Where it all began…

My love for pasta starts in one of the most beautiful places in the world, and of course the place most famous for it: Italy! On a special trip to Rome with my father, I had the privilege to learn how to make pasta from scratch with these simple ingredients:

  • 375g (2 1/2 cups) plain flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 4 eggs, at room temperature
  • Plain flour, extra, to dust

Taught by a true Italian chef we used only the freshest ingredients, we mixed flour, salt and eggs together creating a yellow dough. We then used a rolling machine to thin the dough, rolling it through multiple times in order to get it as thin as possible. After this we moulded the pasta to the desired shape and left in on the pan to sit:

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Next comes my favourite part, The sauce!

Our yummy sauce consisted of :

  • 250g pancetta, chopped
  • 250g passata
  • 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 dessertspoon olive oil

Very simple! All mixed and set on simmer to really cook all the flavours together. The trick was to let the sauce sit for as long as possible so all the pancetta flavour formed into the tomato sauce.

IMG_4783 We then mixed it all together to create a mouth watering bowl of pasta. My dad and I enjoyed our creation and after fell sound asleep on a full stomach.

I love combining  a unique experience, like this pasta making class, with the usual sites of the destinations I am visiting. It makes me feel more a part of the culture I am visiting and I learn so much more from the locals than I would as a regular tourist. Not that I don’t enjoy the usual spots, which in Rome included the magnificent Trevi Fountain,  people watching at the Spanish Steps, the Vatican City and my personal favourite gelato – anywhere.

THE DEETS :

I participated in a small group lesson organized at a person’s home, but here : https://uk.viator.com/Rome-tours/Cooking-Classes/d511-g6-c19  you can find the best pasta making classes to fit all tastes and budgets.

A Lil Bit of Italy in Camden Town

It all started senior year of high school when I decided to let my travel bug make the decisions. I was the only one in my entire grade who decided to study abroad full-time for University. Every day spent in London, I grow more and more grateful for the opportunity to  fully immerse myself in two different cultures, in my one lifetime. Not a day goes by where I’m not exploring a new restaurant, pub or park and learning something new!

I have lived in Camden Town for two years now. A lively borough home to many artists, punks and even the famous Amy Winehouse, Camden is always lively to say the least. Walking the streets you will find lots of graffiti, old pubs and amazing food spots. One of my favorites happens to be the vendor food mecca, Camden Market, literally lined with stalls featuring different cuisine from all corners of the world. whether you feel like Indonesian burritos or Spanish enchiladas.. Camden Market has got it.

Camden is not only home to me, but in my opinion the best Italian restaurant in London. A little hole-in the wall, easy to miss restaurant by the name of “Casa Tua” which translates to “Your Home” in english. The moment I stepped foot into this little place on Royal College street, I was greeted with a warm welcome by an Italian man. Immediate  good signs were that all the staff were Italian. As I sat, accompanied by my father, at the rustic wooden table I started to gaze around the room. fish netting draped from the ceiling lights, and photographs of cooking classes in Italy, very similar to the one I mentioned in my previous post. There were also amazing inspirational quotes such as “The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched – they must be felt with the heart.” by Helen Keller and “Yesterday’s the past, tomorrow’s the future, but today is a gift. That’s why it’s called the present.” by Bil Keane. This is my kind of place!

I scanned the simple menu to see which fresh pasta stood out to me. I decided to give the classic Bolognese a go. When they placed the food in front of me, my mouth immediately  started to water. The first bite sent my taste buds into a frenzy. I could taste the fresh tomatoes and mix of herbs in every bite. The difference between the freshly made pasta and the store-bought one was huge. I felt as if I would never experience pasta the same way again. I finished every last bit of sauce on my plate. The food is to die for !

My dad was equally blown away. He always told me how in the past, the food in London had a reputation for being “not that great.” Especially when compared to other European countries like Italy and Greece, places that are known for their outstanding food. Clearly, not at all the case anymore, as I have eaten some of the best food I’ve ever had in London.

Walking out of that restaurant I genuinely felt that I found a real hidden gem. I have since taken my Mom and many of my friends. It’s reasonably priced and really captures the essence of small traditional osteria you would find in Florence or Rome. I always feel very warm and full after my meal and I can’t wait to go back. For a lil taste of Italy in Camden head to Casa Tua is 176 Royal College St, London NW1 0SP. Check out the Artisian Fresh Pasta (my personal fave is the Sausage Tortelloni which comes with mushrooms, Parmesan shavings & truffle oil. ) And you haaaaavvvve to try the hot chocolate “Zuma”.

About Me

“Life is a combination of magic and pasta…” -Federico Fellini

 

Hi my name is Grace Fuller and I am passionate about two things in life – travel and pasta. Both my parents are avid travelers. My mom is a travel writer and my dad is in the travel business, meaning I began exploring the world at a very young age. Eventually, I was inspired to venture out on my own to such amazing places as Thailand, Morocco, Bali, Italy, Greece and more. How does pasta bowtie into all of this ? My love of pasta began with my grandfather’s recipe for spaghetti bolognese, that my whole family still refers to as “Pop-Pop’s Meat Sauce”. I started making it on my own, experimenting with different ingredient’s to put my own spin on it. In Italy, I learned how to make the noodles from scratch. Pasta is my go to food no matter where I am. I have literally searched for restaurants in every city I have been to including, Chang Mai in Thailand and the Greek Islands. Think of this blog as a pasta map of the world, where I share insights into my favorite places around the globe and where to find a great bowl of pasta in each!

 

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