Pasta is good in the best of times. In the worst of times, it’s tantamount to a seriously good hug. And there are plenty of reasons to make it from scratch at the moment. The mass-made stuff is sold out at the supermarkets. You’ve got more time at home than you’ve ever had before. It’ll take you away from your phone or the TV for at least an hour or two, which is seriously important for your mental health right now.
And there’s an 84-year-old nonna in a town outside Rome who’s going to teach you how to do it using generations-old recipes.
Nonna Nerina usually hosts pasta-cooking classes IRL, but the coronavirus containment measures in Italy – the current epicentre of the pandemic, where lockdown measures are far more draconian than Australia’s – mean she’s had to put that on hold. In the meantime, she’s live-streaming classes on Saturdays and Sundays.
This weekend, she’ll be guiding participants through fettucine with tomato sauce on Saturday, and cannelloni on Sunday.
The catch? The classes are happening at either 7am (fine) or 3am (gosh) on the Australian east coast, and even later on the west coast. So, nab a 7am spot fast (her classes are sold out until mid-April) or prepare to join the insomniacs in the early, early hours.
During the week Nonna Nerina’s granddaughter Chiara hosts the classes. This week, she’s teachings students how to make ravioli with butter-sage sauce, gnocchi with pesto, and lasagne.
You’ll be sent a list of ingredients and required cooking utensils at least a week before your class.
Classes are US$50 (AU$83.60).