Golden oil from my pizza’s four cheeses slides down my chin. I am still sitting in the driver’s seat, eating the takeaway straight out of the pizza box. The family might not be getting quite as much dinner as they first anticipated. It is so good!
During this distressing period of self-isolation and lockdown due to COVID-19, Manuka’s Italian restaurant, Antica Ricetta, is continuing to feed their regulars (as well as new clientele) with takeaway and home deliveries via Deliveroo (with a wine option!)
Johnny and his dad, Carmelo, have owned and run the restaurant for the past five years.
The name – Antica Ricetta – is taken from the Italian, meaning ‘ancient recipe’.
Rooted in time-honoured recipes that have withstood the watchful eye of many a Nonna, the chefs at Antica Ricetta also enjoy creating new taste sensations.
Their menu is a blend of traditional Italian dishes and some modern twists.
Johnny says they make everything fresh on the premises, from the pizza dough to the pastas and all their sauces.
The Regino pizza is a big seller and I can taste why. Generous rounds of buffalo mozzarella and milder stretches of fior di latte (fresh cow’s milk mozzarella) are melted over acerbic crumbles of gorgonzola with the nutty sharpness of parmesan shreds scattered about. All this on a deliciously soft spongy pizza base with a crisp crust.
Another crowd favourite is the Diavola. This pizza is less about the cheese and all about that hot salami with some mild capsicum pieces on top. It. Is. Delicious.
I have ordered the gnocchi to go. I have never bitten into a piece of gnocchi so tender. Large pillow-soft knobs of gnocchi soak up a delicate tomato and basil sauce.
The other pasta dish I order is ‘Tortellini all’ heaven’ (ok, it’s actually called Tortello all’anatra). It’s oversized, tender tortellini with a braised duck ricotta cheese and orange peel filling. It comes in a robust butter and sage reduction that is wonderful and comforting. This has been sprinkled with parmesan and basil. Am I still sitting in the car? Yes. Am I still eating? Yes. Sorry family.
I want to order all the same dishes again next time, especially the Regina pizza and the tortellini, but the unique Vulcano pizza is also in my sights. Johnny says that the Vulcano “is a double-base pizza with tomato sauce, mozzarella cheese, capsicum, onion and hot salami”.
You might think Vulcano is so-named because of the salami. Not quite. As Johnny explains: “It rises during the cooking taking on the shape of a volcano.”
Johnny tells me that some of the other popular pasta dishes with regulars are the Fettucini Bolognese, the Lasagna al Forno, and the Pappardelle Calabrese.
The food at Antica Ricetta is exceptional Italian cuisine. Johnny, Carmelo and the chefs at Antica Ricetta are very clever.
While for the time being, you can’t sit inside the trattoria-like restaurant with its ambient lighting and beautiful photos of homeland Italy, thanks to home delivery you can still enjoy Antica Ricetta at home (or in your car).
Antica Ricetta is located at Shop 13-14 M Centre, Palmerston Ln, in the Manuka Shopping Precinct.
Lunch orders can be placed between 11:30 am to 2:30 pm from Tuesday- Sunday.
Dinner orders can be placed between 5:00 pm to 9:00 pm from Tuesday- Sunday.
Coffees are available from 11:30 am.
For order and pickup, call 6295 2778 or check them out on Facebook.
Click here for Antica Ricetta’s takeaway menu or to order your own pizza and pasta feast (and maybe some wine) delivered by Deliveroo.