Sometimes even passionate cooks like us get stuck in the rut of cooking the same meals week after week. Attending a cooking class every once in a while is a fun way to become re-inspired to whip up new and exciting meals in your kitchen. The Italian Cooking School, Casa Barilla, in the inner-west suburb of Annandale, does exactly that.

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Most of us have used Barilla products before, they are the most popular pasta company in the world. They are a supermarket staple known for their top of the range pasta and Italian sauce varieties. The Cooking School teaches students the philosophy of Italian cooking using Barilla products alongside other traditional Italian ingredients. We recently participated in their Pride of Parma and the Food Valley class, so we can share with you a little of what you can expect from attending a class at Casa Barilla.

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We all know that the Italian culture is associated with generous hospitality, especially when it comes to food. When we arrived at Casa Barilla we were greeted by the school's co ordinator Sylvia who welcomed us with coffee, prosecco and a slice of freshly baked chocolate cake. This was a great way to start the class as we introduced ourselves to our fellow students. 

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The class was led by Andrea Tranchero, who is one of the best Italian chefs in Australia! Andrea’s impressive career includes working in Michelin Star restaurants and cooking for the likes of Giorgio Armani and Richard Branson, so we knew this would be no ordinary day at school ! Andrea was assisted by another Italian chef, Angelo Di Somma who looked a little like Hollywood's charming leading man, Richard Gere.

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The class featured two recipes, prior to each cook Andrea gave us a step by step masterclass to demonstrate each dish. During this time we learnt much more than just the recipe, Andrea shared the history of the ingredients and all the important chefy tips that can transform a humble plate of pasta into something more extraordinary.

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When it was our turn to cook we headed back to our benches where all of our fresh ingredients were laid out ready for us to start. We cooked in groups of three or four under the guidance of Andrea and Angelo who seemed to appear just when we needed them.

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Our first dish was Tagliatelle with Parma Ham, Asparagus and Roasted Capsicum. This was an al dente nest of pasta garnished with a parmigiana crisp. The crisp was surprisingly easy to make and gave us a rush of pride when we used it to add the finishing touch to our plate. Overall the recipe was quick and easy to prepare but the pressure was on to make our food look just as good as Andrea's. One of us did quite well (not me)!  The best thing about the class is that the delicious food you cook is your lunch (or dinner), and true to Italian hospitality, we were able to relax and enjoy it with a nice glass of Italian wine.

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When we finished eating our pasta we moved onto learning and cooking the second dish, a tender Veal Tenderloin with Parmigiano Reggiano and Balsamic Vinegar Reduction. The indulgent finishing sauce was made from just two ingredients, Parmigiano Reggiano cheese and cream. This dish was a great example of the beauty of Italian cooking, that a handful of quality fresh ingredients can create a stunning plate of food.

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We ended the day with a sweet selection of gelato before heading home with a bag of Barilla goodies, our recipes and some new found Italian cooking skills. Since our class I have recreated the pasta dish at home, Mr 11 was really impressed  and now thinks my cooking is good enough to qualify for Masterchef. Its great that I could share the benefit of attending this class with my whole family.

casa Barilla Cooking School  casa barilla Cooking School  casa Barilla Cooking School

Considering everything This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. includes in this culinary experience the class is a bargain. The maximum number of pupils is just 16 so it’s a nice intimate environment where everyone gets the opportunity to see the demonstration, cook, and ask questions. The food is quite substantial so If you’re a food lover, this is one of the coolest things to do in Sydney! We have shared the class dates for the remainder of 2016 below. To make a booking contact Silvia by phone on 02 85853911 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

CASA BARILLA Cooking School Jul-Dec 2016 

Classes are hosted by Barilla’s Executive Chef Andrea Tranchero. Courses are $90.00pp and include cocktails and antipasto on arrival; all food with matching Italian wines and a goodie bag with Barilla products and the chef’s recipes to take home.

July THU 7th Jul 6pm – 8.30pm SAT 9th Jul 11am – 1.30pm - Foods from the Italian Alps Risoni cooked risotto style with Capsicum and Fontina Cheese fondue Pan fried Rainbow trout (creek trout), Asparagus and Pesto

August THU 18th Aug 6pm – 8.30pm SAT 20th Aug 11am – 1.30pm -Vegetarian feast Grilled Cauliflower served with Black Olive Mousse in an Orange and tomato Sauce (v) Spaghettini and Eggplant Rolls with Ricotta Sauce and Rocket Pesto (V)

September THU 15th Sep 6pm – 8.30pm SAT 17th Sep 11am – 1.30pm - The world of Pasta Orecchiette with Broccoli, anchovies, & chili Puglia style (v) Home Made egg Tagliatelle with Guanciale, mushrooms and ricotta sauce 

October THU 20th Oct 6pm – 8.30pm SAT 22nd Oct 11am – 1.30pm Southern Italian Flavours Mix Appetizers: Tomato Bruschetta, Spring Vegetable & Pesto salad, Lasagna with Eggplant Spicy Salami and Smoked Provola cheese

November THU 17th Nov 6pm – 8.30pm SAT 19th Nov 11am – 1.30pm - Flavours of the Mediterranean Sea Linguine with Zucchini, Bottarga, green pea sauce & salted Ricotta Pan fried Snapper served with Seafood in a Tomato & Basil Broth.

Our cooking class was compliments of Casa Barilla, opinions expressed in this post remain our own.

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