Published on February 4th, 2013 | by Ann Rickard0
Dining – Authenticity at Ipazzi
THE pizza is entrenched in modern culture all over the world. In Australia, we’re used to our pizzas topped with everything from pork belly to scallops, prawns and calamari– even a lamb curry.
While variety is appreciated, many Italian chefs roll their eyes at what the world has done to this basic, but delicious, productthat originated in Naples. Sicilian-born chef Fabio Nocera, owner/operator of Ipazzi Ristorante in Noosa Junction, hides his dismay at some ofthe toppings he sees on Australian pizzas.He is a traditionalist who regards the pizza with reverence. “I don’t want to be impolite,” he said. “But what would you say if I cooked you a juicy steak and then put ice-cream on the top of it? The true pizza is about complicatedsimplicity. Everything starts from thematerials, right back to the flour you use for the base. The base is underestimated. It is azzi like good bread. You could eat it by itself. The basic topping is the best, like the margherita pizza, just a good tomato sauce, quality mozzarella, some basil and extravirgin oil.”
Fabio’s menu, which stays true to his philosophy of simple but genuine Sicilian/Italian fare, has the word organic stamped on every page.
He is as passionat eabout pure, certified organic ingredients as he is about his toppings. Sicilian salt and olive oil, salty ricotta, the best egg plant and Sicilian sausages, fresh basil and tomatoes (no cans allowed), and chewy freshly made pasta all come deliciously together. There is the wonderful carbonara and puttanesca and the Ipazzi tiramisu, which, many say, is the best outside Italy.
The food is prepared with love by Fabio in a tiny kitchen and conveyed to customers with equal love by Fabio’s wife Ruby in thisfamily-run ristorante. When we visited on a rainy Noosa night customers kept piling in long after we’d finished a pizza and two big pasta dishes. There was a buzz that spoke volumes about people determined to have their pizza/pastafix no matter the weather.
Ipazzi Ristorante is hidden beneath businesses in Sunshine Beach Rd (theTransit Centre end, on the same side) soyou must seek it out. Its rustic atmosphereis that of so many tiny cafes you find all overItaly and Sicily: red checked tablecloths, Pavarotti warbling in the background, plenty of lively chatter.