Of all the ethnic cuisines available in metropolitan Melbourne, perhaps none are close to Aussie hearts as Italian food. Coming over in mass waves of migration post-WWII, Italian immigrants shaped the Aussie palate, giving us the culinary gifts of olive oil, pizza, pasta, and espresso. When heading down Lygon Street in Little Italy, the whiff of garlic bread and roasted coffee beans breaks through the little crowds of college students and professionals typing away while sipping a latte.
While all spaghetti and pasta is delicious, it’s fun to know what subtle differences give an array of pasta dishes such unique flavors. There are obviously over a dozen kinds of actual pasta cuts, from angel hair spaghetti to linguine to risotto; make sure to look up each cut so you get your favorite pick on the menu. Additionally, each differently named pasta has special flavors and ingredients that make it a unique dish in of itself; check some of those examples in the QIKI Primer below!
What sets apart the pasta restaurants in Carlton is the authentic homemade sauces and freshly-sourced ingredients. Pasta Bolognese comes with top-quality meat minced into the sauce with butter and herbs. Every chef makes sure to marry the sauce to the noodles by adding starchy pasta water to the sauce. Never soggy, never chewy – the pasta restaurants in Carlton are a special treat and true culinary delight. Outside of Naples itself, some would argue the pasta restaurants in Carlton and Melbourne itself are some of the highest-quality in the world.
Spaghetti al Pomodoro
A base Italian spaghetti dish, Spaghetti al pomodoro comes with fresh pasta, olive oil, juicy red tomatoes, locally-grown basil, and more Italian aromatics. Enjoy the local specialties that come with homemade pasta and freshly-picked ingredients; it simply cannot get any better.
This dish is best for those who want a plain, straightforward Italian experience.
Spaghetti alla Carbonara
Spaghetti al Carbonara is special in how the sauce gets married to the pasta. By combining eggs and cheese with the base Napoli sauce, you get a thicker, silkier, more creamy sauce to enjoy while chomping down on your noodles.
Here is a true Aussie specialty; raviolis filled with wagyu steak chopped into bits. This would be our QIKI pick for best blend of Italian and Aussie tastes. The high-quality beef is complemented by the little pot sicker pasta pieces. Served in a rosemary sauce, definitely look for this specialty at the local pasta restaurants in Carlton.
Another QIKI culinary favorite, gnocchi is Italy’s answer to Asian dumplings, and they are just splendid. These little potato pieces are made by boiling potatoes, mashing into dough with flour, egg, and ricotta cheese, and baking them to crispy dumpling perfection. Local specialties come with rabbit (classic bush tucker) and homemade sauces of your choice. Another perfect dish you can find at the local past restaurants in Carlton!
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