Monday, November 11, 2013

Alce Nero Cook-Off

If you are an Italian food lover, you should be very familiar with Alce Nero. Alce Nero, the leading  brand in Italy since 1970s commits itself to bringing wellness & health to their consumers with its extensive range of quality organic pasta & sauce. Their products, being organic are free from synthetic chemical substances & pesticides allows consumers to obtain wholesome food that is both natural & delicious. In addition its vast selection of organic pasta & sauces, Alce Nero also carries Olive Oil, Balsamic Vinegar, jams & Honey, everything you need to put up a delicious Italian meal. Alce Nero products are available online at & leading supermarkets.

I am glad to be invited by Gushcloud (a social advertising company in Singapore) to have a fun hands- on cooking session at Food Playground last Saturday, 9th Nov. Great tips were being picked up from the chef for an authentic Italian meal. There were 12 bloggers in total & we were divided into 3 groups for the hands on. The recipes for the day are pizza & Laksa Pesto Spaghetti. Without further ado, let me put on my apron & my DIY chef hat (with my trademark cat's paws :)) & lead you into the kitchen behind that white door where all the fun begins. 

The kitchen is spacious & well equipped with 2 big ovens. It is a dream kitchen for all cooks & bakers. A lovely place to have classes n mingle with new friends. All the cooking ingredients are prepared nicely for us on the instructor's table. Preheating of oven is essential before baking.

The instructor demonstrated to us how to make a pizza dough from scratch. Her kneading method is slightly different from our usual but the taste of the product is definitely not compromise, in fact it is better! Just remember these 3 easy steps: pull the dough apart, beat a few times on the table & fold the dough. Repeat until the dough is smooth & non sticky.

To minimize the proofing time, she uses dry yeast & the dough was sent to 'proof'  in the oven at a low temp of 40C for around 20mins. We were given a round of quiz to determine the winning team so as to have the priority to choose the pizza ingredients! Our team came in second & these are our ingredients. We took turns to experience kneading the dough. See, the dough started out to be so sticky & hard to handle initially. After numerous tiring kneading by my strong team mates, it become almost smooth when it is my turn to knead. LOL =)

Next, lets proceed to do the laksa pesto spaghetti. This is my first time doing the pesto paste from scratch.  It is a 'good' workout for the arm pounding a bunch of laksa leaves, cloves of garlic & candlenuts together.  My team mate was very kind to take over the job, I guess she can sense my arm 'aching' after pounding  for some time! LOL.  This is how the paste look after frying with olive oil & addition of coconut milk. 

Ta-daa.. our laksa pesto spaghetti after garnish & our pizza fresh out from oven. Looks pro huh?

Now, it's time for some food tasting back in the dining room. These are done by the 3 teams. The most creative team walked away with an additional hamper on top of a goodie bag. Sad to say our team do not have that privilege. Nevertheless, we all truly had a great time & loads of fun during the 3 hr cook off together. The food we cook were really simple & delicious. The freshness of the ingredients and richness of the flavour were really awesome and authentic, almost bringing us back to Italy itself. I can't wait to start getting my pantry stocked with alce nero products and cook these brilliant Italian dishes for my family.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank the organizers for this great cook off & is looking forward to more such events in near future.


Priscilla said...

we are glad you had a good time... let us know how did your own creation go with the items in your gift bag ya!

cathysjoy said...

Tks Priscilla, I am going to cook the laksa pesto spaghetti this weekend for my family! =)

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