‘HOW long?!” My friend Janet seemed surprised when I told her that our Pasta Masterclass with Wine Tasting would last approximately

three-and-a-half hours.

“Well, it’s something different to do on a miserable Saturday afternoon,” I replied. I was looking forward to my masterclass.

So, after a little persuasion, we headed into Glasgow laden with shopping, as we had been sent an email listing the produce we needed for our masterclass.

Nervously, we entered the large mezzanine area of an old building, and were greeted by Stefano, our chef for the day, who had an accent which was part Italian and part Glaswegian.

“Good afternoon, signores,” he smiled.

My pal and I couldn’t help noticing how exceptionally handsome he was, and on scouring the room, it was obvious the other students had noticed too!

Hands washed and positioned like soldiers at our workstation, Janet and I were soon interrupted by two women nearby who were beaming from ear to ear.

“Hi there, I’m Betty and this is Grace.”

We exchanged pleasantries and waited patiently.

“Attention signores! My assistant Paulo will introduce a delicious selection of vino to you, whilst I will teach you how to create some amazing Italian dishes,” Stefano bellowed.

We all nodded, as Janet added: “This might be a good wee afternoon after all.”

The next minute, Paulo held up a large bottle of Italian Prosecco.

“Let’s get things under way, signores.”

But Janet and I could see that things were already well under way for Betty and Grace, as the pair were half cut!

“He’s definitely an Italian stallion,” Betty said with a big cheesy grin, as her pal nodded in agreement before downing her Prosecco.

“Now, I expect your Italian mozzarella balls to be perfetto,” Stefano declared in his dodgy accent as he paced the room.

Janet and I were getting stuck right in and were rolling our cheese mixture into the flour and the beaten egg when...

“Dio santo!” (Oh my God!), Stefano shrieked as two cheese balls rolled off Betty’s workstation and on to the floor.

“Signore Betty, this is not so good.”

But Betty just shrugged as she salivated over him, and her glass of fine Sicilian red vino Paulo had just poured.

“Cin-cin, Stefano.”


It seemed that Betty and Grace were more enthused with wine tasting than conjuring up any type of dish, as Grace added: “He’s getting awfy worked up over a couple of cheese balls.”

“Bella, bella,” Stefano praised his other students, who were engrossed in cooking their

Sicilian-style spaghetti.

Meanwhile, Paulo was doing his rounds yet again.

“Signores, I present Catarratto to you, which is a full-bodied wine and perfetto with your spaghetti.”

Glug glug. The Italian white wine barely touched Betty’s lips as she turned to Paulo.

“Cin-cin, Paulo.”


“Hi Stefano,” shouted Betty across the room, waving her arms.

“I could do with a bit of one-on-one tuition here.”

Betty’s attempts at flirting fell on deaf ears as the handsome Stefano turned to me.

“Bene, bene, this spaghetti is perfetto.”

“Thanks very much, Stefano.” I was well chuffed with the compliment.

“Bene, bene,” Betty and Grace childishly mimicked Stefano as he walked away, but their attention quickly turned to Paulo as he popped another bottle.

“Cin-cin, Paulo.” Grace raised her glass.


Suddenly Stefano was standing over Betty and Grace like an old schoolmaster and shook his head as he inspected their efforts. Betty’s pasta was a congealed blob in the pan while Grace’s pasta wasn’t just al dente – it was barely cooked!

“Signores, this is not good at all,” he scolded.

“In fact, this is very, very bad.”

Yet again Paulo was heading their way with more Italian wine, when Stefano raised his hand: “Please, Paulo, no more vino for the signores.”

“But this is a wine-tasting class,” Betty said. Hic hic.

“Singores, I think you’ve sampled enough vino for the day,” he puffed.

“In fact, I think you’ve drunk Italy dry!”

Paulo did as he was ordered and as he turned away from the inebriated pair, he blew a kiss at Stefano.

Now... not only were the drunken duo hacked off that they were banned from consuming anymore alcohol, the penny dropped that the gorgeous Stefano’s partner was Paulo!

Taking their aprons off and packing up, Betty declared: “Well, we didn’t want to come here in the first place, did we Grace?”

“Nope, our husbands said we cannae cook and gave us cook school vouchers for our Christmas.”

We devoured our pasta and sipped our wine as Janet said: “Oh well ladies, perhaps next year you should hint for a spa day!”