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April 19, 2011


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Wow, what a fun lesson for you!!! Nonna Vata is a pro...I love her curled up pasta shapes. She is amazing...thanks for sharing.


I am SO glad you managed to sneak in some photos to share with us. Love your post! Can just imagine the amazing ambience. Felt was there with you!


Wow- you have certainly been writing up a storm! this was a lot of fun. I certainly identify with the statement "There was no written recipe, and she measured nothing." That's why it was SO hard to learn to cook from MY nonna; I didn't get to spend enought actual COOKING time with her to really become a real apprentice (someone who really learns what it is when it "feels right")!

I also realized from your story that maybe I need to make the sign of the cross more often when I cook :-)

Claire @ Claire K Creations

How fantastic. There's nothing like learning from people who have been doing it for decades. I'd love to learn how to make fresh tomato sauce like the Italians.

Cristina, from Buenos Aires to Paris

Wow!!! I love this post..It's so authentic!! What a marvellous experience you had! Thanks for sharing it!


Wonderful! Looks like Nonna Vata really knows her stuff :) I really appreciated the detail in this post & also the way you explained the process - plus, how fun are all those different pasta shapes!


Nothing like learning from a master..fresh pasta is so beautiful, sometimes, I prefer it as plain as possible perhaps with some top extra virgin olive oil, sea salt and freshly cracked black pepper.


Thanks all for your compliments and comments!

Jill - It's thanks to Ylenia that I have the photos. She took pictures while I made pasta, with both her and my cameras around her neck the entire time!

Paula - Glad you enjoyed the post. I know how you feel. I didn't spend enough time in the kitchen with my nonna either. She was all about how things looked and felt, too. I made a few extra signs of the cross when remaking the pasta at home....needed all the help I could get to form those sagne ncannulate

Claire - Those are my feelings exactly.

Cristina - Thank you! It was a fabulous experience. I'm so happy to share it.

Tuula - Thank you! All those pasta shapes and learning from Nonna Vata was so much fun. I wanted to take her home in my suitcase, she was so cute.

Chopin - I so agree about the easy sauces. Cacio e pepe is one of my go-to pasta dishes. The schiattariciati (recipe on the next post) is just as simple and easy, too, another go-to sauce to add to the repertoire.


I have only made pasta by hand once in Italian class. It was so much work! I like how Nonna Vata made the process into a sort of prayer.


This looks like so much fun and what a way to experience real Italian culture and learning how to make real pasta is a gift you'll have forever!


I think I'm in love with Nonna Vata - and her pasta.


Laurel - Yes, one of the best ways to experience the culture and definitely one of the best parts of my recent trip. A trip, I need to add, that was filled with highlights.

Linda - Nonna Vata is adorable, and she is the quintessential nonna....caring but oh so feisty.


We loved the PUglia trip. Nonna was clearly the highlight of the trip. When I tried to take off my cycling shoes at the door she insisted I keep them on. I prevailed and took them off but Nonna ran to the bedroom to bring me slippers. She did yell at me when I messed up making pasta, it was great fun. She is worth taking this trip.


Hey There!
I had posted about a month ago under your Naples cooking lesson and mentioned I was going to Lecce Puglia and a few other places to do cooking classes..Well when reading over this post again today I recalled that the indiv that is meeting me for the cooking class is "Yle", which must be the one you refer to here! WOw!

I just recv'd my confirmation the other day with all the details and that name defly stuck out in my head. Now I am really looking forward to getting to Lecce in Sept and I hope she will show me as good a time as she showed you!

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