Nonna Live is AirBnB Experience turned virtual class so anyone can learn the joys of making pasta from scratch from their home.

By Lauren Wicks / EatingWell.com
Updated March 20, 2020
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Credit: Judith Haeusler/Getty Images

Many local grocery stores are running low on certain items (looking at you, TP) and some of us are having a hard time finding pasta. Whether you prefer angel hair or rigatoni, pasta is our go-to for making quick and healthy dinners the whole family will love. We firmly believe that if we are going to get through this pandemic together, we're going to need some comforting carbs! Thankfully, a master pasta maker in Palombara Sabina, Italy has us covered.

"Handmade Pasta with Grandma" is an AirBnB Experience hosted just outside of Rome, where visitors can learn how to make pasta from scratch with a real Italian grandma. You spend two hours in a rustic Italian kitchen (it used to be an ancient winepress!) and try your hand at three types of pasta, plus bruschetta made with local extra-virgin olive oil. This highly rated experience is voted one of the site's top once-in-lifetime experiences.

"Great day learning pasta making from an expert," writes one reviewer. "We were the last group before quarantine and felt so lucky. Made three types of pasta, had a huge meal eating it all, drank some wine and coffee and shared stories. Definitely a highlight of our quick trip to Rome and highly recommend!"

Thankfully, luck is on our side this time, and this AirBnB cooking experience is going virtual, so we can enjoy this once-in-a-lifetime class while hunkered down at home. Nonna Live allows anyone to livestream this cooking class for $50. Classes with a grandma are only available on weekends, but one of the nonna's granddaughters, Chiara Nicolanti, hosts weekday classes.

"The first time trying to let her understand that people could see her and hear her [over video chat] was like, the craziest thing," Nicolanti told Matador Network. "It was supposed to be an hour class, and it lasted two hours, and people were laughing all the time. She never stops, she never waits for me, so it was really crazy, but I think this is what people want. They want an Italian grandma making a mess with them for an hour."

Register for this class while you can, because they are already pretty booked up and have a lot of great resources to offer leading up to class time. A week before your scheduled class, Nonna Live will send you a shopping list for ingredients and any utensils you may need to cook with. This gives you plenty of time to find a grocery store selling what you need, but the website says you probably have everything already in your kitchen.

You'll also receive translated notes from Nonna Nerina to help you prepare for the experience—including wine pairings. Every recipe covered in this experience has been in the family for generations. Check out the recipe schedule, below:

  • Wednesday 10am PST // 1pm EST
    • Cooking with Chiara
    • Ravioli with Butter Sage Sauce (Vegetarian)
  • Thursday 10am PST // 1pm EST
    • Cooking with Chiara
    • Gnocchi with Pesto (Vegetarian)
  • Friday 10am PST // 1pm EST
    • Cooking with Chiara
    • Lasagne
  • Saturday 10am PST // 1pm EST
    • Cooking with Nonna Nerina
    • Fettuccine with Tomato Sauce (Vegetarian)
  • Sunday 10am PST // 1pm EST
    • Cooking with Nonna Nerina
    • Cannelloni

If Nonna Live doesn't bring a bright spot to your day, we don't know what will. This is a great family, date night or solo activity to keep you sane while social distancing—and learn something along the way—during these strange times. Saluti!