For June, DBS Indulge presented Roberto Galetti of the Garibaldi Group for its masterclass series at the AFC Studio. He is the Executive Chef, Managing Director and partner of the very successful group which includes restaurants Garibaldi, Ricciotti, Sweets Garibaldi, and joint ventures like Gunther's, Gattopardo's and Brotzeit.
Roberto demonstrated a three-course meal with a tuna tartare salad, gnocchi with gorgonzola sauce, and panna cotta. I'd always wanted to see how an expert would make gnocchi - it looks simple but is probably one of the skills that's hard to get right, unless you are someone's Italian grandmother who has been making it for years.
The same goes for panna cotta. It's very hard to get the right balance, says Roberto. He emphasizes that you have just got to try, try and try. And folks, his is officially THE BEST PANNA COTTA I have ever tried! I'm almost afraid to make it. It's so good!
Indeed, Chef Galetti says to pay attention to the steps. So let's dive straight into the recipes! There is a video on making the gnocchi too (mixing and shaping, step 5 in recipe below). This is where the demo comes in more useful than a written recipe.
RECIPES (extra notes in italics)
Battuto Di Tonno Con Rucola Arance E Zafferano
Tuna Tartare with Rucola Salad and Orange Saffron Sauce
Orange Saffron Sauce
- 100ml orange juice
- 1g saffron
- ½ tsp corn flour
- 50g unsalted Butter
- 10ml water
Tuna Tartare with Rucola Salad
- 300g fresh tuna, sashimi grade (he used yellow fin tuna, maguro or loin is fine. Other fish like seabass, snapper or salmon also can be used, as long as they are fresh)
- Lemon juice from 1 whole lemon
- 10g capers, finely chopped
- 10g onions, finely chopped (so that it's not too strong)
- 10g gherkins, finely chopped
- 3 orange segments
- 40g extra virgin olive oil
- Italian parsley, finely chopped
Sauce (do this first, as it needs time to chill)
1) Boil the orange juice with butter and saffron for a few minutes. While waiting for mixture to boil, dissolve corn flour in a small bowl of cold water.
2) Reduce the heat from the sauce and add in the dissolved corn flour slowly until mixture reaches the
thickness that you want. Remember that once the sauce becomes cold, it will thicken so be careful
when adding the corn flour.
Tuna Tartare with Rucola Salad
1) Dice tuna and place in a bowl. Try to cut all the same size, or smaller pieces may overcook.
2) Add capers, onions, gherkins, a few orange segments (keep some for the final decoration), Italian
parsley, salt, pepper, extra virgin olive oil and lastly, the lemon juice to the bowl of tuna and mix
3) Plate the salad with the remaining orange segments and drizzle the sauce all around.
Gnocchi Di Patate E Spinaci Al Gorgonzola Con Noci Tostate
E Riduzione Di Aceto Balsamico
Homemade Spinach and Potato Dumpling with a Gorgonzola Cheese Sauce,
Toasted Walnuts and a Balsamico Glaze
Toasted Walnuts & Balsamico Glaze
- 50g walnuts (just toast these for a few minutes)
- 200 ml Balsamico vinegar
- 100g Sugar
- 1kg Idaho potatoes, mashed
- 400 – 500g flour
- 100g spinach puree
- 2 whole eggs
- 30g parmesan cheese, grated
- Nutmeg, grated
- 1 litre cooking cream (whipped cream is fine)
- 400g gorgonzola cheese
- White pepper
1) Boil the Idaho potatoes with their skin still on in a pot of water and salt. Boiling time depends on the size of the potatoes. Make sure they are soft but still firm.
2) Once potatoes are done boiling, peel it and cut them into pieces. Bake potatoes at 180°C for about 10 minutes. You can make the balsamic sauce in the meantime.
3) Mash the potatoes through the vegetable mill twice and at the second time, add in the blended and
drained spinach purée (cook the spinach with bit of water, salt and pepper, blend and drain). If you don't have a vegetable mill, you can mash the potatoes but you should get it really fine.
4) Check the weight of the mashed potatoes and spinach purée and find the right proportion for the others ingredients.
5) Mix (slowly) all the ingredients while the potato is still hot and bring the mixture from outside to inside – shape them by using extra flour and pass the gnocchi through a fork, allowing them to fall in a floured tray without touching them further.
6) It is recommended to try the texture of the gnocchi by boiling a few pieces even before shaping them all.
7) Keep the gnocchi in the refrigerator if you are using them in the next few hours, otherwise it can be kept for up to two days after half boiling them and ensure that you soak them immediately in water and milk. Alternatively, you can freeze them and keep the gnocchi dough for up to 2 weeks.
