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HomeViralTikTok’s Pasta Queen reveals recipes Kylie Jenner, Drew Barrymore go ‘crazy’ for

TikTok’s Pasta Queen reveals recipes Kylie Jenner, Drew Barrymore go ‘crazy’ for

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Nadia Caterina Munno, a k a “Pasta Queen,” assumed her semolina-flour throne by accident.

In February 2020, the 36-year-old mom of four was deleting the TikTok app from daughter Desiree’s phone when she stumbled on a problematic lasagna-making video. Watery noodles and random bits of food were being thoughtlessly tossed in a pan.

“I was mortified,” Munno, who was born in Rome and is now based in South Florida, told The Post. “They promoted it as an Italian classic. I was like, ‘How dare they.’ This is even more offensive than people dancing to random things.”

So, she filmed herself critiquing the lasagna, quipping, “Parmigiana is good, but it can’t make miracles.” It attracted millions of views, leading Munno to create more 60-second videos for the platform that have quickly made her a viral star.

“I went from almost deleting the app to getting addicted,” she said.

Italian-born chef, social media star and mom-of-four Nadia Caterina Munno started her platform as Pasta Queen in early 2020 after seeing a
Italian-born chef, social media star and mom-of-four Nadia Caterina Munno started her platform as Pasta Queen in early 2020 after seeing a “blasphemous” lasagna video which inspired her to teach her beloved Italian recipes to the masses.
Gallery Books

Now, she has 2.5 million TikTok followers, who log on to see the sultry brunette talk pasta in her signature red-sauce lip, matching nails and thick Italian accent. Her latest venture is a cookbook, “The Pasta Queen: A Just Gorgeous Cookbook” (Gallery Books), out Nov. 8. In it, she shares more than 100 recipes for dishes such as her viral pasta al limone, a classic penne alla vodka, her famous Assassin’s Spaghetti (risotto-style tomato pasta) and her favorite, spaghetti alla carbonara, (see recipe at right).

The foundation of her cookbook is her “Rules for Making Perfect Pasta,” a step-by-step breakdown of pasta-making secrets that include tips like salting the water, how to perfect “very al dente” and saving rather than draining the used pasta water to make creamier sauce. 

Munno’s authority on pasta is in her blood — she hails from five generations of professional Naples-based pasta-makers. She moved to the United States in 2015 with her British husband, and cut her teeth producing culinary content for her YouTube channel as a creative outlet from her corporate job.

@the_pastaqueen

“Spaghetti meatballs” the true history behind this recipe is still ambiguous, from what I could find in my research the tradition of making meatballs goes back to Ancient Rome and even before then with Arab countries making an early version of it which wasn’t round but it resembled it. Closer present time, spaghetti meatballs has been a tradition in the center south of Italy as far back as the 1800s. It is said that the tradition was carried on here in the United States when Italian immigrants brought this recipe with them and made it world famous with some parts of Italy still believing that it is an Italian American creation. It is very hard to find spaghetti meatballs in Italian restaurants nowadays unless you visit little villages in the Abruzzo region that are off the beaten paths and some in the south of Italy. I hope you enjoy this and make it a tradition in your own home with the people you love. Make sure you get TICKETS TO MEET ME ON MY BOOK TOUR!! (Link in BIO) Just Gorgeous #italianfood #spaghettiandmeatballs #spaghettimeatballshistory

♬ original sound – The Pasta Queen

“I was stuck in the corporate world dealing with financial institutions most of the time and dealing with contracts,” she said. “For me as a person, I found it not creative enough and a little depressing.”

But, she ultimately didn’t have time for YouTube and shelved her creative pursuits for years — until her TikTok awakening.

Her content is resonating with the masses and celebrity fans. Kylie Jenner “went crazy” over her Sophia Loren-inspired recipe for creamy lemon pasta.

“She had reposted my recipe. Then she got obsessed with my creamy pea pasta,” said Munno, who also counts Sofia Vergara and Drew Barrymore as fans.

“The Pasta Queen: A Just Gorgeous cookbook” is out Tuesday, Nov. 8 with more than 100 recipes, stories and QR codes to videos teaching how to make the delicious pasta dishes.
Tamara Beckwith

She says that Kylie’s half sister, Kim Kardashian, could also use her advice, recalling a moment on the family’s Hulu show in which Kim asked a waiter what tortellini was while visiting Italy.

Munno was horrified.

“Oh my god that is blasphemous,” she told The Post. “We need to teach her! She should know what tortellini is. We need to rectify that situation.”

The Pasta Queen’s Spaghetti alla Carbonara, serves 4

The Pasta Queen's spaghetti alla Carbonara.
Spaghetti alla Carbonara is Munno’s favorite recipe. Her rendition is made with the Italian cured meat guanciale. “This recipe only appeared less than a hundred years ago in Italian cookbooks and it actually is said to have been adapted from a much older traditional southern Italian recipe (cacio and ovo) cheese and egg pasta,” she told The Post.
Gallery Books

1. Bring a large pot of water to a rolling boil over high heat. 

2. Meanwhile, in a large deep sauté pan, heat 6 ounces guanciale (cut into 1 x 1/2 x 1/2-inch sticks) over low heat and sizzle until golden and lightly crispy, about 10 minutes. Remove from the heat and transfer three-quarters of the guanciale and its luscious fat to a large bowl to cool. Set aside the remaining guanciale on a paper towel to use as garnish. Keep the pan in reserve.

3. Once the guanciale fat has cooled to the point it won’t scramble the eggs when it comes into contact with them, add 4 large egg yolks, 1 large whole egg, 5 ounces finely grated Pecorino Romano (about 1 ¾ cups, plus more for dusting) and 2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper to the bowl, beating passionately to make a thick and creamy sauce. 

4. Once the water has reached a rolling boil, season with sea salt until it tastes like a seasoned soup. Drop in 1 pound spaghetti and cook until al dente. 

5. Transfer the pasta to the pan where the guanciale was cooked. Add a ladle (1/2 cup) of pasta cooking water to the egg mixture, 1 tablespoon at a time, and beat energetically to combine. Pour the egg mixture over the pasta. Stir passionately until the sauce thickens, adding more pasta water as needed, 1 tablespoon at a time, until you reach the perfect consistency. 

6. Serve garnished with a scrunch of black pepper, a dusting of Pecorino Romano, and the reserved guanciale pieces sprinkled on top. 

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