Life & Style

The Umbrian

Get a little floury and learn to cook like an Italian

Do you love Italian food and dream about upping those at-home Italian cooking skills? If your current abilities amount to popping together a packet of pre-made pasta with some ready-to-go sauce, than you’re going to love The Pasta Experience.

Bianca Pandermann is the lady behind The Pasta Experience, an Italian flavoured cooking experience that was created purely out of a desire to share the culture and flavours of her family's beloved Italian heritage. Bianca's Nonni (grandparents) Liliana and Nello Stoppini were from Cannara, a small town located on the Topino River in central Umbria, arrived in Australia in 1955. Liliana and Nello were always very passionate about their culture which continues to live on through their three daughters and now grandchildren.

In December 2016 Bianca two Zia's (aunties) Olivia and Daniela introduced to Newcastle their authentic home-style Italian cooking via The Umbrian café on Hunter St, and now, this is where you’ll find Bianca hosting The Pasta Experience on the third weekend of every month.

Bianca’s approach is all about keeping it small, a minimum of 6 and max of 8 – 10, with Bianca saying;

‘I like to keep the classes to a minimum, group bookings maybe a few more. The reason for this is I like to keep it more personal. Every year my family get together and make different types of pasta to have for special occasions. This is the same vibe I like to bring to my classes, and this is why I like to call it an experience as opposed to a class.”

The Pasta Experience has you getting involved in everything from mixing and kneading the pasta, to rolling out the Tagliatelle and moulding those delicious little parcels of Ricotta Ravioli. Sound a little daunting? don't be deterred, what Bianca does so easily is break down the methods of Italian cooking into an approachable, easy to follow format that also happens to be a lot of fun, especially when a few vinos are involved.

Whilst Bianca takes the lead throughout the evening, The Pasta Experience is indeed a family affair with Bianca's mum and aunties very much apart of the evening and always there if, or in our case when, you need a helping hand. So expect plenty of that hilarious Italian banter!

What we loved most about The Pasta Experience is the perfect blend of hands-on, flour-up-to-your-elbows involvement, mixed beautifully with a relaxing, sit down meal to enjoy the fruits of your labour. Bianca rounds out the evening with some of her incredibly delicious desserts, we're still thinking about that Ricotta Cheesecake, and any leftovers for you to take away and enjoy at home. Bellissimo!!

Getting down to the nitty-gritty of things, below is what you can expect during your 3-hour experience. Once you're locked in for a date all you need to do is arrive with your apron and bottle of choice in hand.

- Make a tomato base sauce
- Make pasta from scratch
- Enjoy an antipasto plate
- Make Tagliatelle and Ricotta Ravioli
- Enjoy the pasta with the sauce
- Enjoy dessert made by Bianca
- Learn tips and have fun

For more information or to book a class email Bianca

The Umbrian

309 Hunter St, Newcastle NSW 2300

Today - 0700 - 1400