I'm sharing a sensational casarecce recipe by Matteo Zamboni with you today, casarecce with Western Australian Yabbies, capsicum and hazelnuts. But first, a little about how I came across this mouthwatering dish.
We were invited along to Casa Barilla's authentic Italian Cooking School in Annandale. Located at Barilla's Sydney head office. The classes have local and international guest chefs, who share their knowledge of Italian food in a fun and interactive atmosphere.
Casa Barilla's current Executive Chef is Andrea Tranchero. Andrea has more than 25 years of experience under his belt, and is the perfect man for the job.
Matteo Zamboni, Chef and Owner of Sydney's Zambo Restaurant, hosted the masterclass we attended. We knew we were in for a delicious time as Matteo has worked in some of the world’s best kitchens. Including Sydney’s hatted Ormeggio at The Spit, Pilu at Freshwater and Quay.
On arrival we were offered a Cinzano or Campari aperitif. There is also a generous antipasto to enjoy while waiting the other guests to arrive. Then we head up to the kitchen to take our seats at the dinner tables.
Both Andrea and Matteo greet us and then its straight into the class. Matteo starts with the casarecce recipe, which was made with Western Australian Yabbies, capsicum and hazelnuts. He explains about preparing the yabbies, the best way to cook pasta and offers lots of pro tips. After the chefs have shown us how to make the casarecce recipe, it was time to enjoy it as our entree with a glass of wine.
Entrees eaten, it is on to the second part of the masterclass. Andrea and Matteo show us how to make a crisp skin wild caught Barramundi with Colatura butter, Chicory and sun dried tomatoes. The barramundi is our main course and is cooked perfectly. Skin of the barramundi still retaining its crispness under the sauce.
Casarecce Recipe by Chef Matteo Zamboni
Both these recipes are easy to make at home, but the casarecce recipe with Western Australian Yabbies, capsicum and hazelnuts is the one I want to share with you today. One of the first articles to appear on Belly Rumbles was about purchasing live yabbies, preparing, cooking and eating them. As well as Sara being slightly traumatised during the process. She's come a long way since then!
If you don't want to use yabbies or they're not available to you, substitute prawns (shrimp), crayfish, lobster or crab.
Casarecce with Western Australian Yabbies, capsicum and hazelnuts.
- 400 grams Barilla Casarecce
- 250 grams WA Yabbies alive
- 2 Red Capsicums
- 2 cloves Garlic
- 2 Roma Tomatoes chopped
- 50 grams Parsley
- 50 grams Hazelnuts roasted
- 1 Lemon zested
- 50 ml Extra Virgin Olive oil
- 50 ml Brandy
- Start by putting the Yabbies in water and ice for about 1 hr. after that strain them and blanch them for about 90 seconds in boiling water.
- Strain the Yabbies and put them back in ice and water to stop the cooking process.
- Peel the Yabbies and reserve the shells for stock. Dice the Yabbies in medium size pieces.
- For the stock, cut the garlic in half and lightly cook it in Extra Virgin Olive Oil, add the chopped tomatoes, the shells and the parsley stalks. When the shells are nicely roasted, add the brandy and let it flame. Add just enough water to cover the Yabbies and boil on low for about 30 minutes. Allow stock to rest for 30 mins and then strain.
- Dice the red capsicum in small cubes and cook them at low heat with some extra virgin olive oil, add the yabbies stock and bring to the boil.
- Cook the Barilla Casarecce in salty boiling water, strain and toss together with Yabbies stock in a pan.
- Let stock evaporate, add chopped parsley and lemon zest. Serve in a bowl with sliced Hazelnuts on top.
Casa Barilla's classes are great value. The hands-on classes are $90/person, and the demonstrations masterclasses are $60/person. Classes include Prosecco/drinks and antipasto on arrival, all food and a glass of wine with your meal. There is even a generous goodie bag to take home. You also have the opportunity to meet one of Sydney's tops chefs in the process.
Until next time, Josh