Your loveliest batch of linguine awaits.

Karla Walsh
October 16, 2020
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Food Network star, cookbook author, entertaining ace, mom and under-the-radar talented TikTok-er, Giada De Laurentiis is a woman who wears many hats. And now, she's adding private cooking class teacher to her resume.

As part of Marshalls' Share WOW, Get WOW initiative, Giada surprised one Marshalls shopper, Liz Cumberbatch, with more "wow" related to her recent purchase. Liz, who owns @sweetnizcakeshop, snagged a large sifter at Marshalls and shared it on social with #MarshallsWOW and #contest. She was selected as a winner of the contest (which runs through October 31, in case you, too, want to enter) to have her Marshalls purchase come to life in an IRL wow: A one-on-one virtual cooking class with Giada.

Turns out, it wasn't the first time Liz had watched Giada intently on-screen.

"Me and my Mom would watch you. I was obsessed," Liz confessed, referring to Giada's many TV shows including Everyday Italian and Giada At Home (which she's been filming during the pandemic with the help of her daughter, Jade).

We were able to speak with Giada after she and Liz completed their session whipping up their homemade pasta with Giada's signature Cacio e Pepe sauce, and got the behind-the-scenes scoop about what really happened during the pasta-palooza.

"Liz and I spent 6 hours on Zoom making fresh pasta from scratch," Giada told EatingWell. "She and I had a lot of fun. I missed that interaction with fans and doing things with other people outside of my home."

Liz had attempted to DIY fresh pasta in the past, but "didn't feel empowered," Giada explained.

So of course we had to ask: What was holding her up (and TBH, what can we learn about homemade pasta, because we're most likely guilty of the same mistakes)?

"You really have to mix the dough and use your arms and abs to work it and get into the dough. It's a workout," Giada said, adding that a common pasta mistake is not mixing firmly enough and not using enough muscle. "You have to invest the time and muscle to get the dough smooth before you allow it to rest."

As far as cooking that pasta after you roll and slice it, Giada has some more wise advice on her website:

  • Do salt your pasta-cooking water (aim for about 3 tablespoons of kosher salt per 6 cups of water) for flavor and proper seasoning.
  • Don't add oil to the water, as this will make the sauce slide off to noodles.
  • Do use a big enough pot to allow the noodles to space out in the "pool" so they don't stick together.
  • Don't forget to save some pasta water to splash into your sauce. The starchy qualities make it much better than regular water if you need a little more liquid in your cream or cheese sauce.

Now that we've been schooled by the Italian cooking pro, we can't wait to follow in Liz's lead and make a full pot of fettuccine for dinner this weekend. With the temps dipping as we step further into fall, we have our eyes on this Vegan Mushroom Bolognese for a totally comforting topping. The only thing missing? A crisp Italian white wine...and perhaps Giada Zooming in to coach us along the way.