Posted by: debrakolkka | May 31, 2011

Paninigirl in Lucca

One of the fun bits about blogging is making new friends. I got to know Paninigirl through her great blog about Italy and food – what’s not to love about those 2 subjects?  She brought a group of like minded travellers to Lucca for a discovery tour in early May and very kindly invited me to join one of her cooking classes.

Janie made the making of pasta look easy. I’ve never made pasta, but I now feel confident enough to give it a go.

Janie with her pasta

fresh pasta - don't be afraid to give it a go

She made a delicious Italian sausage sauce to go with the pasta.

stirring the sauce

 The best part about cooking lessons is that you get to eat the results. The pasta was delicious and I can happily report that nothing was left on our plates.

we started with artichokes and stuffed peppers

There was also a side dish of heavenly tomatoes and fresh mozzarella. There really is something special about the tomatoes in Italy. 

tomatoes and mozzarella

Janie will be taking another group to Lucca in October. She has organised trips into the Garfagnana to see cheese being made, walking tours through the fabulous Florence food markets, cooking lessons with local Italian cooks as well as the ones she does herself and so much more. Her group had a wonderful time with somebody to guide them through this gorgeous part of Tuscany. Click here to go to her blog or look for the link on the right of the page to find out more about her next guided trip to Italy.

the sitting room of the apartment in Lucca where the group stayed

The apartment is right in the heart of lovely Lucca – within easy walking distance of all sorts of wonderful things.


  1. I’ve just eaten, but that pasta looks yum!

  2. Hi Debra,

    Please include me in the tour in October?

    • Janie may include you in some of the local stuff – you should ask her.

  3. Sounds like you had a wonderful time! 🙂

    • It was fun – everyone had a great time. I’m sure the next tour will be fun too.

  4. I agree about meetign new wonderful friends through blogging!
    I love the wooden floor in the last picture; we had a floor like that in our last appartment in Paris and I used to spend mroe time looking at the floor than form the window 🙂 Good post Deb! and pasta look delicious!

    • The people you meet is the best part of blogging, and something I didn’t expect.

  5. Italian tomatoes are wonderful. I find this article on the subject most interesting:
    Regarding pasta, it is easier to make than baking bread. A pasta machine could be a great investment if you start making pasta regularly. Otherwise, it is just another cooking gadget that goes to the back of the cupboard…. Once you start making it, it becomes an addiction.

    • I make bread regularly, so I should make the jump to making my own pasta. Thanks for the link.

  6. Debra-thank you for the wonderful post! I am so glad that you were able to join us for a little pasta making and lunch together. It was a wonderful week of exploring Lucca, the countryside, cooking, eating shopping and laughing. I look forward to doing it again in October and if any of your readers want more information on my small group tours, I hope they won’t hesitate to get in touch and join in on the fun!

    • I was pleased to be part of your group for the day. I look forward to meeting your next group.

  7. I love freshly made pasta. It’s like baking bread, so satisfying! 🙂

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