Hosted by accomplished cook Luciana Masci, you will experience the traditional culture of Italy’s central region of Abruzzo and southern Italy. Working closely with Luciana, you will prepare authentic recipes passed down through the generations of her family and her Italian friends.
Create an Italian banquet from ANTIPASTI, PASTA and delicious DOLCE.
Date: Sunday, April 11, 2021 Time: 9.30 am – 2.30/3.00 pm Venue: Holland Park West Cost:$135 per person (limited places)
ANTIPASTI:Selection of various antipasti –
* grilled zucchini with goat’s cheese and tomatoes
* stuffed vegetables (zucchini and capsicum) PRIMO:Spaghetti al limone DOLCE:Torta di Ricotta
Luciana, who is passionate about Italian cuisine and culture has taught authentic Italian cooking for many years in Brisbane and also as part of her small group boutique tours to Abruzzo and southern Italy.
Luciana’s Italian cooking classes fill quickly, so book now to be part of this special event.
The menu is vegetarian and contains gluten and dairy.
We will be using wonderful fresh ingredients and working with goats cheese, mascarpone and fresh ricotta. We will be enjoying Italian wines which will complement the menu.
The experience includes – welcome coffee, sit down lunch of food we have cooked together served with Italian wine, hands-on tuition, ingredients, recipe details, a Touring Abruzzo apron* and the opportunity to savour your own authentic Italian creations.
(*Return guests, please bring your Touring Abruzzo apron)
In these troubling times since February our lives have had a big shake up and change. With my yearly tours to Italy everything has come to a halt, just like that overnight.
After 16 years of travelling to Italy to lead the tours it is so disastrous and sad that I cannot be there this year.
I am based in Brisbane, Australia and spend part of each year in Italy where I am based in Abruzzo.
As we cannot travel within Australia or out of Australia it has given me much time to reflect on my life and work. There are things which do give me comfort and solace in these sad times.
As I isolate and do my best to stay home I enjoy:
My beautiful things around me…
Over a lifetime of travelling I collect beautiful pieces especially c eramics. The ceramic sea urchins are from my visit to the Amalfi Coast and I explored the famous ceramic village of Vietri.
The coaster is a piece from Castelli, in Abruzzo and the ceramic and cork mat is from Portugal way back in 1986!
I have also been fortunate to know wonderful Australian friends who have gifted me special pieces like the blue and white teapot from Vietnam and my prized Royal Crown Derby teacup and saucer both from Rosemary. I will treasure these pieces forever as she is no longer with us.
2) Tea tea and more tea…
For an Italian is it strange to say that I don’t drink coffee?? I am a green tea drinker. I love the fragrant jasmine green teas, sencha tea and also herbal teas like peppermint.
I take it outdoors, indoors and also on my bed with a warm wool blanket…that is super comforting.
3) Cooking and Baking ….
I love to pull out my old recipes and also find new recipes to try out on my family and friends.
I find comfort in making my traditional Abruzzese and Italian recipes like gnocchi, chicken soup, spaghetti alla chitarra with a slow cooked lamb sauce.
Here is a new sponge cake recipe my cousin Loredana shared with me from Abruzzo over a Whats App chat!
I will share it with you here – it has only 3 ingredients and it works every time. In this recipe I cut it in half and sprinkled it with coffee and a liqueur I had in my cupboard (like cointreau or frangelico)., then filled it with homemade nutella spread and whipped chantilly cream!
Italian Sponge Cake(Pan di Spagna) by Loredana
150 gr sugar
180 gr plain flour (sifted and add 2 teaspoons baking powder)
In a mixer bowl add the eggs and sugar and beat with an electric mixer for around 20 mins until the mixture is pale and creamy and with lots of volume. This is how the air is introduced into the sponge mix.
Turn the mixer off and gently fold in the sifted flour with a spatula or wooden spoon, careful not to overwork the folding.
Place in a greased springform cake tin and bake in a preheated oven at 170 deg and bake for 30 – 35 mins. It should be soft to touch and the cake come away from the sides.
Leave to cool in the tin before turning out.
