Today Adelaide Food Central had a gorgeous Italian feast at Basilico Cafe on Main North Road, Prospect. This small Italian eatery has provided its customers with smokey wood oven pizzas, luscious pasta and other authentic Italian delicacies, for a few years now. With the quality of their food and passion for the industry, I believe that they will continue to serve for many more.
We started by sampling three of their pastas including the Penne Ragu – prime cut meat slow cooked in tomato sauce and herbs. The pasta sauce was still smoking when the dish came out, and you could smell the aromas of the sugo. The delicate flavour of the fennel helped to give the dish that special Italian difference, and balanced well with the authentic tomato sauce.
My favourite dish was the Gnocchi Chicken – chicken, mushrooms, spring onions, sundried tomato and white wine. When I feel like eating something a little bit naughty, I always go for this combination. Firstly the gnocchi was cooked perfectly, firm but soft enough to not taste like dough. Secondly, the addition of the sundried tomato worked well with the chicken and the mushrooms. The cream and white wine sauce gave the dish flavour and authenticity.
The last pasta we tried was the Spaghetti Vongole – vongole cockles cooked in olive oil, chilli, wine, garlic and parsley. The first thing I said out loud after trying this was ‘this tastes just like my Dad makes it’ and he is of Italian heritage. A vongole pasta works really well with a basic olive oil and white wine sauce, as a heavier one will override the subtle fish flavour. The cockles were very fresh and you could tell that they had been sourced from a local, non-frozen market.
We were not quite finished with our carb overload, so we sampled the Mushroom Risotto – porcini mushrooms and spring onions in a creamy sauce. I never really choose to order risotto from Italian restaurants as I am more of a pasta girl, but this dish was to die for. The creamiest risotto you could imagine with fresh mushrooms and petite spring onions. I guarantee this rice will keep you feeling full and warm inside.
We could not leave without trying two divine pizzas including the Basillico Special – baked pizza base with fresh tomato, rocket, parmesan and prosciutto. Piled high onto the thin base of the pizza was the fresh rocket, salty prosciutto and of course tangy parmesan. Now this is exactly the way that Italians make their pizza. Rarely do they actually cook any of the ingredients on top, they are kept fresh and tasty. Even after eating a few slices I felt like I was eating something healthy rather than a heavy pizza.
The second pizza we had was the Supreme – tomato sauce, mozzarella, leg ham, pepperoni, mushroom, capsicum, olives and onion. This is one of the best pizzas that I have tried in a long time, and I have had my fair share of them. Not only were the toppings authentically Italian, but they were evenly spread over the base, which is something that we always watch out for.
Thank you for the team at Basilico Cafe for having us along to try their incredible menu. You have truly impressed with the fresh and authentic ingredients that you use for dishes. Basilico Cafe is open Monday to Thursday from 12pm-9pm, Friday and Saturday from 12pm-9:30pm and on Sunday from 5pm-9pm.
Words by Tomika Salerno
WHERE: 140 Main North Rd, Prospect