Master ClassMeet The Pasta Queen
Meet Nadia Caterina Munno, aka The Pasta Queen. With more than a million followers on TikTok, this social media sensation is well on her way to celebrity cook status thanks to her easy-to-follow recipes that yield impressive results. Trust us, we've tried and tested quite a few.
I always want to create an environment and an experience that tells a story. For me, it starts with music. I love the feeling of walking into a party with 1960s soft Italian music. It’s nostalgic and brings me back to my childhood in Italy where my Nonna Caterina and I would be on the beach enjoying a soft little breeze, listening to her favorite songs, and taking in the smells of the food she brought for us. I love sharing that experience with others. At a party, it’s important to greet every single guest, which I follow up with a little tour of the venue. It makes it personal and memorable. My dinners are wrapped around food and music and bring together the perfect mix of people. Add in the play of light and you get magic. The Roman Gods would approve!
I like to use natural items especially when I take the party outdoors, wrapping extra-large linen napkins in twine and fresh herbs. It’s a simple, beautiful touch. The fresh herbs really pull everything together. Planning a summer dinner party takes quite a bit of imagination and a dash of the unexpected. Creating intimate and comfortable lounge spaces outdoors adds a special touch. I use sofas, poufs, and pillows so that guests have a place to get away and engage in relaxing conversation.
For the dinner itself, long banquet-style tables lend a family-like feel. A table runner is the perfect backdrop for other décor, including a universal favorite—lemons. Incorporating lemons and glossy lemon leaves into the table décor, along with twine and herbs makes an incredible first impression. Adding to the fabulousness of it all is hand-molded clay dinnerware and pewter cutlery—a fun combination! I cannot stress enough the importance of little details. Flowers, lanterns, candles, sparkly twinkle lights, and glasses—which I decorate with herbs, flower petals, and leaves–creates magic!
1. Always salt the water before the pasta goes in.
2. Toss the pasta in the sauce extra al-dente to finish the cooking to absorb the essence of the sauce.
3. And third, use the pasta water (also known as the Tears of Gods) to mix the pasta and the sauce and let it cook.
Favorite Summer Eats
Nothing says love like filling a charcuterie board with Italian meats, cheeses, and crusty, delicious freshly baked bread. It’s just…well, you know the word: Gorgeous!
Meat: Salami, Prosciutto, Mortadella and cooked Prosciutto, Porchetta
Cheese: Burrata, Mozzarella, Ricotta Salata, Parmigiano, Gorgonzola
Bread: Italian, Artisan, Baguette, Flatbread, Crackers, Grilled Crostini
Savory Complements: Kalamata Olives, Castelvetrano Green Olives, Reasted Pistachios, Roasted Red Peppers, Grilled Zucchine, Blistered Cherry Tomatoes, Grilled Eggplants
Sweet Complements: Grapes, Pears, Cherries, Figs, Berries
Finishers: Honey, Fruit Preserves, Spicy Mustard, Arugula Pesto
BRUSCHETTA & CAPRESE
And the start of any great meal includes Bruschetta & Caprese, the traditional Italian antipasti. The fresh, melt-in-your-mouth mozzarella, the sun-ripened heirloom tomatoes, the sweet velvetiness of a really good Italian balsamic vinegar, and last but not least, fragrant basil…your mouth should be watering by now!
FAVORITE SUMMER DRINK
To me, summer is not summer without a little citrus. Oranges are just perfectly fresh and tangy. An Aperol Spritz is a simple, refreshing, and beautiful cocktail; the color is so lovely. This is definitely my favorite.
Ice (to your liking)
90 ml of Prosecco
60 ml of Aperol
30 ml of Soda
1 Orange Slice
In Italy “spritz spritz” is the sound of spraying—which is how it was named. It is also the easiest cocktail to make. Fill a glass with ice and an orange slice. Next add Prosecco, aperol, soda water and make it beautiful—just like you are.
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