Pasta La Feasta festival has Calgary chefs noodling around for the Alex Community Food Centre

That nip in the air — and snow in the forecast — means it’s carb season.

And that makes the timing of the new Pasta La Feasta just about perfect.

Starting Oct. 11, nine Calgary restaurants will be dishing up carb-loaded creations featuring the humble pasta noodle as a fundraiser for the Alex Community Food Centre. So, as you chow down on carmelle or ravish a plate of ravioli, you’re helping people access high-quality food, learn how to cook and guiding children to make healthier food choices. 

For each plate of pasta ordered between the start of Pasta La Feasta until World Pasta Day on Friday, Oct. 25, restaurants will donate $3 to the Alex. 

With nine dishes to choose from, you’ll probably want to start making your pasta-eating plans now. 

(Especially because eating could mean winning a fabulous night at Teatro. Read on!)

At Alforno Bakery and Café, the butterfly-shaped farfalle pasta will be coated with a rich parm sauce, balanced by pops of fresh peas and their shoots, along with a drizzle of housemade chili oil. Chef Daniel Ramon is topping it all with a perfectly poached egg. Break open the yolk to make it even saucier.

Chef Matthew Batey, at Teatro, is featuring carmelle, which looks like an old-school hard candy, filled with olive and ricotta. Roasted almonds and octopus chorizo round out this dish.

Both Bread and Circus and Donna Mac are featuring vegetarian creations. Classic Cacio e Pepe is on the menu at Bread and Circus, tucked in next to Una. Chef Kayle Burns really shows off his skill with this dish made from a simple combination of butter, cheese and pepper. Classic basil pesto adorns hand-rolled cavatelli, a curled piece of pasta perfect for soaking up sauce, at Donna Mac.

Cavatelli is also the noodle of choice at Model Milk where it is combined with a hearty lamb ragu and topped with cream sauce.

Like a stuffed pasta? At Royale, the pine mushroom and herb ravioli is filled with whipped cheese (plus more cheese sprinkled on top) and then blanketed in a warming and hearty brown butter sauce with roasted garlic and pine mushrooms. An egg on top of pasta is delightful, but at Pigeonhole, Chefs Justin Leboe and Chris Hyde are putting the egg in the middle with their egg yolk ravioli topped with mushrooms. 

At Cucina, orecchiette (which means little ears) is mixed up with spicy sausage, broccoli, artichokes and herbs — all topped with feta.

And, for something allegedly completely different, Chef Roy Oh of Anju is taking advantage of his passion for Asian fusion by creating a ramen-based mushroom carbonara. That’s right, ramen is not just for students on tight budgets! 

Any and all of these will be available during the Pasta La Feasta festival. 

If you want to get snap-happy, your photo of any of the Feasta dishes could earn you a night at Teatro for the East Side Dario’s event on Oct. 25th. Picture Teatro as a trattoria with a family-style feast and lots of wine! 

Simply take a photo, video or boomerang of your pasta and share on Instagram, tagging @pastalafeasta and using the hashtag #PLFChallenge. Each post will count as one entry to win the prize, which is estimated to be worth $250.

Get more information or reserve at able on the festival site. (

Mangia! Mangia!

Gwendolyn Richards is a Calgary-based food and lifestyles writer. She has never met a plate of pasta she didn’t like.