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Sponsored feature: Pasta Passione
Rachelle Grossi spent her childhood weekends at her nonna’s house, eagerly watching her cook traditional dishes from Monte Cassino, Italy. It was there, carefully folding and kneading pasta, that Rachelle first understood how deeply bonding with a loved one can be while cooking. This sparked an interest she carried with her into adulthood. Rachelle’s nonna used her hands to measure the ingredients – while this taught her the art of weighing and portioning food by hand, it also inspired her to go to cooking school to learn how to adopt instructional techniques and skills.
Rachelle began her formal education at George Brown College, and later went on to study in Italy for a year at La Scuola Internazionale di Cucina Italiana (ALMA) in Parma. ALMA is the world’s leading school in Italian cuisine. While there, she spent weekends visiting nearby towns and learning their respective traditional techniques, and regional pasta dishes. She worked at two Michelin star restaurants located in Savigno, Bologna and another restaurant in Viareggio, Tuscany. The nonna’s in Bologna made tortellini with their hands, just as her’s had taught her so many years before. This trip affirmed her love for pasta and her confidence in preparing it. After returning to Toronto to work in restaurants, Rachelle knew she wanted to create something that honored her experiences in Italy and her desire to pass on her culture generationally. So, in 2018, she decided to combine her passion for bringing people together with her culinary talents and created Pasta Passione.
Pasta Passione provides workshops for – you guessed it – preparing delicious pasta. She offers handcrafted authentic pasta classes for groups or private ‘one-on-one’ lessons. Group classes are for a minimum of six people, and offer a lesson on filled pasta for $85/person and one on non-filled pasta for $65/person. The classes include a glass of Italian prosecco, appetizers (often a charcuterie plate with fine cured meats and cheeses) and the pasta created in class with Rachelle’s careful instruction. She knows firsthand the importance of atmosphere when learning traditional techniques so the classes are fun, creative and filled with laughter. The classes are perfect for bridal showers, corporate get-togethers, family gatherings or simply an evening with friends. If you have a specific recipe you’d like to learn or just prefer one-on-one lessons, Pasta Passione also offers private lessons for $60 an hour. Pasta Passione also takes orders for fresh pasta inquiries for those who want to order trays of lasagna or portioned fresh pasta.
Between full-time work, childcare and the endless responsibilities of living in a major city, Toronto can be a difficult place to make time to cook with loved ones. Pasta Passione offers a fun, creative space to return to the roots of community and learn knowledge that can be shared with others over a lifetime.