecca and Ristorante Antica Osteria del Bai, before arriving in Singapore in 2001. Chef Gabriele's previous appointments were at Senso Ristorante, Hotel Michael and as Executive Chef at Alkaff Mansion Restaurant, before deciding to strike out on his own. The Tuscan-born chef now shares his native tradition and food as Executive Chef and Co-Owner of Burlamacco Ristorante.

The two dishes which Chef Gabriele demonstrated to us were Paccheri with Squid Ink and Beef Tripe Stewed in Fresh Tomato Sauce. With his clear step-by-step instructions and ingredients which can be easily sourced from our local stores, it seemed very easy to replicate these dishes in our own home kitchen. To whip up a dish or two can be achievable even for a person who has little experience in cooking. The pasta and beef tripe make great dish ideas to bring to potluck gatherings too. For you who enjoy cooking and love Italian cuisine but has missed this perfect opportunity to learn from the master, I've included the recipes for you at the end of this post.

I enjoyed myself at the workshop which was relaxed, informative and interactive. We were encouraged to ask questions anytime during the session as Chef Gabriele stirred and tossed his way around the pots and ingredients effortlessly. A member of the audience asked, "how do we extract squid ink from the squid for the pasta dish?". Chef Gabriele's answer was very straightforward: "Just buy from the stores!" Lol! It sent us all roaring with laughter but affirmed the simple cognizance that cooking is made so convenient nowadays.

The one-hour culinary workshop all ended too soon, but it also mean we came to the best part - tasting the creations! The piping hot food were dished straight out from the big pot for the audience to try. The messiness of the squid ink pasta did not keep me from finishing my whole bowl because it was so yummilicious! Nevermind my stained black teeth haha. Equally delectable was the tender beef tripe in its appetite whetting tangy tomato sauce. It got more and more addictive with each spoonful!

The secret of making this dish is to make sure the beef tripe is tender. This makes the dish to be delightful and addictive. It can can also be cooked with or without vegetables. You can just make it by using sausages and chick peas. However, adding some vegetables is more healthy and makes it a perfect combination for the whole family. - See more at:
I wish you can taste the goodness too, but since you can't, here's the recipes for you to try cooking it yourself. This weekend, maybe? Invite me, maybe? :p


(Paccheri with Squid Ink)

Makes 4 Portions - Cooking Time Approximately 30 Minutes

  • 2kg Pasta Giuseppe Cocco
  • 500gm Leek
  • 100ml Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1kg Tomato (peeled)
  • 200gm Squid Ink
  • 20gm Basil Leaves
  • 20gm Parsley
  • 1 Chilli Padi
  • 50gm Butter
  • 100gm Parmesan Cheese
  • Dry Oregano (to taste)
  • Salt & Pepper (to taste)

  1. Cut the leeks into small pieces and cook it over a low fire in a pan with extra virgin olive oil and chilli padi.
  2. Add the tomato and squid ink, and then cook for another 20 minutes.
  3. Add the herbs and adjust the taste. The sauce is now ready.
  4. Cook the pasta in boiling salted water. once it is cooked, drain it and toss the pasta with the sauce.
  5. Whip the butter and parmesan cheese and serve.
*PinkyPiggu's note: Beef tripe is high in protein, but can be substitute with chicken breast if preferred, as children might not be acceptable to beef tripe.


(Beef Tripe Stewed in Fresh Tomato Sauce, Parmesan Cheese, Parsley)

Makes 4 Portions - Cooking Time Approximately 30 Minutes

  • 1kg Beef Honeycomb Tripe
  • 100gm Carrots
  • 100gm Celery
  • 100gm Onion
  • 2 cloves Garlic
  • 100ml Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 50gm Galliano L'Autentico Liquer
  • 100gm Butter
  • 100gm Parmesan Cheese
  • 100gm Tomato Sauce
  • 20gm Parsley
  • 5gm Dry Oregano
  • Salt & Black Pepper (to taste)

  1. Boil the tripe for 1 hour for 5 times and rinse well each time.
  2. Once cooked, cut the tripe into small strips of 3cm length.
  3. Cut all vegetables in julienne and place in a big pot. Add in the extra virgin olive oil and place over heat.
  4. Add the tripe and the Galliano L'Autentico liqueur. Mix it well.
  5. Add all the remaining ingredients and adjust the taste. Serve.
*PinkyPiggu's note: Galliano L'Autentico Liquer can be substitute with white wine if it's not available.


  1. I was there too! I think both are pretty yummy, especially Paccheri with Squid Ink :) And the use of paccheri is a resemblance of actual squid, pretty unique to me <3 It was an wonderful experience!

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