Photographed by Daniela Ciuffa Photography

Growing up, I used to always cook along side my mom; which explains my love for food.  The concept of preparing something wholesome and with love, to share with friends and family, is what life is all about.  It’s a way of connecting and sharing that is unlike anything else.   For me, cooking feels liberating and relieves stress, especially while your sipping on a glass of vino.  For me its a free-style art form for my mind, body and spirit.

With my busy schedule, I’ve been feeling a little disconnected in the “art of doing stuff”, like riding my bike, drawing and preparing food from scratch.  So, I spend the afternoon with my friend and fellow Italian, Peter Ciuffa, to jumps start my love for home-made cooking.  Peter is the founder of Pasta Famiglia Artisan Pasta and Italian Cooking Classes.  He is a very charming and funny man with tons of interesting stories and loads of passion!

Nadia Albano, Peter Ciuffa, Pasta Famiglia, Daniela Ciuffa Photography

Nadia Albano, Peter Ciuffa, Pasta Famiglia, Daniela Ciuffa Photography

Nadia Albano, Pasta Famiglia, Espresso, Daniela Ciuffa Photography

Nadia Albano, Pasta Famiglia, Espresso, Daniela Ciuffa Photography

Nadia Albano, Pasta Famiglia, Daniela Ciuffa Photography

Nadia Albano, Pasta Famiglia, Daniela Ciuffa Photography

Outfit Details:

I wanted to be comfortable yet stylish, during my pasta making session with Peter.  I slipped on my navy-blue palazzo cropped pants from Winners, with this boxy nautical striped t-shirt from Joe Fresh, and for  a little sparkle, I layered on this chunky gold necklace, that I found at Value Village.  Of course, one must always wear an apron while cooking, so I layered this cute green one on to protect my duds.

Nadia Albano, Peter Ciuffa, Pasta Famiglia, Espresso, Deruta Ceramics, Daniela Ciuffa Photography

Nadia Albano, Peter Ciuffa, Pasta Famiglia, Espresso, Deruta Ceramics, Daniela Ciuffa Photography

Nadia Albano,  Pasta Famiglia, Espresso, Daniela Ciuffa Photography

Nadia Albano, Pasta Famiglia, Espresso, Daniela Ciuffa Photography

Q. When did you start your business and how did you come up with the concept?

A. Pasta Famiglia began 3 years ago. As an Italian-Canadian, who’s family has been involved in food & hospitality for over 100 years, my quest was to bring artisan bronze extruded pasta to Vancouverites. My pasta was carried in stores locally and sold at various Farmer’s markets but the biggest demand from my customers were requests to learn how to make their own pasta. The business/obsession has now morphed into me teaching classes, demos and private parties, where my guests learn my family traditions of pasta making.

Nadia Albano, Peter Ciuffa, Pasta Famiglia,  Daniela Ciuffa Photography

Nadia Albano, Peter Ciuffa, Pasta Famiglia, Daniela Ciuffa Photography

Nadia Albano,  Pasta Famiglia, Gnocci, Daniela Ciuffa Photography

Nadia Albano, Pasta Famiglia, Gnocchi, Daniela Ciuffa Photography

Nadia Albano, Peter Ciuffa, Pasta Famiglia, Gnocchi, Daniela Ciuffa Photography

Nadia Albano, Peter Ciuffa, Pasta Famiglia, Gnocchi, Daniela Ciuffa Photography

Q.  What can clients expect when they take your pasta making classes?

A.  As the worlds only professional pasta making actor, I like to turn my classes into a bit of theatre. I’m lucky to have grown up Italian and learned to cook from the amazing women of my family. I am also lucky that while acting, I have worked in restaurants in NYC, Rome and Vancouver, learning tricks from chefs, which I pass on to you. The classes are small hands-on affairs of 6 to 8 people, taught in non-traditional locations. We cook, we snack and you go home with pasta/gnocchi for two. When you leave my class, you will be able to make traditional pasta or gnocchi for the ones you love.  Plus you’ll have heard a few stories and shared some laughs.  This poem I wrote sums up my philosophy…

Eat with those you Love and you will stay in Love,
Eat with those you Like and you may fall in Love,
Eat with those you hate and you may learn to Tolerate.

