Pasta power for the Argus

Home-made lasagne with fresh asparagus and brie; butternut cappelletti with burned sage butter; tagliolini tossed with wild mushrooms, rocket, white wine, truffle oil and Parmesan…

At Eat Out we love pasta, and we’ll use pretty much any excuse to eat it. Luckily enough, such an excuse is on the horizon. This Sunday, thousands of otherwise sane South Africans (and a good portion of tourists) will don Lycra shorts and propel themselves 106 kilometres on a flimsy piece of metal and rubber. That’s right, it’s time for the Argus Cycle Tour.

If you’re riding (or just want to get into the spirit of things) now’s the time to start carbo-loading. Spoilsport Tim Noakes may recently have substituted his carbs for a diet high in protein and fat, but there are plenty of other sports scientists who are yet to change their ideas. We say get in there while the going is good!

The Mayo Clinic recommends adjusting your carbohydrate intake to 70% of your total intake from three to four days before the event, which means you can get in a good guilt-free pasta meal tonight. To help you stock up on glycogen (that’s the science-y word for what you’re doing) we’ve put together a list of restaurants running starchy specials for the occasion, as well as our favourite restaurants around the country for pasta. Buon Appetito, and good luck!


Try: Lasagne di asparagi e brie, a homemade lasagne with fresh asparagus, brie, Parmesan and bechamel sauce.
Price: R100.

Bice Restaurant

Try: Veal ravioli with porcini mushrooms.
Price: R120 – R150.

Ciao Baby Cucina
Try: Pasta of your choice with the bolognaise sauce.
Price: R75.

Il Giardino
Try: Gnocci con sugo tritico: a creamy basil sauce with tomato pesto, bolognaise and potato dumplings.
Price: R70.

La Cucina di Ciro
Try: Fresh tagliatelle with grilled artichokes, roasted tomatoes, garlic and fresh basil, tossed in olive oil and Parmesan.
Price: R105.

Primi branches in Fourways and Menlyn Park are offering a special carbo-loading menu. Try their basil, lemon, Pecorino, zucchini and tomato pasta with either fillet medallions (R95), Chicken (R72), or slow-roasted vegetables (R68).

Tortellino d’Oro
Try: Pasta with a sauce of porcini mushrooms, artichokes or pesto from the seasonal menu.
 Price: Ranging between R80 and R120.


Al Fiume

Try: Spaghetti primavera (fresh vegetables).
Price: R89.

Try: Lumacone, a dish of pasta shells stuffed with veal, spinach, ricotta and mushrooms and then baked under a mozzarella and Parmesan blanket.
Price: R99.


Al Firenze
Try: Seafood pasta of mixed seafood and a tomato-based sauce, served with spaghetti or linguine.
Price: R85.

Casa Toscana
Try: Tortelli di agnello e asparagi, a lamb, asparagus and Parmesan sauce with pasta of your choice.
Price: R84.

Craft Trattoria
Try: Risotto specials.
Price: R85 for the asparagus risotto and R89 for the blueberry and wild mushroom risotto.

Marco Paulo

Try: Penne with homemade sausage, chilli, cream and Napoletano sauce.
Price: R78.

Primi branches in Ballito and Gateway are offering a special carbo-loading menu. Try their basil, lemon, Pecorino, zucchini and tomato pasta with either fillet medallions (R95), Chicken (R72), or slow-roasted vegetables (R68).


Try: Renzo’s pasta with chopped bacon, marinated peppers, a dash of cream and chilli, cooked in Mama’s tomato-based sauce. Served with pasta of your choice.
Price: R65.

Try: Pescatore, a pasta dish made with calamari, red peppers, cream and Napoletano sauce.
Price: R75 for a large portion.

Cape Town

95 Keerom
Try: Butternut and ricotta ravioli with sage butter.
Price: R70.

A Tavola

Try: Tagliolini ai fungi e tartufo, which is handmade tagliolini tossed with marinated and wild mushrooms, with fresh rocket and white wine, then topped with truffle oil and Parmigiano-Reggiano.
Price: R86.

All their pasta dishes are on special for R65 until 7pm for an early bird Argus special. 

Try: Spaghetti with Norwegian salmon, lemon, basil and caper sauce (R110); penne with grilled chicken in a sundried tomato and cream sauce (R69), or spaghetti with prawns in a tomato cream sauce with a hint of chilli and garlic (R95). Wholewheat pasta is also available for the duration of weekend.

From 9 March to 11 March 2012 the following sauces are on special, served with the pasta of your choice at branches in Blouberg, Camps Bay, Canal Walk, Cape Town, Cavendish and Tygervalley.
Try: Pomodoro pasta with tomato and fresh basil (R49); Amatriciana with tomato, bacon and chilli (R59); fresca with roasted vegetables, rocket, sundried tomato, ricotta and pine nuts (R60); pollo with seasoned chicken breast strips in a tomato mushroom sauce, garnished with sliced spring onion and sour cream (R65); beef bolognaise topped with Italian parmesan (R59); or butternut cappelletti with burned sage butter, topped with roasted butternut (R59).

Driftwood Café
On Thursday 9 March, Driftwood Café will be having a carbo-loading pasta night.

Il Cappero
Try: Pasta con ricci (sea urchin pasta).
Price: R90.

Il Leone Mastrantonio
Try: Prawn pasta. It’s not on the menu, but they serve it every day so just ask for it. Shelled prawns sautéed in chilli, garlic and white wine, tossed with cherry tomatoes, fresh rocket and roasted pine nuts and served with linguine.
Price: R120.

Try: Carapulcra ravioli with pesto and chicken; chupe de camarones (prawn stew) reduction with tagliatelle and poached egg; or Peruvian mince with Huancaina sauce lasagne.
Price: all R100 each.

Magica Roma
Try: Seafood pasta with chilli and garlic.
Price: R95.

Try: Piselli with creamy Parma ham and peas, served with long or short pasta.
Price: between R54 and R76.

Try: Spaghetti scoglio in Carta Fata, a spaghetti dish made with mixed seafood, fresh cherry tomatoes and chilli and placed in an imported paper wrapping (Carta Fata).
Price: R140.

Primi branches in Camps Bay, Cavendish, Century City, Constantia, Paarl, Sea Point, Somerset West, Tableview, Tyger Valley, and V&A Waterfront are offering a special carbo-loading menu. Try their basil, lemon, Pecorino, zucchini and tomato pasta with either fillet medallions (R95), Chicken (R72), or slow-roasted vegetables (R68).


Try: Spaghetti vongole, a dish of clams with a touch of garlic and olive oil served with spaghetti.
Price: R84.


La Sosta
Try: Bucatini all 'amatriciana Bianca bucatini, a dish of onions,  crispy Italian smoked Pancetta, Pecorino and Grana Padano cheese.
Price: R65

By Kelly Pluke and Katharine Jacobs

Where's your favourite place to stock up on pasta? Tell us about it in an email to and we’ll do our best to include them.

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