Dine-In Easy and Elegant Recipes with Italian Chef Luca Banfi

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In my country, and several others, they say the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach, and I think it can be safely stated, the same can be true for women too! So, surprising your significant other with a home cooked special dinner will go a long way! There’s no better occasion to show your love than Valentine’s Day. Don’t know where to start? We got your back!

Italian Chef Luca Banfi of La Piazzetta agreed to share his recipes for a perfect home-cooked, three-course dinner.

Tuna Carpaccio


  • 2 slices of tuna (about 100 g each)
  • 4 tbs. of sour cream
  • 1 tbs. of chopped chives
  • Grated zest of 1 lemon
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • Freshly cracked black pepper
  • About 20 leaves of baby arugula
  • Capers


Place slices of tuna between two layers of plastic wrap and gently pound until thin, for this you can use a small pan. In a bowl, combine sour cream, lemon zest, cracked black pepper and chive.

Season with salt to taste.  Spread sour cream on the plate, remove top layer of plastic from tuna and place it on the plate.  Season tuna with sea salt, cracked pepper, olive oil and lemon juice, and top with capers and arugula.

Beetroot Risotto


  • 150g of arborio rice
  • 50g of goat cheese
  • 1 large beetroot
  • 1 liter of vegetable stock
  • 1 sprig of rosemary
  • 1 tbs. of butter
  • 1 small onion
  • 1 cup of red wine


Peel and dice into small cubes the beetroot. Place in the pot with a vegetable broth and wine, simmer until beetroot is tender. Strain the beetroot and reserve the liquid. Drizzle a little bit of olive oil in another pan, and sauté the chopped onion, cooked beetroot and chopped rosemary on medium heat for two minutes. Add the rice and sauté and stir for another two minutes. Begin adding the broth one ladle at the time while stirring continuously. Continue to add stock and stir for about 15 minutes, or until the rice is cooked. Once cooked, stir in the butter and the goat cheese. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve immediately.

Rum glazed strawberries with Ice Cream


  • 10 good-sized strawberries
  • 2 tbs. of brown sugar
  • 1 tbs. of butter
  • Two shots of rum (Brugal extra Viejo recommended)
  • Vanilla ice cream


Wash and dry the strawberries; remove the stem and cut in half. Heat up a non-stick sauté pan and melt the butter with sugar and strawberries. Sauté on high heat for few minutes, add the rum, flambé and pour over ice cream. Voilà! As easy as that!

Chef Luca Banfi

Born in the US, chef Banfi comes from a multicultural family with Italian and Iraqi parents, a family where good food has always been at the heart of every meal and gathering. It’s thanks to these experiences he realized at a young age that the culinary world was the right place to follow his passion, a realization that was further confirmed when the opportunity to work in a professional kitchen presented itself while working in a small café in Philadelphia.

His career started with humble beginnings, but determined to grow in the culinary field, he rose from his early days in an Italian café all the way to Chef de Cuisine for the renowned Le Cirque restaurant group, overlooking their two restaurants in Casa De Campo, Dominican Republic.

The turning point of his journey came about when he joined the culinary team at the Lodge at Torrey Pines, where under the guidance of Chef Jackson he was able to start develop his own style by creating dishes inspired by fresh, local and seasonal produce with a light Italian touch.

Over the years, he was able to work around the globe, from Milan to San Diego, the Dominican Republic to the UAE, and these experiences helped him to further shape his own creative approach, incorporating influences from each of the places visited.

Now he is back here Casa de Campo overlooking La Piazzetta in Chavón!

To make reservations in La Piazzetta contact  Casa de Campo concierge for reservations at (809) 523-3166.