Nadia Albano, Peter Ciuffa, Pasta Famiglia, Gnocchi, Daniela Ciuffa Photography

Nadia Albano, Peter Ciuffa, Pasta Famiglia, Gnocchi, Daniela Ciuffa Photography

Nadia Albano, Peter Ciuffa, Pasta Famiglia, Gnocchi, Daniela Ciuffa Photography

Nadia Albano, Peter Ciuffa, Pasta Famiglia, Gnocchi, Daniela Ciuffa Photography

Nadia Albano, Pasta Famiglia, Gnocchi, Daniela Ciuffa Photography

Nadia Albano, Pasta Famiglia, Gnocchi, Daniela Ciuffa Photography

Nadia Albano, Peter Ciuffa, Pasta Famiglia, Gnocchi, Daniela Ciuffa Photography

Nadia Albano, Peter Ciuffa, Pasta Famiglia, Gnocchi, Daniela Ciuffa Photography

Nadia Albano, Pasta Famiglia, Gnocchi, Daniela Ciuffa Photography

Nadia Albano, Pasta Famiglia, Gnocchi, Daniela Ciuffa Photography

Nadia Albano,  Pasta Famiglia, Gnocchi, Daniela Ciuffa Photography

Nadia Albano, Pasta Famiglia, Gnocchi, Daniela Ciuffa Photography

Nadia Albano, Pasta Famiglia, Gnocchi, Daniela Ciuffa Photography

Nadia Albano, Pasta Famiglia, Gnocchi, Daniela Ciuffa Photography

Q.  You love singing when you cook, what’s on your current play list?

A.  James Brown, Sam Roberts Band, The Black Keys, The Rat Pack, Whitehorse, Lucio Battisti

Nadia Albano, Pasta Famiglia, Gnocchi, Daniela Ciuffa Photography

Nadia Albano, Pasta Famiglia, Gnocchi, Daniela Ciuffa Photography

Nadia Albano, Pasta Famiglia, Gnocchi, Daniela Ciuffa Photography

Nadia Albano, Pasta Famiglia, Gnocchi, Daniela Ciuffa Photography

Nadia Albano, Pasta Famiglia, Gnocchi, Daniela Ciuffa Photography

Nadia Albano, Pasta Famiglia, Gnocchi, Daniela Ciuffa Photography

Q.  What are your staple cooking tools everyone should have in their kitchen?

A.   A cast iron skillet for searing & frying || stainless steel frying pan for sauteing ||  sharp chefs knife for everything || An enamel cast iron pot for braising || wooden spoon for tasting, stirring and smacking hands that are picking at the food (…tradition) || 2 large pasta/stock pots; one for soups and sauces, and a wide mouth one for boiling pasta!

