It seems ironic that a mobile food vendor has a ‘permanent’ parking space, but Nonna Mallozzi Pasta e Panini has secured a spot in the popular laneway for the next six months. It is set back from the thoroughfare, so as not to block passing traffic, with a fence built around it and lock-up gates.
When Nonna Mallozzi is open for trade, you’ll see the sandwich board marking the spot about halfway up Peel Street, spruiking daily pasta and panini specials.
If you get there early in the morning, you may be lucky enough to get one of chef Stefano Magrofuoco’s croissants, which are baked inside the purpose-built mobile kitchen. But when InDaily visited, the coffee machine was still “on its way” – Nonna Mallozzi opened only on Monday.
Panini are Italian-style grilled sandwiches generally made with soft bread rolls, filled with ingredients such as salami, cheese and mortadella, and wrapped in a ribbon of paper. Magrofuoco bakes his panini rolls on site and also offers a couple of pasta options prepared while you wait.
You can either eat in or take away. Eat in means that you will find a stool to perch on inside the fence in front of the big blue truck, balance your cardboard container of pasta on your knee and eat with a plastic fork while being entertained by Magrofuoco and front-of-“truck” manager Alessandro Antonucci as they run the show, calling out to each other and waiting customers in dulcet Italian tones.
Or you can head back to the office and eat over your keyboard – there are no nearby parks in which to sit and enjoy some fresh air and greenery with your lunch.
Favourite dish: Penne with pork, fennel, rocket and chilli ($12). The penne is cooked to al dente perfection (firm to the bite) while you wait. The steaming pasta is mixed with a tender and aromatic pulled-pork mixture. Magrofuoco says he slowly roasts the pork for 10 to 12 hours with fresh fennel. He tops it with fresh rocket leaves and then calls out to offer chilli (it’s optional and we should have asked for extra because it wasn’t quite enough) and parmesan cheese, which is hand-grated.
The penne with pork is an excellent dish. Light but generous in quantity and flavour and deserving of a glass of wine with which to enjoy it.
Other dishes: When InDaily visited there were two more pasta choices on the blackboard: Strozzapreti (hand-rolled pasta) with pumpkin, ricotta and spinach and Napoli bolognese ($12). There were also two paninis on offer: Pork, spinach and black pepper or eggplant parmigiana ($9). As a side dish, Nonna Mallozzi offers chips with parmigiana sauce spooned over the top ($7).
Something sweet/to drink: Magrofuoco says there are more pastries to come, but on this day the sweetest thing available was the bottled juice and cans of Coke lined up on the counter alongside the bottled water.
If only Nonna Mallozzi also provided little bottles of Chianti, picnic rugs and a green space to enjoy the last of the gentle autumn sun.
22 Peel Street, Adelaide.
Open Monday to Friday 8am to 5pm.
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