With my Italian heritage gardening and growing food is part of our DNA! Coming from family who have always farmed in rural Abruzzo, I have always grown up with a vegetable garden.
Here is my pumpkin plant growing which I will harvest soon in our autumn season here in Australia. At the moment I am growing tomatoes, herbs and some greens as well as eggplants.
I also enjoy growing some flowers like this hibiscus called Lemon Delight and my yellow chrysanthemums which come from our nonna Liberata’s garden and we saved the plants and pass it onto all our family now.
My newest passion is trying to learn to paint. I have always loved sketching but over the years as I become more busy it was something that got forgotten. I have recently got out my old sketch book and seen the things I drew… Now I have picked up paint brush and put paint to canvas.
This is my latest effort. I have called it “Reaching into the Light”.. What do you think?
I have drawn inspiration from our first people here, our aboriginal people with their rich culture and design.
I hope to do more, as I find it really zones me out and it is such a mindful practice that I can get lost in my world for a while. It actually has been so good for my mind, body and soul, I wish I can do more and try out different techniques and perhaps learn to mix and blend colours..
Well these are a few of my favourite things, when I am not travelling and working in Italy.
Thanks to Maria Laura from Laura Selection who has inspired me and encouraged me to write a few word on Comfort and Tea in these times.
I am looking forward to our collaboration with Maria Laura from Molise region which is just below our beloved Abruzzo. We have created and curated a superb new tour programme “Back Roads of Molise” which was ready to launch this year 2020, however it is on hold for 2021 and we are ready to go with it.
It will be 8 magnificent days exploring the little known region of Molise together with Luciana and Maria Laura!
There are so many traditional recipes in Italy as every region has their own version of a particular recipe or their own special recipe only in that region.. Abruzzo is no exception. I have been asked many times for the recipe to this delicious Olive oil cake.
There are many versions where you can add fresh ricotta or almonds. Sometimes I can even add yoghurt if I have some in the fridge… or lime zest instead of lemon.. Once you know the basic method you can modernise the recipe! Good luck and start baking..
TARALLO ABRUZZESE – Lemon and Olive Oil Cake
250 gr sugar
200 gr s.r flour and some extra baking powder 1 tspn
180 gr fresh ricotta
½ cup water (or milk)
½ cup of oil
Lemon zest of 1 lemon or orange zest
Separate eggs, beat egg whites until stiff – for about 2 mins or so.
Add sugar, continue beating.
Add the 4 egg yolks, continue beating. Up to this point, should be beaten for about 8 mins in total to allow air to get in.
Add the lemon zest and some vanilla essence, add the ricotta and beat until smooth.
Add the sifted S.R flour, baking powder, the water and the oil and fold through. If it is too runny add a spoon of flour at a time. If it is too thick, add a spoon of milk or water at a time. Mixture should be thick ribbons runny when you lift it off the whisk or spoon.
This is a traditional cake made in Abruzzo, especially around Pescara.
The typical shape is a dome shaped cake. You can buy the moulds in any market in Abruzzo or kitchen shop in Abruzzo.
It is made using semolina instead of flour and along with the ground almonds it makes it a cake with a lot of texture…and great taste!
The semolina used here is the fine ground white wheat. You can substitute it with fine white polenta for gluten free cooking.
Have a go and make it and relive your Italian heritage or your Italy travels. It is always a sensation when we make it and serve it. We made it in one of our recent Italian cooking classes this year.
If you do not have the right round dome mould then you can use any shape really.
250 gr (9oz) sugar
150 gr (5 oz) almond meal, or ground almonds with skins on better Zest of 1 lemon
150 gr (5oz) semolina
2 tspns baking powder
Chocolate Ganache Topping – melted dark choc and butter or olive oil
* Pre heat oven to 180 deg C/350 F
* Beat egg whites separately with a pinch of salt until soft peaks form, add egg yolks, one at a time.
* Add the rest of the ingredients starting with sugar and beat until sugar dissolved
* Then gently fold in almonds, baking powder, semolina and lemon zest. Keep mixture aerated as there is no flour in this recipe.
