Chorney-Booth: New pasta bar soothes customers’ woes with affordable meals

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The YYC Pasta Bar for Off the Menu in Calgary on Thursday, January 14, 2021. Darren Makowichuk/Postmedia
The YYC Pasta Bar in Calgary. Darren Makowichuk/Postmedia Photo by Darren Makowichuk /DARREN MAKOWICHUK/Postmedia

The result is a made-to-order pasta bar that is best enjoyed in person while also being suitable for takeout. Sharma makes his pasta in-house and customers create their own combinations of noodles, sauce, goodies like clams, meatballs, or Italian sausage, and vegetable add-ons. The base pasta with sauce is $11.99, with additional charges for the extras — making it one of the best dinner deals in the Beltline.

Of course, not all of us have the knack to put together a masterful pasta creation, so Sharma also offers chef’s selections to help customers along, with choices ranging from a classic Penne Arrabiata with roasted peppers and onions ($15) to a luxurious lobster ravioli in vodka sauce ($16) and more involved items like baked lasagna ($17) and mushroom risotto ($17). Those set dishes can also be customized on request. Sharma figures that giving people what they want while still holding onto his culinary vision is a recipe for pandemic comfort.

The Fettuccine, Caprese, Penne, Cozze and Chicken Fungi dishes from YYC Pasta Bar for Off the Menu in Calgary on Thursday, January 14, 2021. Darren Makowichuk/Postmedia
From bottom left: fettuccine, Caprese salad, Cozze, and penne dishes from YYC Pasta Bar in Calgary. Darren Makowichuk/Postmedia Photo by Darren Makowichuk /DARREN MAKOWICHUK/Postmedia

“I want to give people what they want,” Sharma says. “People have lost so much over the past year and they don’t have a lot of money right now. I want to earn my guests with our quality and when things go back to normal they’ll still be here to support my business.”

YYC Pasta Bar is located at 1322a 17th Ave. S.W. and can be reached at 403-764-9777 or yycpastabar.ca.

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Speaking of pasta, the local La Mano brand of pasta products has been quietly selling fresh pasta and sauces in boutique markets. Helmed by Aaron Ellard (Nights and Weekends) and chef Mike Pigot, the pasta has already won plenty of fans, but this month La Mano expanded to include what they’ve dubbed their “pasta club.” Every month, club members receive two kinds of pasta, a specially prepared sauce, and a recipe, with guest chefs pitching in to come up with exciting combinations. Pasta clubbers sign up for a monthly subscription but can skip months or withdraw from the program at any point. For more information, visit pastalamano.com.

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