Italian culture shared through art of pasta


Photo Joshua Carroll

Students learning how to make Italian pasta from Assistant Professor of Italian Arianna Fognani.

Coastal Carolina University’s Italian program hosted an event on Oct. 14 for students to learn how to make handmade pasta in Tradition Hall.

Assistant Professor of Italian Arianna Fognani said as the program grows, they plan to have more events like it in the future.

“In the past, we’ve had workshops only with the Italian class,” she said.

However, this event was open to all students. Fognani said the interest in the Italian classes motivated them to expand upon it. She said some of the students attending the event had some experience in pasta making from the Coastal in Tuscany study abroad trip.

Brennan Simpson, an Italian language student, came to the event after finding out about it from his professor, Kevin Regan-Maglione. He said this was his first time making food like this from scratch.

“My professor told us about it, and I thought it would be fun to do,” Simpson said.

He said he didn’t find it too difficult and that he’d consider doing it again on his own time.

“I thought it was fun,” Simpson said. “If it tastes better than normal box pasta, I think I’d try it again.”

As part of the event, Fognani also brought some samples of authentic vegetarian lasagna she made herself. Growing up in Italy, she said she learned how to make handmade pasta from watching her mother make them.

“My mom does it on a regular basis,” she said. “I don’t do it that often, but I kind of learned a little bit from her.”

She said she doesn’t eat out too much and usually prefers to eat food knowing how it was made.

“I don’t really like food where I don’t know what’s inside,” Fognani said.

In addition to pasta, she said there are other foods that the program will host events for both in the fall semester and in this-coming spring. Fognani said they could even do dishes to coincide with Italy’s Carnival celebrations. In November, she said there will be a pizza event. For the spring, students will learn how to make their own tiramisu.

As CCU’s Italian program grows, she said they hope for it to gain more visibility as it allows students opportunities to experience aspects of Italian culture.

“It’s a way to show that they can do things with some basic ingredients and connect with the culture,” Fognani said.