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Murrysville

Murrysville church will host 'Sweetheart Pasta Cookoff' on Sunday

Patrick Varine
| Wednesday, Feb. 7, 2018, 2:12 p.m.
Spaghetti Cacio e Pepe is an ancient Roman dish includes dry pasta, pecorinio romano cheese, cracked black peppercorns and some of the pasta water. Pasta dishes aplenty will be on offer Sunday, Feb. 11, 2018, at the Emmanuel Reformed Church of the United Church of Christ's 'Sweetheart Pasta Cookoff.'
Diane Rossen Worthington
Spaghetti Cacio e Pepe is an ancient Roman dish includes dry pasta, pecorinio romano cheese, cracked black peppercorns and some of the pasta water. Pasta dishes aplenty will be on offer Sunday, Feb. 11, 2018, at the Emmanuel Reformed Church of the United Church of Christ's 'Sweetheart Pasta Cookoff.'

This weekend, it will be time to “mangia” at Emmanuel Reformed Church in Murrysville, as the church hosts the annual Sweetheart Pasta Cookoff on Sunday, Feb. 11.

“Mangia” is, of course, Italian for “to eat.”

“The church used to do a ‘Sweetheart Pasta' event where the church ladies would get together and make a big pasta dinner, always around Valentine's Day,” said parishioner Amanda Banks of Salem Township.

The past several years, Banks has taken the lead in organizing the event, and it has gone from a delicious dinner to a delicious contest.

“Everyone who wants just brings a pasta dish to enter into the contest,” Banks said. “If they want to be part of the event, but not involved in the cookoff portion, they can bring an appetizer or dessert to share.”

Everyone who participates serves as a judge, Banks said, sampling dishes and voting for their favorite. The top three dishes are awarded prizes.

In previous years, winning dishes have included pasta salad, chicken cacciatore — one of Banks' favorites — and even a pizza-lasagna dish.

This year's cookoff will take place following the 10:15 a.m. worship service at the Rev. Robert C. Steele Fellowship Center connected to the church, at 3618 Hills Church Road in Murrysville.

Banks said with many of the church's women working full-time, making the transition from a full-on dinner to the cookoff was simple.

“We didn't have time to prepare a whole pasta meal for 50 people, so instead I decided let's just have everyone bring a crock pot of different dishes and have prizes for our favorites,” she said. “It's easier planning and it's more fun!”

Click here to visit the Facebook event page .

Patrick Varine is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at 724-850-2862, pvarine@tribweb.com or via Twitter @MurrysvilleStar.

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