* Cook in slow oven, 160 deg C/ 320 deg F for 45 -50 mins approx. Traditionally this is baked in a dome shaped baking tin, if not a round cake tin will be fine. Or can divide into small round tins, cooking time will be much less, ie 15 mins..
* When cake has cooled down – melt 200 gr dark chocolate and approximately 1-2 tablespoons of butter and cover top of the cooled cake. (90z)
Learn about the latest Italy tours lined up for 2018 with Touring Abruzzo. Read about what is hot in the New Year and the exciting new destinations to central and southern Italy. Viva La Dolce Vita!
Wishing you all a very happy and special Christmas season and thank you to all our valued guests over the years…. Grazie mille!
This next year marks Luciana’s 14th year of travel to Abruzzo, Italy and over the years has shown hundreds and hundreds of wonderful guests the beauty of this central Italian region. In the last 4 yrs, Touring Abruzzo has grown with demand and requests from many past guests and so Luciana has created exciting new Italy tour itineraries which take in areas in central and southern Italy.
Like our small group tour programmes toPuglia – the ‘heel’ of Italy in the south, as well as to ‘Basilicata’ which borders Puglia and which not many travellers know about…until now!
With these fully escorted tours and with Touring Abruzzo’s knowledgeable local guides you will certainly have a full immersion into an authentic Italian lifestyle and see little known or discovered destinations. A real treat awaits you…
The hot new and interesting destination for 2018 ready to be launched by Touring Abruzzo is to the north of Abruzzo,
LE MARCHE –a land straddled between the beauty of the Adriatic coast and the Apennines to the west. Another central Italy region to explore and understand. Travel on the path less visited with us…
After another wonderful touring season in Italy covering Abruzzo, Puglia, Basilicata and Molise this year we are proud to be well and truly ready for our 14th year of travel for 2018 with Touring Abruzzo. The2018 Italy tour programme is now out and reservations are coming in! Choose your small group boutique tour experience or custom made private tour here and read on:
ABRUZZO: Choose a 4, 8, 10 day tour or design your own custom made journey…
If you only have time for a short stay in Abruzzo, then ‘TASTES of ABRUZZO’is perfect.
Over 4 days you will explore the northern Abruzzo region and you will be based in a beautiful hilltop village of Civitella del Tronto. From here you can experience the pleasure of living like a local, following a truffle hunt, seeing ancient fortresses and medieval art and cook with local ladies of Abruzzo. 2018 Departures: May 28, June 3, June 17, June 19 and September 17.
* ‘BACK ROADS of ABRUZZO’is an 8 day journey which extends on the previous tour by including more of the central Abruzzo area along the Adriatic coast and into the Apennine mountains with the Maiella National Park area. 2018 Departures: June 17 and June 19.
*‘GRAND TOUR of ABRUZZO’will take you through most of the Abruzzo region over 10 days and has been the most popular tour for several years. 2018 departures: June 3 and September 17
One of this year’s highlights was to see some Apennine wolves (lupus italicus) in the Parco Nazionale d’Abruzzo, Lazio e Molise. Our hiking guide Antonella took us on some gentle walks through the area and we indulged in a special al fresco banquet put together by Luciana. This stunning photo was taken by Fabio courtesy of https://m.facebook.com/notordinarywild/
PUGLIA– Choose a 4, 8, 10 day tour (June – October) or reserve your own private tour.
These tours are lead by Fabio, a very special member of the Touring Abruzzo team. He is a great guide and equally passionate archeologist who is knowledgeable and takes great care of each guest. We pride ourselves in showing you a true and authentic Puglia, often off the main tourist paths and each tour has a special mix of history, art, culture, food and wine (of course!). * Limited time? Why not try our ‘TASTES of PUGLIA’tourwhich is a short 4 daystay based in Lecce (Baroque capital of the south). 2018 Departures: June 16, June 25 and October 1.
* ‘BACK ROADS OF PUGLIA’takes in central and southern Puglia from Ostuni to Lecce over 8 days.2018 Departures: June 13 and September 28.
