For those of you that follow my blog, you will be well aware that I worship Italian food.
That I believe my taste buds are of Italian descent (even if the rest of me isn’t) and that I were Italian in my last life, and quite possibly every life preceding that.
So, when I was invited to a Pizza making class at Parente Pizzaria Ristorante on Sunday, I was beyond excited.
Cory and I have recently put in a wood fired pizza oven, so these dreamy Italian delights are now a permanent and regular fixture in our household. But, I wanted the secrets for making the perfect pizza, straight from the Italian source.
Best lesson I learned, only put Mozzarella on the bottom.
Of course, this Pizza making class, wasn’t your average run-of-the-mill cooking lesson.
It was a foodie fight to the death (not literally).
Who’s pizza would reign supreme? Mine, I hoped… (Cue Rocky music and air punches) Ahem, we all know I’m just a wee bit competitive…
I was spending the arvo with a group of awesome bloggers and a pair of food lovin’ civilians Lisa & Todd, who won a competition to come along as well.
Mcfuzzlebutt’s Manchen, Adelaide Foodies, Ham Eggs Mmm Crayfish and Glam Adelaide were my hilarious table companions and chowdown challengers for the day.
We were also joined by Tom from Howard Vinyard (my new favourite vinyard) who was keeping our glasses topped up while we indulged in the three course meal, courtesy of Steven Parente and his generous family.
Yes, Parente’s is a family business. Whether it be running the kitchen or running the show. Father, mother and son, they’re all involved.
This restaurant has a homely feel, but in a good way. There’s no pretentiousness. Just great, honest Italian food.
Parente’s aren’t trying to keep up with the Hot’n’Hip Jones’s, and that’s their mainstay, the insurance of their, hopefully, continued success… This, and the Drive-Thru Pizza window (Uh huh, that window’s a stroke of genius and I wish I lived local enough to actually warrant using it).
Upon arrival, we were all greeted with a glass of Howard’s Sparkling Brut.
This was not my first dalliance with this delectable drop, nor will it be the last.
I have Summertime day dreams of hot, breezy arvo’s and a glass of cool, refreshing Howard bubbles now on my mind. Sheer happiness.
We were treated to a guided tour of the Kitchen. My eyes and nose were immediately drawn to the huge stockpot of mothership Parente’s sauce, bubbling away on the stove. I’d bathe in that tomato goodness. I seriously would.
We were then given our Pizza tutorial, and afterwards set to work creating our masterpieces.
I put my hand up to go first… Hmmm this however, was not such a smart move.
I had to cheat and add more topping to my Pizza at the end, after everyone else was finished. But, quite frankly friends, there was no other choice to keep me in the game… It needed that fetta.
Anyhoo, Once the tournament Pizza’s were ready for the oven, we all sat down to feast.
And, feast we did.
I love Antipasto. And, I love it even more when I’ve got a cool delicious white to drink with it, just like Howard’s Pinot Gris.
This wine will be a fixture in my fridge from here on in. It’s light, easy and oh, so lovely.
The Antipasto was brimming with fried polenta, arancini, housemade marinated mushrooms, cured meats… the list goes on, and on. I could’ve easily kept eating until the plate was clean, but I knew there was more to come…
Prawn and Broccoli Fusilli with Aglio E Olio sauce and a Penne with Spicy Pepperoni and Tomato sauce.
The prawns were perfectly cooked. Every. Single. One.
This, is no mean feat especially in a pasta sauce. The broccoli was tender but firm and the garlic was a fragrant perfume, not an overpowering cologne.
The penne fared the same. I love chilli, and this had just the right amount. The tomato sauce was as delicious as I’d imagined, since meeting it earlier, brewing on the stove.
In both cases, the pasta itself was spot on, Al Dente perfection.
By the time we finished the pasta course, I was already full… But, I had to dig deep and soldier on, because our pizza’s were now almost ready.
What a sight to behold. I can still smell them coming out of the oven now. A procession line of serious deliciousness.
Mine came out first, and my heart skipped a little beat… maybe, just maybe…But, then I saw everyone else’s and it was clear, this competition was fierce.
Finally, It was time to judge. We were all on the edges of our seats… At least, I was.
We ate our Pizza with a Cabernet Franc from Howard’s named ‘Amos’. And, dear wine lovers, they call it Amos, but I call it Incredible.
Smooth, Subtle, Delicious. I love this wine. LOOOOVE it.
In the end, Adelaide Foodie’s reigned supreme in our Italian Iron Chef challenge. Their Prawn and Spinach pizza was an unbeatable, well composed delight. Tina and Xin… Until we meet and compete again… You’ll keep… Wahahahahaha (Villianous laugh)
All, in all. If you are a local, cruising through the area or simply prepared to travel for a great, well priced feed and a delectable Pizza, you need to put Parente’s on your must go list.
Parente’s isn’t all about wood fired, super thin and super trendy. But, they are all about family, tradition and super delicious.
Until next week… xxx
PARENTE PIZZARIA RISTORANTE
Address: 275 Payneham Road, Royston Park, SA 5070
Phone:(08) 8362 9166
Thursday & Friday – 10am to 2:30pm
Sunday – 11am to 3pm
Monday Pizza T/A only – 5pm till late
Tuesday to Sunday – 5pm till late