carnival

Since before the 14th century, masqueraders have taken over the streets of Venice during Carnivale.

Carnivale is Mardi Gras to the Italians. It is celebrated in the days leading up to Lent, culminating in a big blowout party the night before Ash Wednesday. Now through February 16 Tidbit Bistro is offering a Carnevale special: It’s a $20, two-course meal that begins with tofeja—a traditional Piedmontese soup of white bean and pork—and ends with vegetarian lasagna.

Here are other ways to be Italian in Seattle:

On Tuesday, February 9 at La Spiga, you can learn to make homemade pasta and get a tutorial on wine pairing for $75, $85 at the door. The class is cotaught by chef Sabrina Tinsley and her wine-expert husband Pietro Borghesi. They are a very cute couple, prepare to be charmed. Beginning Tuesday, February 23, La Spiga is reintroducing the Italian Night series, each sessions is $25 per person and includes “a light buffet dinner and glass of wine.” The first class covers tips for traveling in Italy. (Careful Spiga, you’re treading into Rick Steves territory now.)

On Thursday, February 11 from 6:30 to 9:30pm at Cook’s World, Serafina Chef Dylan Giordan is teaching “Love in Italy” a cooking class focused on regional Italian dishes that inspire romance. That’s $65, call 206-528-8192 to reserve.

And on Wednesday, February 17 Cascina Spinasse is hosting a four-course wine dinner featuring a barolo and and dolcetto from centuries-old Pecchenino vineyards in the Piedmont. Call the restaurant for price details and reservations.

If all this is too much trouble and you simply want to stuff your face with spaghetti, check out critic Kathryn Robinson’s recs for best pasta-twirling spots around town here.