Pasta grandmothers, the pasta virtuosos

Do you dream of learning how to make pasta like the real Italians? On the Pasta Grannies YouTube channel, old Italians reveal their recipes.

Their names are Albertine, Enrichetta, Letizia or Giggina and they have an average age of at least 90 and they are the “pasta grandmothers” of this YouTube channel. These ageless Italians reveal their secrets of making ravioli, gnocchi or tortellini using the movements they learned decades ago.

Who is it?

Pasta Grannies is both a website, a YouTube channel, an Instagram page and a cookbook. It was Vicky Bennison, a British former food columnist, who launched this project in 2014 to preserve the culinary heritage of these Italian grandmothers.

“I find and film real Italian grandmothers – ‘nuns’ (grandmothers in Italian, ed. note) – who make delicious traditional homemade pasta”, she explains on her channel. “And sometimes soups, desserts, risottos, things like that, because that’s what grandmothers want to make for me. I save skills and I share traditions, one ‘grandma’ at a time.”

Vicky Bennison’s “mission” is to document this ancestral know-how that mothers over 65 have. She lives with her husband Billy between London and the Marche region of Italy.

What is it?

For Vicky Bennison, Youtube was the best way to compile and share the recipes of these Italians. Two hundred and forty-eight videos and 450,000 subscribers later, it seems she has won over the public. Each of the channel’s videos features an Italian revealing a recipe. Mezzelune, tortelli, gnocchi, lasagna, ravioli, orecchiette… here we discover pasta recipes that we sometimes did not even suspect existed, from all regions of Italy, from Sardinia to Venice, via Tuscany.

It’s superbly filmed, educational and, above all, devilishly appetizing. And these grandmothers are very endearing.

What to see

Absolutely everything. Of course, it depends on everyone’s taste in pasta. Know that in addition to pasta, you can also learn how to make pizza or meringue.

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