Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Cowichan Pasta

Address: available at Ottavio, Hillary's Cheese, Choux Choux, Aubergine (frozen only), Niagara Grocery and Fairfield Market
Phone: (250) 732-2457
Website: http://cowichanpasta.com/
Price: $7-8 for a bag of fresh
Notes: 100% local, 100% delicious!

Cowichan Valley Fettuccine
I had my first taste of Cowichan Valley pasta at the Fernwood Bites event - a taste of their asaparagus ravioli. I was super impressed with the product - tasted like GREEN. Yum! The quality was there and I love the idea of fresh pasta without the sweat and stress and time spent making it myself (at least all the time...).

Fresh pasta tends to be my 'convenience food' of choice lately. Instead of feeling stressed about time and hitting up some terrible-for-me Pete-knows-what's-in-it fast food, I throw some water on, warm up whatever veggies are in the fridge with some seasoning and throw in some frozen bacon or shrimp from the freezer and boom! Dinner. I love that now I have an even fresher, locally-focused option for this now! At $8 or less a bag, as long as I don't splurge on other ingredients it's a very reasonable dinner for two.

I love that they are doing fancy things with their pastas - wakame (kelp) as well as stinging nettle, and lots of fancy raviolis to boot! All of the ingredients are sourced from the island, right down to the salt. You can't really ask for better local food than that.

Cowichan Valley Fettuccine
I actually won this pasta - first time my food nerd skills have earned me more than just street cred.  The Cowichan Pasta company posted a picture of one of their retail locations on twitter and asked where it was and 30 seconds later I had won me some pasta! (Seems like they're doing it again tonight so follow them @cowichanpasta to win yourself a bag!) I was pretty stoked, I have to say.

The pasta was a very nice texture - not too dense with a little coating of flour (semolina?) on the outside to keep it from sticking together too much. I was too impatient to wait for a rousing boil before throwing it in, which I think was a shame so it was a hair too al dente but the quality was such that it was still delicious! Can't wait to try another variety in future. 

Decided to go relatively simple - my plan was for some Sloping Hill Farms bacon (available at Choux Choux) which cooked up almost like freakin Candy it was so tasty, and dried Untamed Feast dried mushrooms, but apparently I used all my mushrooms up. Instead I added a very tiny drop of truffle oil and some minced garlic into the pan when the bacon was all crisped up and then tossed it (minus most of the bacon grease) with the fresh pasta.