Thursday, October 26, 2017

From Italy with Amore, from Loblaws

Earlier this week, I visited Loblaws at the Maple Leaf Gardens to learn about the Italian cuisine and culture from Chef Massimo Bruno. He also taught us how to make simple, yet delicious, Italian dishes (obvs pasta - my fave) and how to pick out authentic Italian ingredients at your local grocery store. We did all of this while cooking, eating, and drinking. Honestly, what else could I have asked for on a Monday evening?!

If you didn't know, I eat pasta at least twice a week - either at home or at a restaurant. As I'm not much of a cook (I'm known for eating, not cooking haha), I tend to stick to simple, easy recipes whenever I do cook at home - basic boiled pasta plus some canned sauce. If I'm feeling fancy, I add in a couple sausages or shrimps. But Chef Massimo taught us a very simple way to make pasta from scratch!!

Side note: I actually made gnocchi from scratch once, and never tried again because I thought it was so difficult (recipe said it'd take 30 minutes, but it took me 4 hours LOL).

Anyways, back to a simple way to make pasta from scratch - with semolina (a type of flour), water, and olive oil. And... That's literally it. Mix it all together, knead the dough, & then roll it into little pastas! I never knew it'd be so easy - maybe I've always just been overthinking it. So happy to have learned this method!

In terms of taking your pasta to the next level, the most important thing I learned was that you can actually get a number of authentic Italian ingredients at your local Loblaws. Yes yes, I know it's not the same as actually going to Italy, but it really is the next best thing. When you're browsing through the aisle to get your ingredients, be sure to look out for the "D.O.P. Certified" label on the products. DOP stands for Denominazione Origine Protetta, which means the product is certified and you can be sure that it was locally grown and packaged!

See below for a recap of the fun event I attended! I can't wait to recreate this pasta & browse through the aisles next time I'm at Loblaws (which, let's be honest, will be this weekend).

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