Imagine travelling to Italy and learning to make authentic pasta, with a view like this not even thirty feet away.  Sounds like heaven to me.

Last week I mentioned Chef Mark McDonald of Old Vine Cafe and his tour of Southern Italy.  I wanted to share another facet to this culinary road trip: pasta-making in Calabria at the Italian Culinary Institute.  

I have always been fascinated with Italian pasta shapes and recipes.  Pasta is like wine in Italy- ubiquitous and yet still completely regional.  Egg-based pasta in Emilia Romagna, and water-based doughs in Puglia or Sicily.  Tortellini in Bolgona, Scialatielli in Napoli.

And that’s just the pastas.  Sauces and accompaniments are another topic of hot debate.  Everyone from your mailman to your grandmother has an opinion about pasta in Italy- one more reasons to love this country and its food-obsessed people.

The best things about vacations are the memories you bring home with you.  I absolutely love the idea of travelling to a foreign place and returning home with all kinds of new recipes and cooking techniques.  Italy is such a culturally rich country in which to study food and cooking- I can only imagine the secrets and stories professionals like Chefs John Nocita and Sarbina Mancin of the Italian Culinary Institue have to offer these students.

There are so many shapes and techniques to choose from…Check out those tiny little parcels, all six of them on the same teaspoon.

With a view like this and a meal of handmade pasta, I wonder how many students never return home?

To view the full itinerary for Chef Mark McDonald’s tour click HERE.

Or, for more information please contact Chef Mark McDonald directly:  chefmarkmcdonald@yahoo.com     (714) 655-6142

11 Responses

  1. Jodi Seidenberg

    SHNIKEYS!! How much fun would this be?!?!? I’m gonna start saving up and maybe next year we can go….Carb Lovers Unite!!

    Reply
  2. lowell dickson

    I went on this trip last year and I can say that you will get an insight into pasta making (and Italian cooking) like you never could imagine. John & Sabrina are professional chefs and teachers who make their classes interesting and fun in their spacious kitchen and learning center. They also teach courses for professional chefs and you get to work along with them as you learn. A great group of people from all over the world.
    Hands on is the only way to learn to make pasta and you’ll feel like an Italian artisan pasta maker at the end of the session. Every shape and form imaginable will be demo’d and taught. Immerse your hands in dough and flour. It even got a little competitive among the students.
    Oh yes–Be prepared to eat for about 1 week (on the trip) like you’ve never eaten before. It’s an orgy, and it’s all good!
    Great trip; great people; great fun; incredible learning experience.

    Reply
  3. russellskitchen

    That looked like it would be a lot of fun! I love travelling and trying new foods when I am there. The pictures are really nice as well. I love the food culture of Europe as a whole. There is a really healthy attitude and a big love of food and cooking there!

    Reply

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