Located in northern Italy, Lombardy stretches up towards Lake Como and down to Milan. The region is home to many rich, regal dishes such as golden risotto alla Milanese, rice cooked with saffron; ossobuco, a marrow-filled knuckle of veal; and panettone, a soft, sweet bread dotted with raisins and candied fruit found around Christmas.
Zen and I are here at the Casa Barilla Cooking School, for the Lombardy class which is part of ‘The Regions Of Italy’ series.

Map of Lombardy in Italy

The Regions Of Italy classes celebrate regional ingredients and traditional dishes. Each class is intimate, with a maximum of 16 people. It is slightly hands-on and involves you cooking your own dinner! I’ve said slightly, because you work in teams of 3 or 4 and depending on the complexity (or simplicity in our case tonight), there may not be all that much chopping or braising or stirring to be split amongst the team. However, with that said, the class is perfect for anybody who wants to learn about the basics of cooking authentic Italian cuisine. It is more about the cultural inspiration and less about technique.

Casa Barilla Cooking School in Annandale Sydney

Upon arrival, we are served Prosecco and antipasto.

Casa Barilla Cooking School - antipasto

On the agenda tonight is Ossobucco alla Milanese served with Barilla Polenta and for dessert, Salame di Cioccolato which is Executive Chef Luca Ciano’s mother’s recipe.
We split up into groups of 3 or 4 and put on Barilla branded aprons which are neatly packaged at each kitchen station.
Assembling back at the demonstration kitchen, Luca takes us through the culinary delights of Lombardy and shares his golden rules of cooking Ossobuco.

Casa Barilla Cooking School - osso bucco ingredients

It is now our turn to replicate what we’ve just seen at our own kitchen stations.

Ossobuco alla Milanese
Serves 4Ingredients
½ onion, finely chopped
½ carrot, finely chopped
½ stick of celery, finely chopped
100g unsalted butter
4 veal ossobuchi (300 – 350g each)
100g plain flour
1 glass white wine
2 glasses veal stock
1 tin peeled tomatoes or 3 fresh vine-ripened tomatoes (optional)
100g green peas

Gremolata
30g lemon zest
¼ bunch parsley
1 garlic clove
Salt & pepper and olive oil

Method
In a large casserole, gently cook the onion, carrot and celery in butter until golden.
Coat the ossobuchi in flour, season them and sear on both sides in the same pan.
Add the wine and let it evaporate. Add the stock and tomatoes and simmer with a lid on for an hour and a half.
To make the gremolata, finely chop the lemon zest, parsley, garlic and mix with a little olive oil and season to taste.
Five minutes before serving, add the peas and season to taste. Serve with gremolata.

Casa Barilla Cooking School - ossobucco alla Milanese

Casa Barilla Cooking School - Jennifer Lam of JENIUS, chopping ingredients for gremolata

Casa Barilla Cooking School - wine

Casa Barilla Cooking School - Jennifer Lam and Zen Huang

Our pieces of occobuchi are quite large and with the limited cooking time, we struggle to reproduce the melt-in-your-mouth effect.
I have since recreated this at home and can proudly say that it was a huge success! With the luxury of time, I slow cooked 8 serves of ossobucco for just over 3 hours. The meat was meltingly tender and the sauce was rich, creamy and flavourful. My dinner guests absolutely loved the addition of gremolata.
Osso bucco is such an incredible dish. It is so hearty and just perfect for winter; plus It requires minimal preparation time and can be cooked in advance (and warmed up in the oven) so makes a great party dish too.

Casa Barilla Cooking School - ossobucco

Learn to appreciate the origin of classic italian dishes and check out other classes in the Regions of Italy series:
Lazio
Tuesday 10 August, 6 – 8:30pm
Wednesday 11 August, 6 – 8:30pm
Liguria
Tuesday 21 September, 6 – 8:30pm
Wednesday 22 September, 6 – 8:30pm
Sicily
Wednesday 6 October, 6 – 8:30pm
Thursday 7 October, 6 – 8:30pm
Cost is $90 per person and includes prosecco and antipasto on arrival, all food and glass of wine with your meal, and generous goodie bag to take home.
Casa Barilla Cooking School
4 Annandale Street, Annandale, NSW
Phone: (02) 8585 3900
Email: [email protected]
Web: www.barillaaus.com

JENIUS and her partner attended the Lombardy cooking class as guests of Casa Barilla and Exposure PR.

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Jennifer is the founding blogger of I Ate My Way Through (originally, Jenius.com.au). Growing up in the multicultural melting pot of Sydney’s Inner West as a second generation Australian (of Vietnamese refugee parents of Teochew Chinese ancestry), Jen has always had a deep curiosity about global cuisines, culinary heritage and the cultural assimilation of immigrants. For Jen and her family, food is always at the centre of all celebrations, life events and milestones. A lover of the finer things in life, as well as cheap eats, her blogging ethos is all about empowering and inspiring people to expand their culinary repertoire. When not running her two companies (she is also the Managing Director of The Bamboo Garden online marketing agency), Jen can be found exploring old-world charms at vintage markets and delving into local eats around the world. She has a weakness for fried chicken.
  • LOVE that antipasto serving platter!

  • MY OH MY! This all looks so wonderful!

  • Ohh this sounds like a wonderful class to do! Mmmm that Osso Buco looks delish!

  • that looks like a fun cooking class! Man I had the biggest osso bucco in SA, going to post this week, hopefully. 😛