Am I a lucky man or not?

After you view the video contained in this post, I believe you’ll quickly respond in the affirmative. Just two weeks ago, I had the supreme good fortune to spend time in Sulmona, Abruzzo with my dear friend Novelia—this time to receive a personal demonstration of how to create pasta entirely by hand. Yep, not a single bit of assistance with modern appliances. We started with fettuccine, made with giant duck eggs, no less. That was followed by spaghetti made with a 200-year-old chitarra, but that is worthy of its own post (stay tuned).

I’ve never experienced a woman with so much reverence and love for her culinary creations.

Novelia’s fettuccine “a mano” is tangible proof. This is not someone just going through the steps dutifully. She is an artisan in the highest sense. Her hands at work easily could be those of a master sculptor.

She talks to her ingredients.

I’m a big believer in everything being connected. I harken to stories of cultures who pause to offer tribute and thanks to their food before it is consumed. While creating and cooking, Novelia continually offers her respect and her gratitude to her ingredients. How can you not love that?

An idea in the making…

Sharing Novelia with you through this video brings me great joy. If you, like me, find yourself enraptured by her luminous energy, please let me know. She and I have toyed with the idea of getting together a very select group of friends for a specially-curated Abruzzo experience—one that would include standing alongside Novelia in the kitchen, as I had the good fortune to do. Additionally, there would be unique daily excursions paired with daily photo assignments and instruction by yours truly, and a daily language class with another passionate Italian (though Novelia is hard to top). Think cooking, photography and learning Italian all wrapped up in an intimate experience with like-minded lovers of Italian culture!

For friends who’ve seen the preview of the video below, I already have a few chomping at the bit for us to bring this idea to fruition.

Nothing ventured, nothing gained, right?

Now, meet Novelia and watch her make fettuccine by hand.

I’m hoping to make these types of videos a more regular occurrence as part of my blog. If you like what you see, I hope you’ll give me a thumbs up on YouTube. Better yet, I hope you’ll subscribe to my YouTube channel!

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