* ‘TREASURES OF PUGLIA’ – is the most popular Puglia programme and covers most of the length of the region from Trani to Lecce over glorious sun filled 10 days. 2018 Departures: June 10 and September 25. One of the highlights this year in Puglia would have to be visiting some local weavers who are passing on their traditions to the next generation of women. Using ancient olive wood looms and traditional patterns they are literally weaving magic with fabulous wool and cotton rugs and scarves made of cashmere, linen or silk thread.
BASILICATA– This undiscovered gem of Italy’s south is a must see destination. See it in 2018 as in 2019 it has been voted the European Capital of Culture and the numbers of visitors is surely set to rise… *‘BACK ROADS OF BASILICATA’ – offers a total experience of the region over 8 days. Stay in a restored farmhouse in northern Basilicata as well as in Matera. Explore medieval castles, taste incredible Aglianico wines, enjoy a hands on cooking class, visit amazing hilltop villages and understand the rich history from the Greeks, Arabs and Normans. 2018 Departures: September 1 and October 17.
Ready to explore something new in Italy? Let theTouring Abruzzo team take you on another amazing journey into central Italy where the roads are far less travelled..
WE ARE READY TO ANNOUNCE OUR NEW “TASTES of LE MARCHE” tour.
Over 5 glorious days in Spring and Autumn you will be taken to the birthplace of composer Rossini, see the Miracle of the Black Madonna of Loreto, visit true artisans making piano accordions and hand made paper over the centuries. There will be time to visit local winemakers and explore the beautiful hilltop villages such as Urbino… See this part of Italy…the slow way… 2018 Departures: May 23, June 21 & September 21ITALY TOURS TO REMEMBER
Slow down and relax on the roads less travelled in Italy..
Small group tours, personalised and professional service,
run by Luciana and her team…with passion and great local knowledge.
Join Luciana in the new 2018 Cooking Classes in Brisbane, Australia: February 10, March 18, April 15.
The first class will kick off with a great menu including: fried stuffed olives, summer spelt salad, tortellini filled with ricotta and walnuts, Abruzzese style lamb with egg, cheese and lemon. Dessert is a great treat as well! Contact Luciana now on
0475 885 851 to book.
Remember places are strictly limited and do fill quickly.
Visit the Touring Abruzzo Online Shop today to see the wonderful items from Abruzzo which are available.
Choose from a boutique range of ceramics, traditional silver jewellery, aprons, tea towels, canvas art and books…
Order online and it will be shipped to you.
More Italian cooking is coming your way this summer – Saturday 10 February
Luciana will be hosting the next hands on cooking class:
‘A TALE OF 2 SUMMERS – Celebrating Summer and The Cuisine of Abruzzo in Australia’
SPOIL SOMEONE YOU LOVE WITH A GIFT VOUCHER:
DATE: Saturday 10 February
TIME: 9.30am – 2.30 pm
VENUE: To be announced, in Brisbane.
COST: $160 (past cooking class guests only $140)
Come and Celebrate all things Italian this summer and relive your Italian holiday vacation and travels to Abruzzo as you cook up a storm with Luciana Masci. Learn the skills and secrets to make a superb 5 course Italian banquet..
Impress your family and friends and most of all have fun with food and with like minded people. Using only the freshest of ingredients and seasonal cooking, this class promises to impress for sure. Recipes have been gathered and passed down to Luciana and come from northern and central Abruzzo areas. You and your friends will create these Italian dishes from antipasti, pasta, meat and dessert. Great new recipes you can entertain with over our wonderful Australian summer.
Learn to make recipes including:
* fried stuffed olives (olive ascolane)
* summer spelt salad
* tortellini filled with ricotta and walnuts
* lamb with egg, cheese and lemon
* semolina and almond cake (parozzo abruzzese)
Classes often fill up (small classes only )..so reserve your places now.
GIFT VOUCHERS AVAILABLE ALSO – So why not contact Luciana and her team at Touring Abruzzo now to reserve your spot?
Tour Italy with Luciana and relive your Italian memories with this great cooking class.
Contact Luciana firstname.lastname@example.org or 07) 3102 4384.
