High on Pasta: Celebrating Food That Makes You Happy

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Every size, shape and colour: nothing is more versatile than pasta!
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Every size, shape and colour: nothing is more versatile than pasta!

Hot, cold, in soups or stews, baked or fried, dusted with sugar or plain old boiled, no other foodstuff is as versatile as pasta. We take a look at some other national dishes from around the world in celebration of - maybe ;-) - the world's most loved food.  
Pepperpot... sticky and spicy. Image: Loretta'skitchen
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Pepperpot... sticky and spicy. Image: Loretta'skitchen

Guyana

The Pepperpot dish of Guyana is a meat-based dish simmered in a sauce with cinnamon and peppers, traditionally eaten at Christmas. The ‘ cassareep’ is what adds the unique flavour to this dish, which is like a sticky-sweet stew. Cassareep was invented by the native Amerindians of Guyana and is a molasses-like substance made from boiled cassava roots. The main ingredients are oxtail, limes, garlic, cassareep, cloves, cinnamon, chillies and ginger.
Chilli and cheese stew, often served with red rice
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Chilli and cheese stew, often served with red rice

Bhutan

Ema Datshi is, put simply, a stew made from chillies and cheese. This notoriously fiery dish is eaten daily and is proudly created by the Bhutanese from only a very few ingredients – chillies are essential to the cuisine of this area. The stew is often accompanied by red rice, which the uninitiated are advised to coat their tongue with before taking a mouthful of the spicy stew. Basic ingredients include green chillies, onion, feta-type cheese, garlic, coriander and tomatoes. 
Meat pie is the Aussies' favourite
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Meat pie is the Aussies' favourite

Australia

Nothing obviously springs to mind for an Aussie dish – other than perhaps barbied shrimp – so the national obsession of Australia may come as a surprise: the pie. Yep, stuff put inside a pastry case and baked. Popular fillings include meat, meat and, sometimes, meat. The ‘standard’ Aussie meat pie consists of minced beef and gravy in puff pastry. The essential addition is a big squirt of Tommy K on the top just before devouring it. 
Fermented fish is a firm favourite in Norway
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Fermented fish is a firm favourite in Norway

Norway

Rakfisk is a dish commonly made from trout, but occasionally from other fish, which is salted and fermented for several months, or even a year, and eaten without cooking. The fish is gutted and rinsed then placed in a bucket for salting. Sugar may be added, which speeds up the process. A lid is pressed down and the fish left to ‘cure’. It is eaten as a fillet or sliced, with potatoes and flatbread and may be accompanied by red onion and sour cream.
Simple maybe, but pasta is now a world dish
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Simple maybe, but pasta is now a world dish

Italy

Pasta, of course, is the dish of the day – every day – in Italy. To coincide with National Pasta Day here are a couple of classic dishes. Around Rome pasta is king and a well-known speciality is spaghetti carbonara, a simple dish of ham, eggs, cheese and black pepper. Further south in Sicily the simple combination of hot pasta with a spicy, juicy tomato sauce often tops the menu. Wherever you are in Italy, or the world, you are likely to find a pasta dish of some description on offer. 
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