Linda Miller Nicholson brings a whole new meaning to the phrase, "you eat with your eyes first." She is the self-proclaimed “pasta ninja," and makes avant-garde pasta noodles so beautiful that they are (almost) too pretty to eat.
Colorful Rigatoni alla Gricia, Star-patterned Paccheri, flower power Gnocchi, lattice-patterned Agnolotti, two-toned Farfalle, and polka dot pasta bowties are just a few amongst many colorful and tasty pasta creations that Linda brings to life with naturally dyed pasta dough. She crafts these vibrant noodles from all-natural or plant-based ingredients such as spurlina, beets, butterfly pea flowers, carrots, parsley, spinach, harissa and turmeric.
"I always grew up wanting to do art and probably ultimately came down to finding the right medium - it (pasta) just feels right in my hands.”
- Linda Miller Nicholson (@SaltySeattle)
Nicholson started making traditional pasta when she was just four years old, but it was when she lived in Italy during her 20s that her whole world opened up and the possibilities (or should we say pasta-bilities?) became endless. Gone were the days of traditional fettuccini or pappardelle, instead Nicholson began to transform her noodles with the inspiration that she found in her surroundings; specifically, patterns and hues found in nature. From this inspiration, she began dying pasta dough and used the various shades of dough to form textile designs - polka dots, stars, stripes, and even lattice patchwork.
It was almost as if the pasta dough became fabric - she began saturating the dough with natural ingredients, creating various shades and vibrant colors - and then began weaving them together. The emerging patterns and design are all at once logical and whimsical, repetitive yet surprising, intricate and simple. When a beautiful pattern is applied to the right medium, it has the power to delight and amaze - even more so when you get to experience it with all the senses!
She is not shy when it comes to sharing her creativity with her fans. Through Instagram, YouTube, and Facebook, you can get the behind the scenes look on how to make some of these whimsical creations at home and her first cookbook titled "Pasta, Pretty Please" will hit the shelves October 16, 2018.
Linda Miller Nicholson pictured (left) in her pantry for Pineapple Collaborative. (Photo credit Reva Keller)