“Having trained since a young age under the guidance of traditional Italian chefs, the first kitchen rule I learned was that nothing is ever wasted. I use my skills and knowledge to use every part of the ingredient.”
Tagliatelle al ragu; goat ricotta gnocchi with mushrooms; and tagliolini al carbonara.
The name literally means slow pasta, and Carmine Costantini channels the values of the slow food movement inside the most ruggedly authentic osteria you’re likely to find this side of Emilia Romagna. Building on local and organic ingredients, he cooks dishes virtually unknown on this side of the world, such as calzagatti fritti – cheesy polenta and borlotti beans cooked in garlic and tomato and fried into fat fingers topped with ragged chunks of fresh squacquerone, a tangy soft cow’s milk cheese from Thomastown cheese hero That’s Amore. Costantini’s own cured meats sit inside a glass case like religious relics: rich slices of bresaola; herb-flecked pancetta; whisper-pink culatello, to be served with gnocchi fritto. But it’s his tagliatelle with “Carmine’s ragu” you’re really here for; a transcendent mix of beef, veal and pork, braised for hours with celery, onion, carrot, tomato paste and broth – unmissable.
“Costantini is the real deal; old-fashioned cooking values given human form ... Pasta Adagio ... a simple place serving some of the most bang-on authentic Italian food you’re likely to find anywhere.”
Time Out Melbourne
Authentic, rustic, hands-on Italian restaurant