Even though pizza will always have my heart, I've wanted to experiment with cooking fresh pasta for as long as I can remember — it's probably because I'm half Italian. But actually making the dough and shaping it into a glorious heap of spaghetti, rigatoni or penne feels pretty intimidating — a process that's maybe best left to the pasta pros (though I'm always down to serve as the official taste tester!). That's why I headed to Manhattan's i Trulli, a cozy trattoria specializing in Southern Italian cuisine, and, you guessed it, homemade noodles above all. There, I trained with chef Dora — a delightfully no-nonsense grandma turned orecchiette master who's been serving up steaming bowls of pasta perfection for decades. Watch her teach me how to make her signature dish in the clip below. Spoiler: this video will make you crave your favorite Italian delicacy, guaranteed.
i Trulli was definitely chef Dora's territory. She's been making the restaurant's pasta from scratch for as long as the family can remember — a technique she learned, of course, from her ancestors back in Italy. That day, the menu focused on "orecchiette," small orb-like noodles whose name translates to "little ears" (I know, it's kind of adorable). And while they may look simple, these orecchiette actually required some extremely fancy knife- and wrist-work. As you can see, I wasn't exactly a natural at the beginning, but, with Dora's guidance, we whipped up a pasta feast that my friends literally devoured.
Catch the video above to see my whole adventure trying my hand as a pasta apprentice, along with the recipe for this gorgeous (and undeniably tasty) dish. Even without Dora, we're betting you're up to the challenge.