Nadia Albano, Peter Ciuffa, Pasta Famiglia, Gnocchi, Daniela Ciuffa Photography

Nadia Albano, Peter Ciuffa, Pasta Famiglia, Gnocchi, Daniela Ciuffa Photography

Nadia Albano, Pasta Famiglia, Gnocchi, Daniela Ciuffa Photography

Nadia Albano, Pasta Famiglia, Gnocchi, Daniela Ciuffa Photography

Nadia Albano, Peter Ciuffa, Pasta Famiglia, Gnocchi, Daniela Ciuffa Photography

Nadia Albano, Peter Ciuffa, Pasta Famiglia, Gnocchi, Daniela Ciuffa Photography

Nadia Albano, Peter Ciuffa, Pasta Famiglia, Gnocchi, Daniela Ciuffa Photography

Nadia Albano, Peter Ciuffa, Pasta Famiglia, Gnocchi, Daniela Ciuffa Photography

Nadia Albano, Pasta Famiglia, Gnocchi, Daniela Ciuffa Photography

Nadia Albano, Pasta Famiglia, Gnocchi, Daniela Ciuffa Photography

Q.  What are your 5 ingredients you can’t live without when cooking?

A.  Extra Virgin Olive Oil || Sea/Kosher Salt || Garlic || Lemons || Parsley

Nadia Albano, Pasta Famiglia, Gnocchi, Daniela Ciuffa Photography

Nadia Albano, Pasta Famiglia, Gnocchi, Daniela Ciuffa Photography

Nadia Albano, Peter Ciuffa, Pasta Famiglia, Gnocchi, Daniela Ciuffa Photography

Nadia Albano, Peter Ciuffa, Pasta Famiglia, Gnocchi, Daniela Ciuffa Photography

Nadia Albano, Peter Ciuffa, Pasta Famiglia, Gnocchi, Daniela Ciuffa Photography

Nadia Albano, Peter Ciuffa, Pasta Famiglia, Gnocchi, Daniela Ciuffa Photography

Nadia Albano, Peter Ciuffa, Pasta Famiglia, Gnocchi, Daniela Ciuffa Photography

Nadia Albano, Peter Ciuffa, Pasta Famiglia, Gnocchi, Daniela Ciuffa Photography

Nadia Albano, Peter Ciuffa, Pasta Famiglia, Gnocchi, Daniela Ciuffa Photography

Nadia Albano, Peter Ciuffa, Pasta Famiglia, Gnocchi, Daniela Ciuffa Photography

Nadia Albano, Pasta Famiglia, Gnocchi, Daniela Ciuffa Photography

Nadia Albano, Pasta Famiglia, Gnocchi, Daniela Ciuffa Photography

Q.  Who is your style inspiration/ icon, when you’re not working in kitchen?

A.  My biggest style inspirations are: 1)  My Dad. He was born in 1926, had me at 50 and had an old school style. Looking at all his old photos with everyone in beautiful tailored suits, pressed shirts, cuff links and fedoras left it’s mark.  2)  My time living in NYC taught me that trends come and go, but personal style is forever.  3) My time living in Rome taught me that  Italians live for “La Bella Figura”, which literally means “The beautiful figure”, but really means “Keeping up Appearances”.  Whether they’re teenagers in ripped jeans or fathers wearing the latest designers, they take the time to style themselves before they leave the house. PS My Mom never left the house unless she was presentable. Translation, done up to the Nines – lol!

Nadia Albano, Deruta Ceramics, Daniela Ciuffa Photography

Nadia Albano, Deruta Ceramics, Daniela Ciuffa Photography

Nadia Albano, Pasta Famiglia, Gnocchi, Deruta Cermatics, Daniela Ciuffa Photography

Nadia Albano, Pasta Famiglia, Gnocchi, Deruta Ceramics, Daniela Ciuffa Photography

Nadia Albano, Pasta Famiglia, Gnocchi, Deruta Ceramics, Daniela Ciuffa Photography

Nadia Albano, Pasta Famiglia, Gnocchi, Druta Ceramics, Daniela Ciuffa Photography

Q.  What do you prefer: New York or LA? Paris or Rome? Coffee or Tea? Wine or Water? Sweet or Savory?

A.  New York || Rome || Espresso || Wine || Savory.

Nadia Albano, Pasta Famiglia, Gnocchi, Deruta Ceramics, Daniela Ciuffa Photography

Nadia Albano, Pasta Famiglia, Gnocchi, Deruta Ceramics, Daniela Ciuffa Photography

Nadia Albano, Pasta Famiglia, Gnocchi, Daniela Ciuffa Photography

Nadia Albano, Pasta Famiglia, Gnocchi, Daniela Ciuffa Photography

Q.  What’s the next step for you and Pasta Famiglia? Any new projects coming up?

A.  I just finished filming a Hallmark Movie of the Week and returned from a trip to NYC and am I’m playing a bit of catch up. Outside of teaching classes and auditioning, I’m in pre-production for a cooking/comedy web series, and a large Italian dinner event for the winter. Both the series and dinner will bring my two passions of food and acting together into something unique.

Nadia Albano, Peter Ciuffa, Pasta Famiglia, Gnocchi, Daniela Ciuffa Photography

Nadia Albano, Peter Ciuffa, Pasta Famiglia, Gnocchi, Daniela Ciuffa Photography

Grazie, Peter!  I had so much fun and I thuroughly enjoyed my gnocci!  I look forward to attending your dinner event this Winter.

In the mean time, to catch all of Peter’s adventures, you can follow him on twitter {@PastaBoyPeter}, instagram {@pastaboypeter}.  To sign up for classes (which would be such a fun idea for birthdays or bridal parties), and find out about events and his show, sign up for his email list at www.pastafamiglia.ca .  Be sure to check out Peter’s  acting career on IMDb