Eating Pasta With Gennaro Contaldo

Unfortunately, a saying such as 'No Carbs Before Marbs' or 'No Pizza Before Ibiza' is an impossible task for a girl who loves food this much.  So when I got asked if I wanted to eat pasta with the worlds best Italian chef, you can imagine my response.

Jamie's Italian in St Davids had invited a few of us down for a masterclass with Gennaro Contaldo. I usually avoid making pasta dishes because I think it will be a lengthy process, with millions of ingredients. This is where Gennaro proved me wrong. 

After a quick chat over coffee, it was time to get stuck in. On the table in front of us layed 4 very simple ingredients. Fresh eggs, durum wheat, flour and pasteurized eggs. 

Within seconds Gennaro had mixed these all up and we were making neat little handfuls of pasta.

With this, we moved to the kitchen where the magic really happened. The freshest, brightest ingredients were along the worktop and Gennaro started chopping and ripping into them as if it were an art. We were all watching in awe as he was throwing things into the pan, that was filling the kitchen with the most delicious aroma.

The dishes he prepared literally took minutes and used only a handful of ingredients. After they were all cooked up it was time to try them, I was clutching at my fork like my life depended on it. 

The first one was tomato based and made up of lots of cherry tomatoes, garlic, basil, chilli's and pancetta, it was AMAZING!! Of course with a generous helping of Parmesan too.

Then we had a mushroom one, which was made up of different types of mushroom, stock, tomatoes and herbs. This was really earthy and seriously good.

We also had a cod dish. Now I am not big on fish but this one was enough to convert me to the seafood life for good. It was cooked with white wine, chillis, capers, anchovies, olives, tomatos and garlic. We soaked up the juice with bread and all sat in silence with a muffled "OMG" every now and then.

Over food we were chatting and I asked Gennaro what his favourite dish was, to which he leapt up and ran to the kitchen, returning minutes later with a creamy, truffle pasta dish. It was to die for.

So that was my lunch time yesterday. It was so refreshing to see someone so passionate about food and serving up a dish that was made with such love and goodness. 

If there is anything I can teach you from my day, it is to invest in some good extra virgin olive oil and to keep your cherry tomatoes out of the fridge. My whole life I have been living a lie by keeping these little blighters all chilly in the fridge.

Thank you Jamies Italian, St Davids and Gennaro for a fabulous day!



  1. An enjoyable read, there's so much I agree with!

    That truffle dish was a pleasant surprise too, very tasty.


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