Fall in Love with Novelia and Fettuccine “a mano”

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!

[pexyoutube pex_attr_src=”https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BsqovJOFyIc?rel=0″ pex_attr_width=””][/pexyoutube]




By |2019-01-17T23:26:21+01:00July 24th, 2018|Abruzzo, Cooking in Italy, Food in Italy|43 Comments

About the Author:

I’m an American expat living in Italy!


  1. Mark Tessicini August 2, 2018 at 8:30 pm - Reply

    I just met Novelia this year and she already feels like family. I can’t wait to see her in person and give her a gigantic hug but more importantly, I can’t wait to eat her delicious cooking. Solomona is the original home for my family and I have learned so much more in 6 months from her than I have my entire life. So, if there are any other Tessicini’s reading this that are living in Sulmona, reach out to Novelia and enjoy her true kindness

    • Jed August 2, 2018 at 11:54 pm - Reply

      I believe Novelia has an enormous family of friends. She’s generous with her hugs and I hope she sees this post as I know it will make her happy. Here’s to hoping that other Tessicini’s make their way to you!

  2. Donald Angelone July 31, 2018 at 12:52 am - Reply


    • Jed August 1, 2018 at 12:16 pm - Reply

      You won’t have much argument from me, though Emilia Romagna is pretty spectacular as well!

  3. Betty July 25, 2018 at 10:11 pm - Reply

    Jed: This was terrific! I think you two are on your way to Food Network! Bravo! and Gracie Mille

    • Jed July 27, 2018 at 1:14 pm - Reply

      Ciao, Betty! Glad you like! Let’s see where this all leads. I’m having a blast! Grazie!

  4. Kathryn Smith July 25, 2018 at 4:16 pm - Reply

    This video was a perfect break from a busy day. Novelia is a dream, and you did a wonderful job with the background music and titles. I don’t even cook ANYTHING and it made me think I could make pasta! Love it!

    • Jed July 25, 2018 at 4:25 pm - Reply

      I’m so happy you enjoyed “meeting” Novelia! Thank you for your compliments for the video production. I’m a bit of a newbie and hungry to learn more, and quickly!

  5. Novelia July 25, 2018 at 3:41 pm - Reply

    Hi to you Jed and all the friends of the ITALYWISE family. I want to tank first of all Jed for this beautiful initiative that gave me the chance to spread my passion to all of you, I am so glad because I think this come through. Jed and I want to envite to Sulmona, because I am sure you will have an unforgettable experience. A different type of holliday out of the big cities, getting to know the heart of the country in a few words the real Italy, where you will find history, mountains, lakes, sea , good montepulciano wine, last but mot least, me waiting for you with open arms, to to give you the best welcome ever for sure you will have an experience of a lifetime, Novelia

    • Jed July 25, 2018 at 4:23 pm - Reply

      Grazie mille, Novelia, for your kind words. We make quite the team, don’t we! But, I’m happy to stay on the sidelines and let you do your magic!

  6. Robin July 25, 2018 at 11:22 am - Reply

    Thanks so much for sharing this video with us, Jed. She is such a warm personality, and her passion is infectious. What a dear.

    • Jed July 25, 2018 at 11:47 am - Reply

      Infectious is spot on! I’m so fortunate to have her and her husband Peppe as friends!

  7. Nancy July 25, 2018 at 3:29 am - Reply


    • Jed July 25, 2018 at 11:48 am - Reply

      I’m so glad you like, Nancy!

  8. Diane Alexander July 25, 2018 at 1:15 am - Reply

    Hey Jed,
    OMG! What an amazing woman, Novelia is. My mouth watered as I watched this. I could only imagine how delicious it was and the incredible red sauce she made. Thanks for sharing and I hope you will do more videos.

    • Jed July 25, 2018 at 11:49 am - Reply

      Thanks, Diane! More videos already in the pipeline!

  9. Nicole July 24, 2018 at 10:39 pm - Reply

    What a delightful wonderful woman!! You are lucky you met Novelia…..count me in on your Abruzzo ‘idea in the making’….can’t wait for another video 🙂

    • Jed July 24, 2018 at 11:10 pm - Reply

      Oh, what fun we will have, Nicole. I’ve reserved a space for you! Spread the word! Bacioni, Jed

  10. Joyce July 24, 2018 at 8:14 pm - Reply

    OK you got me, heading to North Beach in San Francisco for lunch, a little taste of Italy as close as I can get today.

    • Jed July 24, 2018 at 8:34 pm - Reply

      Happy to light the fuse of your culinary passions!

  11. Nancy July 24, 2018 at 6:21 pm - Reply

    Loved the video Jed! Man I wished I was eating that with you. My mouth waters!!

    • Jed July 24, 2018 at 8:35 pm - Reply

      Thanks, Nancy! Maybe we can arrange that next year!

  12. Kevin July 24, 2018 at 6:18 pm - Reply

    Jed, after watching that video I think I, myself, am starting to glow! LOL Seriously, you couldn’t wipe the smile off of my face as I watched. The flow, the music and your presence in the video is a pleasure to behold. And Novelia is just…well…how could someone not just fall in love? Your video production is off to a roaring start! Bravo!

    • Jed July 24, 2018 at 8:36 pm - Reply

      She IS a force. When I was editing all the video footage I couldn’t think of it as work. I thought of it as having a good friend next to me.

