There’s a new spot on Ossington and, amazingly, it’s not a resto-bar. Open during the day and family run, More Than Pasta brings the rustic Italian and the artisanal trends together with homespun, health-conscious pasta for at-home chefs. Inspired by their aunt’s diabetic restrictions, sisters Gabriella and Margot Micallef pioneered a low-glycerine and low-carb alternative that actually tastes good.
The brand boosts nutrition by slipping in soy and vegetable protein for a twist on the classic Atkins-enemy egg-and-flour formula. The result has one third less carbs and 15 grams of protein per 60-gram serving—about equal to the amount in a small steak. “We give it to them with no fat,” says Gabriella, “and they can add as much fat to it as they want—butter, cream, cheese, the works.” The protein-rich product is ideal for athletes, says Gabriella. Indeed, More Than Pasta supplied the Olympic cross country ski team last year at the Vancouver Olympics, including gold medallist Chandra Crawford. The makers also say their diabetic-friendly brand is popular with parents and ADHD sufferers, due to its lower sugar content.
While the pasta itself may be newfangled, the process is decidedly rooted in the old country. Five varieties of noodle, ranging in size from angel hair to fettuccine, are made on site. Longtime chef and 1987 World Culinary Olympics gold medallist Roderick Strike hand rolls, weighs and cuts the dough before feeding it through a specially designed quarter-century-old slicer for optimal texture. Packaging is simple, but comes with a seal of approval from Dragon’s Den start-up guru Arlene Dickinson, who worked with the brand.
In the small, counter-style shop, waiting customers are served complimentary espresso and traditional Italian biscuits (look for homemade biscotti coming soon). To complete the experience, sauces (like homemade pestos), as well as prepared foods and gluten-free options (sans sludgy, brown rice flour) are also in the works.
More than Pasta, 121 Ossington Ave., 1-877-927-2782, hollywood-foods.com