Posted June 14, 2009 by Jennifer Lam in Destinations

Eating in Italy

I’ve been back in Sydney for almost a week now and if there was one country I wish I had spent more time in, it would be Italy. Due to the train strike in France, I spent an extra three days in Nice and subsequently, three days less in Italy. So we threw out our plans to see the Amalfi Coast and Rome and flew to Greece a day early, leaving three days to eat our hearts out in Bologna!
On the first night, we accidentally over-ordered -forgetting the difference in serving sizes between France and Italy. Research showed that plenty of visitors and locals considered Pizzeria Nicola as one of the best. With decent prices, a menu which covered all bases and massive serves, I couldn’t agree more. We had the bruschetta, prosciutto melone, riso ai frutti di mare, pappardelle ai funghi porcini and the quattro stagioni pizza; yes, all of this for two.

bruschetta from pizzeria nicola
Bruschetta from Pizzeria Nicola

The prosciutto was so fragrant… sweet, slightly salty, delicate and paired brilliantly with fresh rockmelon.

prosciutto melone
Prosciutto melone from Pizzeria Nicola

The risotto was served generously with mussels, prawns, vongole and calamari; the rice was moist and al dente. My pasta was fresh and creamy, perfect with the rich and slightly nutty porcini mushrooms -delectable!

riso ai frutti di mare - seafood risotto
Riso ai frutti di mare from Pizzeria Nicola

pappardelle ai funghi porcini, pasta with porcini mushroom
Pappardelle ai funghi porcini from Pizzeria Nicola

As for the pizza… let’s start with the crust. It was thin, its edges were crisp and brown and there were plenty of gorgeously textured air bubbles. The wood-fired base was topped with a tasty balanced combination of tomatoes, mozzarella, ham, mushroom, artichoke and pork sausage.

quattro stagioni pizza with tomatoes, mozzarella, ham, mushroom, artichoke, pork sausage
Quattro stagioni pizza from Pizzeria Nicola

The next day, we checked out Trattoria Tony for its Bologna specialty of ragu (bolognese sauce). Traditional bolognese is actually less tomatoey than its international adaptations of which I’m used to. The meat sauce was an aromatic mix of uniformly chopped carrot, onion, celery, garlic, porcini mushrooms, mince, tomatoes. We loved it ladled over the homemade tagiatelle and green lasagne.

antipasto misto at trattoria tony
Antipasto misto from Trattoria Tony

lasagne verdi al forno
Lasagne verdi al forno from Trattoria Tony

tagiatelle al ragu
Tagiatelle al ragu from Trattoria Tony

fragole con gelato - fresh strawberries and icecream
Fragole con gelato from Trattoria Tony

creme caramelCreme caramel from Trattoria Tony

venice landscape
A quick trip to Venice

Pizzeria Nicola
Piazza San Martino, 9
Bologna 40126, Italy
Phone: +39 51 23 2502
Trattoria Tony
Via Augusto Righi, 1
Bologna 40126, Italy
Phone: +39 51 23 2852

More on food from Santorini and Dubai soon! 🙂

Jennifer Lam

Jennifer is the founder of I Ate My Way Through. Growing up in the multicultural melting pot of Sydney’s Inner West as a second generation Australian (of Vietnamese refugee parents of Teochew Chinese ancestry), Jen has always had a deep curiosity about global cuisines, culinary heritage and the cultural assimilation of immigrants. For Jen and her family, food is always at the centre of all celebrations, life events and milestones. A lover of the finer things in life, as well as cheap eats, her blogging ethos is all about empowering and inspiring people to expand their culinary repertoire. These days, you'll most likely find Jen blogging about slow & intentional living On The Slow Lane and sharing what she knows now about mindful parenting and play-based learning at Mama's Got This.