8) Cook the gnocchi in boiling salt water and wait for them to float up to the surface of the water. Carefully remove the gnocchi and mix them in hot Gorgonzola sauce. Slide them right off the pan onto the plate!
9) Use balsamico glaze (see second photo above on using the end of a spoon to make fine lashings) and chopped toasted walnut as a garnish.
1) With a very low heat, cook the Gorgonzola cheese and the cream together till the cheese is completely melted. Always cook cheese using a gentle fire. Once melted, blend the mixture and set aside. Blending will remove the gritty bits, if you don't like those.
2) Do note that other types of Blue Cheese can be used, but quantity will need to be reduced should it be anything stronger than Gorgonzola cheese.
Toasted Walnuts & Balsamico Glaze
1) Boil the balsamico vinegar with the sugar until it reaches the right thickness. There's no need to stir, just leave it be. Add in some hot water if the mixture becomes too thick.
2) Chop the walnuts and toast them in the oven for a few minutes at 170°C and use for garnish.
Panna Cotta Alla Vaniglia Con Salsa Alle Fragole Pistacchi
Traditional Panna Cotta with Vanilla, Pistachio Nuts and Strawberry Sauce
- 350ml fresh milk
- 500ml cooking cream
- 250g sugar
- Lemon zest from 1 whole lemon (if you don't have a zester, just use a peeler)
- Orange zest from 1 whole orange
- 1 vanilla bean (you can re-use this two or three times)
- 5pcs (2g each) gelatin leaves (take note as some leaves are sold as 5g, not 2g! You can also use powdered gelatin but that gives a harder texture)
- 100g sugar
- 100ml water
- 450g strawberries (any fruit, really)
- Icing sugar
- Mint leaf, for garnishing
1) Slowly warm the milk with cream, sugar, lemon zest, orange zest and vanilla bean. Once mixture is
warm, add 5 gelatin leaves (put the gelatin in cold water for a few seconds before using it).
2) Ensure that the mixture of milk does not reach a boiling point (excessive heat will separate fat and water). Remove mixture from the heat just before it boils and strain.
3) Pour the mixture into your moulds and keep them in the refrigerator (without covering it, or wrap with cling film but poke holes in it) until it is cold and solid for approximately 3 to 4 hours. Removing the panna cotta from the mould neatly can be tricky. Use a sharp knife (see first photo) to dislodge the dessert from all along the side of the mould, and pop it out gently.
1) Prepare the syrup by first boiling water and sugar together. Once sugar has completely dissolved, allow it to cool at room temperature.
2) Wash the strawberries and blend it together with some of the syrup until it reaches the thickness you
4) Use toasted chopped pistachio nuts, icing sugar and mint leaf to garnish.
In addition to food sampling, we had lovely wines paired with each course.
The White: 2009 Praepositus Kerner, Abbazia Novacella
The Red: 2008 Barbera d’Alba Piani, Pelissero
The Sweet: 2010 Moscato d’Asti Nivole, Michele Chiarlo
We were also treated to dessert samples from Sweets Garibaldi. This is his new cake and dessert shop at Mandarin Gallery. I found out from their Facebook page that there is a Great Singapore Sale promotion now on til 24 July - buy 2 slices of cake, get 1 free; and a 20% discount on whole cakes. Perfect...there are two birthdays in July my family has to celebrate.
There was a little surprise gift for all of us, one which I thought was the most touching of all. Roberto Galetti's special tribute to his mother - a carefully curated collection of 29 recipes of dishes that she used to cook with love while he was growing up. The booklet is peppered with precious old photos looking back at his family and his life. It's a limited print, about 2,000 copies, and dining guests can get a complimentary copy at any of his restaurants.
I also found out why he used the name Garibaldi. Earlier, I'd been puzzled why a name of a General could be an appealing choice for a restaurant. At the masterclass, Roberto revealed that this Italian General fought the Austrians and the Spanish, and effectively united Italy. Roberto wanted to do the same with the flavours from the north and south of Italy. He is from the northern part (between Venice and Milan), where they tend to use more cream and butter than olive oil (which is more popular in the south). One of his partners had been from the south, I think. So they wanted to bring both regional types together in one restaurant.
Chef Galetti was also very funny and entertaining throughout the session. I'm glad he's retained his Italian accent despite many years here (and some prowess of Singlish).
Thanks to DBS Indulge and AFC Studio for inviting me to this masterclass. If you are interested, next month we have Michael Han of Fifty-Three at the next masterclass. Details on the page!
Check out also the previous masterclass featuring Chef Sho Naganuma of Hide Yamamoto.