La Dolce Vita continues with Luciana’s Italian Cooking Classes in 2017!
“TASTES of TUSCANY” Cooking Class
DATE: SUNDAY 19 NOVEMBER, 2017 VENUE: Taya Kitchen Shop 18 / 254 South Pine Road, Enoggera, Brisbane TIME: 9.30am – 2.30pm
COST:$160 AUD per person
(repeat guests of Luciana’s classes: $140AUD)
Luciana is excited to team up with Taya in Brisbane to bring you an amazing Italian cooking day with her ‘TASTES of TUSCANY’ class.
Come and celebrate all things Italian and relive your Italian holiday as you cook up a storm in Taya Kitchen. Hosted by accomplished Italian cook Luciana Masci, guests will experience the traditional culture of Italy’s regions of Tuscany and Abruzzo. Prepare authentic recipes passed down through generations of her family as well as other great recipes from Italy.
You will learn all the skills and secrets to make this 4 course Italian banquet.
Impress your family and friends and most of all you will have fun with food and friends!
Crostini 2 ways – bread with rosemary, salt and olive oil & with mushroom, walnut and cheese
Pasta – master the fine details of making this delicious lasagne or ‘timballo’ using fine egg crepes and tiny meatballs
Pork Fillet cooked in Honey Mead served with a Tuscan bean dish
Cantucci – make these fabulous almond or walnut biscotti
The ExperienceIncludes: Morning coffee/tea with Italian pastries.
Sit down lunch to enjoy this fine Italian banquet.
Matching Italian wines and dessert liqueur Honey Mead.
Hands‐on tuition, ingredients, recipe details, a souvenir apron.
A chance to take home some baked goodies.
COST:$160 per person (repeat guests of Luciana’s classes: $140)
LIMITED SPACES ONLY – PLACES FILL QUICKLY… TO RESERVE YOUR PLACE:
LAST CLASS BEFORE CHRISTMAS: SATURDAY, DECEMBER 2 ‘Celebrating Abruzzese Cuisine’ Venue: Holland Park Have more fun with Luciana as you make: * fried stuffed olives; * summer spelt salad * tortelloni filled with ricotta and walnuts * lamb with egg, cheese and lemon * Parozzo Abruzzese – semolina and almond dome cake
The central Italian region of Abruzzo known as the country’s ‘best-kept secret’ is giving up more of treasures to its visitors this year. And culinary delights are at the top of the list.
Steeped in fascinating history and breathtaking landscapes Abruzzo is beginning to show on the radar of people looking for the quintessential Italian food and wine travel experience.
Luciana Masci, director of Touring Abruzzo is passionate about food and where it comes from and how it is prepared and has been a member of Slow Food Italy for a long while. It was founded by Carlo Petrini in 1989 as a reaction against fast food and fast life. Today the Slow Food organization has over 100,000 members in 132 countries.
Ms Masci says the culinary delights of Abruzzo are becoming a big attraction with well travelled people looking for an authentic Italian experience.
It has been a hot summer in Italy but it has not stopped guests from visiting Abruzzo Italy, central Italy and southern Italy.I took some time off myself earlier in the season and had an amazing time in the cities of Venice, Bologna, Modena and the Tuscany region. The 2018 Italy tour programme is now out and reservations are coming in! Choose your region here and read on:
Stay tuned for ‘Tastes of Molise’, ‘Tastes of Le Marche’ & ‘Travels in Tuscany’ – run by the Touring Abruzzo team Slow down,relax on the roads less travelled in Italy..
Small group Italy tours, personalised and professional service,
run with passion and great local knowledge…
Luciana Masci will be running a couple of Italian cooking classes in Nov & Dec in Brisbane, Australia.
As the Carnevale season approaches in the next week.. these are typical sweets made throughout Italy. Each region has a different name for them.. In Abruzzo we call them CROSTOLI, in Puglia and elsewhere they are CHIACCHIERE! Here is the recipe on this link..looking forward to making them soon with my guests in my next cooking class!
Follow this good recipe here and make your own for this coming Carnevale time: https://culinariaitalia.wordpress.com/category/recipe/dolce-sweet/