Horrifying combinations, guests alerting dinner party hosts to chemical smells wafting from the kitchen and, yep, tomato ketchup. Italy is known as the food capital of the world but their most prized export is often butchered on these shores. Ahead of London’s first ever pasta festival, taking place this weekend, we’ve spoken to three of the musicians playing at the event to hear their pasta-cooking horror stories.
But first, here’s the lowdown on the event: taking place at Emilia’s Crafted Pasta in Canary Wharf, the free to enter festival will take place on the restaurant’s outdoor terrace and the surrounding parks.
Pasta-making masterclasses, live music (including a set from an Italian X Factor finalist), dancing, and, of course, plenty of pasta will be on offer. But don’t fear, the festival has promised us they’ll stick to the tried and tested stuff…
Singer-songwriter, and Italian X Factor finalist Davide Shorty: “My Italian mum committed the biggest pasta faux pas of all“
“I’m from Italy and after living in the UK for 14 years I’ve had many experiences with odd and tasteless pasta combos. But my very last pasta trauma was actually back home in Sicily and it came from a very unexpected person… my mum.
It was a soggy nightmare.Davide Shorty
“She tried to make pasta with avocado as an ‘experiment.’ I was doubtful but I trusted her, which was my bad. I don’t know what she was thinking. My dad and I tried to keep eating it, but it was a soggy nightmare and our disappointment was obvious. Thankfully we all ended up laughing together.
“To anyone reading this, please avoid mixing pasta and avocado. Trust me on this one. You can try to change my mind and surprise me, but it’s gonna be a big challenge.”
Get a taste of Davide’s music: Try“Fusion,” from my latest album. It’s my favourite, but you’ll have to either learn Italian or close your eyes and just go with the vibe.
Musician and producer Veda Black: “Horrified guests smelt chemicals coming from the kitchen”
“My pasta disaster moment would definitely be the time I confidently – or perhaps over confidently – prepared pasta al forno for friends and family to celebrate moving into my new flat. In auto-pilot I forgot to remove the plastic lid covering the baking tray, which left me with bright pink, gloopy, plastic-looking pasta.
The guests were obviously horrified.Veda Black
“The guests were obviously horrified. One actually broke the news to me upon smelling a “chemical scent” coming from the oven. The dish sadly went straight in the bin – I decided it’s probably best to not poison your loved ones. Looking back, it was very much a Bridget Jones blue soup moment. I felt disappointed for obvious reasons, but I know when to laugh at myself. “
Get a taste of Veda’s music: Serious from my EP Sad Girls Club is an honest and raw representation of me as an artist.
Singer, writer and composer Francesco Nasone: “I have never looked at ketchup the same way again”
“One time I was at home and super hungry. There was nothing in my cupboards apart from pasta and no sauce in sight. No oil, no butter, no cheese, nothing. So I cooked the pasta and desperately looked for something to use as sauce.
I even tried to wash the pasta to make it edible again.Francesco Nasone
“Inside the fridge I saw some ketchup. I thought, “Okay, it’ll be kind of like tomato so let’s give it a try.” It tasted absolutely terrible. The ketchup was too sweet, acidic and strong to be a replacement for tomato sauce. I even tried to wash the pasta to make it edible again, but ended up throwing it away. I have never looked at ketchup the same way again.”
Get a taste of Francesco’s music: It’s not easy choosing only one track, but check out “Close To You” and “Fly Me To The Moon,” both on my YouTube channel.
London’s first pasta festival takes place this weekend in Canary Wharf