Passion for Pasta: How to make your own pasta...the Carmela Sophia Sereno way

Carmela Sophia Sereno holds her Italian heritage close to her heart and teaches ‘Specialist Pasta’ and ‘Cucina Povera’ cooking style classes from her family kitchen and London- based cookery schools. Carmela continues to travel to Italy looking for inspiration and new recipe ideas. She has published two cookery books
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The lockdown weeks have certainly sent interest in the direction of the kitchen.

People who have never cooked before are making an array of dishes, treats and more. From banana bread to making a sourdough starter, making pizza and, of course, pasta.

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Cooking, regardless of what you make, allows your mind to feel a little free; it gives you the chance to experiment and sometimes even deviate from a recipe while enjoying yourself.

I have had so many emails and messages with regards to information about simple pasta.

With this in the forefront of our minds, I have released my third Italian cookery book, on a convenient ebook format only.

The book ‘How to make your own pasta’, demystifies concerns and shows the beauty of speed and simplicity when making pasta.

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There are also a few advanced tips, but be certain, the recipes are all easily accessible, inexpensive and delicious.

I have decided to share with you a favourite of mine. The ebook can be downloaded online via Amazon for £3.99 directly onto your device.

My fourth cookery book – Northern and Central Italian Family Cooking – will be released on July 23.

Spaghetti with Seasoned Breadcrumbs (Spaghetti Alla Mollica)

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When you are looking to cook a quick dish, but have very little in the fridge, I give you a taste of a Calabrian tradition.

This is a flavoursome dish that brings a sense of simplicity and ease to the family table.

Who needs a takeaway when this dish can be on the table in 20 minutes?

The mollica (seasoned breadcrumbs) can be adapted and added for texture and variety to many pasta dishes.

Preparation time: 5 minutes

Cooking time: 15 minutes

Serves 4

400g dried spaghetti

4 tbsp olive oil

2 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed

5 large salted tinned anchovies

Salt and pepper to season

1 small chilli, deseeded and finely sliced

20g butter

100g stale breadcrumbs

Small bunch of basil, torn

Zest of 1 small lemon

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1 Place a large pan of water on to boil. Once boiling, salt well and cook the spaghetti until al dente.

2 Pour the olive oil into a sauté pan and fry off the garlic for 2 minutes over a low heat. Brush the excess salt off the anchovies and pat dry with kitchen towel. Add the anchovies to the pan and stir until they have melted away.

3 Season with a pinch of chilli, salt and pepper.

4 Put the butter into another frying pan, add the stale breadcrumbs and lightly toast for 5 minutes.

5 Remove the breadcrumbs from the heat and place them in a bowl with the basil and lemon zest.

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6 Drain the spaghetti and reserve 30ml of pasta water. Return the pasta to the cooking pan and add the anchovy mix. Stir well and add the reserved pasta water.

7 Add half the breadcrumb mix and stir.

8 Spoon into bowls and top with an additional breadcrumb topping if desired.


I love Parmigiano Reggiano with this dish. As a rule, Italians do not serve cheese with fish, however in the UK, and in my kitchen, I think it is down to taste and preference. Have a small amount ready grated in a bowl just in case you invite me over for dinner! You can substitute the spaghetti with vermicelli if preferred.

(See Instagram #carmelaskitchen; Facebook #carmelaskitchen; Twitter @carmela_kitchen)

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