COLOMBE CAKES – Make your spring a little sweeter with this traditional dove-shaped cake. SHOP NOW.

Take our 3-Week Pasta Challenge

Take our 3-Week Pasta Challenge

Do you know how to tell when your pasta is cooked al dente? Do you know how to pair pasta with the perfect sauce? All of your pasta questions are about to be answered, amici.

Through March 8, we're inviting you to take our three-week pasta challenge as we explore different regional traditions and techniques for cooking pasta. Every week, we’ll walk you through two recipes – one with dry pasta and one with fresh – so you can master any dish that comes your way. Plus, this week you can pick up our housemade sauces and brown butter for 30% off when you buy one pound of select fresh pasta. Prepare your pentole (pasta pots) and grab a favorite apron, amici!

WEEKS 1 & 2: MASTERING THE CLASSICS & REGIONAL EGG-CELLENCIES

Week 1 and 2: check! We formed your pasta making foundation with two essential recipes in the pasta pantheon. Missed the boat? Catch up and make the recipes or scroll to move onto our Week 3 lessons. Be sure to share your recipes with us on social media using #EatalyPastaChallenge and tagging us on FacebookInstagram, and Twitter!

Lesson 1: Lo Spaghetto al Pomodoro
Lesson 2: Lasagne alla Bolognese
Lesson 3: Agnolotti del Plin
Lesson 4: Tagliatelle al Tartufo

WEEK 3: ESCAPE TO THE SEASIDE

It’s time to get creative, amici! Finish out our Pasta Challenge with two seaside classics to complete your pasta repertoire.

Pasta with basil pesto at Eataly

LESSON 5: "MARRY" YOUR SAUCE TO THE PERFECT SHAPE

Matching your pasta to the perfect sauce doesn’t need to feel like a mystery. In fact, ask any Italian and you’ll find that there are some rules to live by when it comes to “marrying” pasta with sauce: long and thin pasta goes well with oil-based, tomato, and seafood sauces, while short and tubular shapes stand up to meaty and chunky ragù (get our full guide to pasta and sauce pairings here). Once you’ve found your match, the second part of the sauce equation is the perfect balance of pasta to sauce. Too much sauce ruins the dish and makes it heavy – there should be about 1/3 cup of sauce per person in a serving. 

Still not sure where to start? Trust regional wisdom: there’s a reason why Ligurians pair long trenette with an oil-based sauce like pesto alla genovese! This week, get 30% off fresh Pesto di Pra when you buy one pound or more of trenette at our fresh pasta counter, then get our recipe for pasta al pesto to enjoy at home. 

TIP! HOW TO ACHIEVE PESTO PERFECTION

When it comes to traditional pesto alla genovese, be sure to follow this Ligurian cardinal rule: never cook your pesto! Heat will make the basil turn brown and oxidize (not a good look, or taste). Drain the pasta first, reserving a bit of the cooking water. In a large bowl or pot, add the pesto and mix together with the pasta. If it seems dry, add a little bit of the reserved cooking water until all the pasta has been fully coated. Want more pesto tips? Check out our guide to perfect pesto!

Campania's Paccheri with Seafood

LESSON 6: OPEN UP TO NEW FLAVORS

Now that you’ve mastered the basics, it’s time to get creative! Italian cooking is all about savoring regional ingredients, sourced both on land and from the sea. Take your tastebuds to the seaside by embellishing a basic tomato sauce with frutti di mare (seafood). Trust us – cooking with mollusks is easier than you think.

Head to our fish counter to pick up fresh shrimp and mussels, then shop our market for pasta di Gragnano IGP, vibrant San Marzano tomatoesand cold-pressed Italian extra virgin olive oil, then get our recipe for pasta con sugo di mare. You’ll practically be able to feel the Amalfi breezes blowing through your kitchen. 

TIP! FARE LA SCARPETTA

Meaning “to make a little shoe,” this Italian ritual refers to taking a small piece of bread and sopping up any remaining sauce on your plate. Pick up a loaf at our bakery to do as the Italians do and keep a bit of bread to finish off your meal.

Person making fresh pasta dough

PASTA 101 GUIDES & RECIPES

Don't let the pasta inspiration stop here – head to Eataly Magazine for pasta recipes, history, and more. Bookmark these guides to get started!

How to Make Fresh Pasta Dough
The Story of La Pasta di Gragnano
Regional Guide to Pasta from North to South
How to Cook Pasta
How to Pair Pasta with Sauce
Guide to Pasta Etiquette

Hungry for more? Check out our top 20 pasta recipes, or let our experts do the work and book a table at La Pizza & La Pasta.

Ti aspettiamo!