Destination Unknown: Learning to Make Pasta in Italy

August 14, 2012 Satu Vänskä-Westgarth

Even though in the springtime Katja covered a good bit of Italy here in Skimbaco, I thought that I would dare to do one article more. Or two. A little while back I got the chance to join the BlogVille project of the Emilia Romagna region in Italy, and consequently me and my baby girl spent few days in a beautiful house with fellow bloggers and writers in the Bologna city center, getting to know the ins and outs of the region and the city.

For me food and travel go hand in hand in such extent that of some destinations I mainly remember the food, in good and in bad. And what a better destination to travel for food than Italy, where the food is so simple yet so delicious that it can create memories that last a lifetime? And what better place to do this than in the food capital of Italy, or the “fat one” as Bologna is also known due to its cuisine heritage!

Science in the Kitchen and the Art of Eating Well as seen on https://www.skimbacolifestyle.com/2012/08/making-pasta-in-italy.html

Where as the movie Julie & Julia brought Julie Child and her Mastering the Art of French Cooking in to the limelight, is anyone here familiar with Pellegrino Artusi and his Science in the Kitchen and the Art of Eating Well? Shame to admit, I wasn’t. However, this is THE book of the Italian home cooking, published first in 1891 by Artusi, who then produced fifteen more editions of the book based on the recipes, comments and suggestions Italians sent to him. Interactivity almost similar to that of today’s social media time but way before the birth of the Internet. Hence you could even say that this is the book of the Italian home cooking, written by Italians for Italians.

Pastamaking in Casa Artusi as seen on https://www.skimbacolifestyle.com/2012/08/making-pasta-in-italy.html

But back to the food. And cooking. While in Bologna, I had the chance to visit Casa Artusi, the first Italian center dedicated to homecooking. A place where “the taste of culture meets the culture of taste”. And I got to learn the art of making pasta. Without even the help from a pasta machine, may I add.

Making pasta in Casa Artusi as seen on https://www.skimbacolifestyle.com/2012/08/making-pasta-in-italy.html

Homemade pasta is something I’ve never thought of making at home. It’s too complicated and time-consuming I thought. But it wasn’t. Take 100 grams “00” (zero zero) flower per one egg and mix them together gently, knead the dough, let it set for about thirty minutes and then roll the dough into a thin layer with the help of rolling pin and you are ready. Ready to make garganelli, tortellini, pappardelle, farfalle, tagliatelle, capelletti…

Homemade pasta at Casa Artusi as seen on https://www.skimbacolifestyle.com/2012/08/making-pasta-in-italy.html

This was my first experience of learning the skills to make local food while traveling and it was definitely something I would like to do again. It was a great way of being able to take something back home with me from my travels, something that doesn’t take any shelf space or gather dust, and something I can share with my family and friends. I also brought home a rolling pin and some real Italian pasta flower so now I have no excuses; this is going to be the year of home made pasta parties!

It's never too early to learn the art of making pasta as seen on https://www.skimbacolifestyle.com/2012/08/making-pasta-in-italy.html

Have you ever attended a cooking class whilst traveling or tried to recreate the dishes you enjoyed abroad at home? What would you recommend? Where would you like to travel to for learning the skills of local chefs?

NOTE: Me and my baby visited Bologna and the surrounding regions for four days as part of the Blogville project, supported by Emilia RomagnaBudget Traveller and Traveldudes. While the accommodation and some of the activities were provided for, all other expenses, including travel to and from the destination was covered by myself. 

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Satu Vänskä-Westgarth

Satu Vänskä-Westgarth decided to take a year off from her nine to five marketing executive life in Finland early 2009 to travel with her kayak, bike or skis and sometimes without. "One year" turned into a new lifestyle as a travel writer, accompanied with a not-so-British entrepreneur husband from Britain, who seems to spend more time outside the borders of his homeland than within, and their baby, who has already spent more months outside Norway than at their home in Norway, where the family resides at the moment. For more stories from the road, visit Satu’s blog Destination Unknown and connect with Satu on Twitter @SatuVW.

Comments (12)

  1. This would be an amazing trip and you make look even more appealing. And what a gift to your little one too!

    • Satu Vänskä-Westgarth

      Thanks Lala! I was actually little worried how it would be to do this with my baby, but the Italians are very child-loving nation and she was so well looked after.

  2. seriously – traveling to Italy and taking a cooking class. . .BUCKET LIST!! My grandmother made delicious pasta in her kitchen in southern NJ. . .but in Italy – bellisimo!!

    Hillary

    • Satu Vänskä-Westgarth

      It was good, highly recommend! I’d love to do it again, maybe this time learning how to make proper authentic Italian pizza…

    • Satu Vänskä-Westgarth

      It is surprisingly easy! Although it does take some practise and it will be interesting to see how “easy” it feels now without the help from the super talented grannies at Casa Artusi

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