  13. Debra July 24, 2018 at 6:03 pm - Reply

    Wow, Jed, that was fantastic!! Videos are a great idea. It was everything that I love about Italy and particularly Sulmona. Homemade pasta, delicious sauce, a perfect wine and people with hearts as big as Abruzzo! Perfecto!! Do you think it would be possible to meet Novelia when I visit again in October? Just a thought….anyhow, thanks again for sharing. You’ve made my day.

    • Jed July 24, 2018 at 8:38 pm - Reply

      Thank you, Debra! I’m glad the “big hearts” comes through loud and clear. I certainly will make introductions with Novelia when you are there in October. If you want, send me your dates through the contact form on the site, and if you give me the thumbs up I will put you in touch with Novelia! Happy to connect good people! Jed

  14. Mark Hanson July 24, 2018 at 5:09 pm - Reply

    Love it. I thought you were going to help

    • Jed July 24, 2018 at 5:53 pm - Reply

      I can always count on you for a friendly dose of sarcasm, Mark! Actually, I DID help when it came to making the spaghetti. I became so entranced with Novelia’s artistry when she made the fettuccine that I was too intimidated to put my hands to work (other than operation the camera)!

  15. Jennifer July 24, 2018 at 4:26 pm - Reply

    Wonderful video. Novelia is so beautiful and informative. I’m going to attempt to make the noodles. Do you know what kind of flour she uses?
    I only wish you talked with your hands a little more because they are so beautiful. ;))
    I miss you. Come to Wyoming.

    • Jed July 24, 2018 at 5:55 pm - Reply

      I will confirm but I believe it was 00, and she used a locally-milled flour (she’s discerning about the quality of her ingredients). I’ll work on putting my hands into action more. Thank you for the compliment. Miss you too! Come back anytime! Jed

      • Marilyn August 3, 2018 at 8:12 pm - Reply

        Usually she buys her flour from Franca, on the edge of town…also the eggs and duck eggs. Though she may have other supply sources as well.

  16. Tia White July 24, 2018 at 4:18 pm - Reply

    You are a lucky man indeed!

    • Jed July 24, 2018 at 5:55 pm - Reply

      I’m still pinching myself!

  17. Eloise July 24, 2018 at 3:18 pm - Reply

    Wonderful piece! Watching Novelia Made me homesick! I plan on returning to Sulmona to retire (part of the year) and this great article/video captured the beauty/generosity of Novelia.
    I look forward to more of your writings from Abruzzo!!!

    • Jed July 24, 2018 at 5:57 pm - Reply

      I’m finding out that this video is making a lot of people homesick for Sulmona, and for Novelia! More stories coming soon…

  18. Tarie July 24, 2018 at 2:38 pm - Reply

    HI Jed,
    I always enjoy your posts, but this one is special for me. We had the pleasure of cooking and touring with Novelia a few years ago.
    She is definitely the ambassador of Abruzzo! Her energy is contagious. Please tell her Hi from Lee and Tarie from Chicago.

    • Jed July 24, 2018 at 3:00 pm - Reply

      Hi, Lee and Tarie in Chicago (I used to live in Bucktown many years ago). I’ll be sure to pass on your greetings to Novelia! I’m seeing her and Peppe again in just a few days!

  19. royane July 24, 2018 at 2:28 pm - Reply

    wow, loved this little video, just posted it

    • Jed July 24, 2018 at 3:01 pm - Reply

      I’m so pleased you like the video, Royane! Novelia did all the work. I just pointed the camera and filmed!

  20. Chip Meeks July 24, 2018 at 1:59 pm - Reply

    Super! As a self confessed “foodie” I really appreciated this one. Herzlichen dank zu du beide, du un Novelia! Have a great rest of your week!

    • Jed July 24, 2018 at 2:28 pm - Reply

      Hi Chip, more coming from Novelia and a spectacular local winery…soon!

  21. Michele Repko July 24, 2018 at 1:50 pm - Reply

    Ciao Jed!
    My daughter and I met Novelia in April when we stayed at her home as we visited family in the town of Roccacasale. Both my parents, grandparents,cousins, etc.were all born in Abruzzo. I have be in touch with Novelia and she has shared the videos with me. Troppo bello!! Anyway, I would like to introduce you to Fabrizio Lucci who does tours in Abruzzo. He has a tour company called “ItaliasweetItalia”. You can check out his website. He caters to small tours and you have the true Italian experience!!! You can read his reviews on TripAdvisor, which are outstanding. I know because I have been on one! Perhaps you can collaborate with him on a tour. He is a wonderful resource!! Thought I pass this info on since Novelia told me to be an ambassador for Abruzzo also since my roots are there. Fabrizio is based out of Vasto. I have shared your video with him. Thank you for sharing your website. I have shared it with my other Italian friends! Fabrizio is one who like Novelia shares their passion for their Italian heritage!! He is worth getting to know. Ciao Ciao ….. Michele

    • Jed July 24, 2018 at 2:30 pm - Reply

      Hi Michele, Thanks for your email and the information about Fabrizio. I’m so glad to know that you, too, have fallen under Novelia’s spell. She is a gem! Jed

Leave A Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

This website uses cookies to improve your experience. By continuing to use this website you consent to our cookie usage and privacy policy. Ok