blogFrom Our Kitchen

Lasagna

There’s Something Special about our Lasagna

Canmore Pasta Company’s homemade lasagna is only available at our shop in Canmore. That’s because it’s so special. We use Italian sausage from our award-winning neighbours at Valbella, and fine ground beef. The cheese comes from White Gold Cheese Factory in Calgary. It’s also a great deal, feeding 8 to 10 people for only $30!

Gnocchi

Gnocchi Goodness!

We use white rice flour, salt and potatoes to make our gluten-free gnocchi. It’s wheat-free, dairy-free and vegan! We realized after making it this way that you couldn’t even tell the difference between it and a wheat-based gnocchi, and so we knew we’d stumbled on to something amazing.

The best way to prepare the gnocchi is to boil it in salted water until the gnocchis float to the top. Then, put them quickly in a pan with heated butter and olive oil and fry them like you would a perogi. Once they’re brown and crispy add a little salt and that’s it. Or better yet, try our Brown butter sage sauce!

The Bryant Family

Canmore Pasta Company’s Meghan Bryant and her family make the most of life in the Canadian Rockies.

Here are her favourite winter family adventures:

  • Skating on a Frozen Lake. The Bryants like to head to Carrot Creek just inside Banff National Park or to Gap Lake just outside Canmore to skate atop frozen mountain lakes. On a full moon, it’s a magical experience. These are good half-day outings, Bryant says.
  • Cross-country skiing into Chester Lake. In Kananaskis Country, about 40 km down the Spray Lakes Road from Canmore, Chester Lake is a family-friendly 10-km round trip outing that can be done on Nordic skis or snowshoes. Once you reach the lake, make sure to take time to let the kids play on the “elephant rocks”.
  • Hike to Grotto Canyon in winter. The cool thing about hiking up this trail just east of Canmore in winter, Bryant says, is that there are lots of ice climbers to watch. And it is often protected from the wind, so it can be warm and pleasant place to explore for a few hours.
  • Cross-country skiing at Mt. Shark. The trails at this expansive network in Kananaskis Country are well-groomed, and Bryant says there’s a trail for everybody in her family.
  • Overnight at Elizabeth Parker Hut. The ski trail up to this beautiful hut near Lake O’Hara in Yoho National Park is a slow and steady 11-km that most kids over 8 can handle. Parents can easily pull all the overnight gear in a Chariot. And perhaps best of all – the hut’s kitchen is gorgeous and makes a great place for a hearty meal of Canmore Pasta Company’s noodles! Book through the Alpine Club of Canada.
Kid and Mom cooking pasta dinner

Kids Can Cook It Too!

o One Saturday morning this fall, Canmore Pasta Company owner Meghan Bryant was out in front of her house near Cougar Creek overseeing a garage sale when her son brought her a big bowl of penne with Alfredo sauce. He’d cooked it all by himself! Bryant says with the right supervision, attention to detail and instruction, any 10-year-old can cook Canmore Pasta Company’s noodles on their own. Here’s how:

The steps to making pasta are simple.

  • Boil salted water.
  • Add the noodles into the boiling water. Stir gently.
  • Set the time or 3 minutes.
  • When timer goes off, turn off the burner.
  • Carefully carry pot to sink.
  • Carefully strain the noodles.
  • Add some sauce or just some butter and cheese.
  • Voilá!
Grano Padano Cheese

Why Grano Padano? Because it tops it all off

There’s cheese, and then there’s really, really good cheese.

The Canmore Pasta Company only uses the best cheese, and it’s called Grano Padano. This is a hard, slow-ripened cheese from northeastern Italy that’s similar to Parmigliano Reggiano or ‘parmesan’ cheese. But Canmore Pasta Company’s Meghan Bryant says it’s the only cheese she’ll use.

“It’s more fragrant than parmesan but the flavour is more subtle and less salty,” she says. It’s also less crumbly than parmesan, milder and less complex. It goes inside their stuffed pasta and it’s also available to purchase at the Pasta Co’s retail store grated – absolutely the best topping for your pasta.

Both are Grano Padano and parmesan are cooked, pressed, semi-hard cheeses made from cow’s milk. They’re both ripened slowly. But Grano Padano is made with partially skimmed milk, while parmesan is made from a mix of whole and skimmed milk. And while both are made in Northern Italy, the pastures where the cows graze are significantly different, meaning that the milk used tastes different. And the cheese tastes differently as well.

Grano Padano comes from the Po River valley, and the recipe follows one created by monks 1000 years ago near what is today Turin. With its source in the high Alps under the northwest face of the famous peak of Monte Viso, the Po is the longest river in Italy. In North America, many people will call any cheese that’s been shredded or grated ‘parmesan.’ But for the Canmore Pasta Company’s Meghan Bryant, Grano Padano stands high above all the rest. “It just belongs with our products,” she says.