THINK GLOBAL, EAT LOCAL: Vermicelli, couscous, spaetzle, and three more fine pasta dishes
Eating & Drinking

THINK GLOBAL, EAT LOCAL: Vermicelli, couscous, spaetzle, and three more fine pasta dishes

Think Global, Eat Local: Where to eat pasta of all varieties.

Photo by fugzu, Flickr

String Hoppers
Red rice vermicelli steamed and made into the flat nests known as string hoppers are purposefully bland. This way, the slight bite from dahl darts through. Coconut sambols with tamarind are even spicier, making for an exceptionally balanced dish from Sri Lanka. $11.95. Ceylonta, 403 Somerset St. W., 613-237-7812; 2920 Carling Ave., 613-828-7812. – CD

Granular couscous is a staple in North Africa, where it is served topped with endless variations of stewed meat and vegetables. The menu at Ottawa mainstay Kasbah Moroccan Village boasts a range of couscous dishes, vegetarian or not. $15.95-$20.95. 261 Laurier Ave. W., 613-232-3737, – DD

This ode to pasta carbonara, with its rich cream sauce, sounds Italian. Yet the blood of Navarra chef Rene Rodriguez is insistently Basque. Slow-simmered lamb provides depth; caramelized onions, sweetness. Add a bit of mint, and peasant roots are exquisitely uplifted. $22. Navarra, 93 Murray St., 613-241-5500, – CD

Spaetzle are soft little knobs of pasta popular in Germany, Austria, and surrounding countries. They feature prominently on the menu of The Amber Garden and Dalmacia Restaurant as a side dish to the hearty comfort foods on the menu. The beef goulash with spaetzle ($17.95) is guaranteed to transport the diner straight to central Europe. Enjoy. The Amber Garden and Dalmacia Restaurant, 1701 Carling Ave., 613-728-0000, – DD

Seafood and E-Foo Noodle Soup
E-foo are flat, narrow egg noodles, reputedly made with soda water. At Fortune Express, a base of delicate well-made chicken stock allows other ingredients to shine — sliced scallops, bouncy shrimp, and lengths of fresh mustard greens. A study in unadorned simplicity, Cantonese-style. $12.50. Fortune Express, 484 Hazeldean Rd., Unit 10, 613-831-7550. – CD

Macaroni and Cheese
Would you classify it as American? Perhaps Italian? Well loved, at any rate. At Serious Cheese, they make their mac and cheese rich with a combo of Dutch gouda, Swiss gruyère, Quebec cheddar, even bacon. Say, can you taste the truffles? $4.50/8 oz.; $6.75/12 oz. Serious Cheese, 1189 Bank St., 613-422-6090, – CD