I was curious about the montanara which are small rounds of fried pizza dough which hail from the mountains around Naples. The soft puffy dough was flash fried, filled with a homestyle beef and onion ragu, finished in the wood oven and sprinkled with pecorino shavings. Moreish morsels indeeed. Madre has a tight, all-Italian wine list from which we selected a Babo Sangiovese made in Tuscany by Aussie winemaker Justin Bubb. Its cherryspice flavours and chewy tannins made it a cracker with every dish.
pasta special was a perfect example of the Italian belief in simplicity and
respect for good produce. Tentacles of pan-fried whole baby octopus were
wrapped around ribbons of handmade tagliatelle flecked with fresh chilli,
garlic, parsley and fresh tomato. I loved the clean flavours and sea freshness
of the dish but added some chilli oil just to add a little more punch. There
was confusion with the order so our pizza didn’t arrive (I often wish waitstaff
would just write orders down) but it was worth a wait. The Assunta (named for
the ascension of the Virgin Mary) was a textbook-perfect pizza with the classic
blistered, leopard-spotted, soft and chewy cornicione (outer edge) and a tender
and pliable base topped with thinly-sliced pancetta and portobello mushrooms,
mozzarella, shaved provolone, earthy truffle salt and fragrant rosemary oil.
perfect summer Panzanella salad impressed with ripe-tasting tomatoes, fried
sourdough cubes, cucumber, parsley, basil pickled, red onion, a splash of olive
oil and vinegar and spoonful of fresh, creamy ricotta.
Madre’s dough is not heavy, we still needed a light dessert and a silky-smooth
vanilla panna cotta, with the proper wobble, worked well. Made with natural
yoghurt, it had a hint of tanginess which was a good foil for the rich
sweetness of a syrupy orange toffee sauce.
57 Gilbert St, Adelaide