You may remember my visit to Osteria 2.0 in Shrewsbury recently. I had a darn good meal. But there was something on the menu that caught my eye. It ensnared me. Trapped in my memory, like a helpless fly in a web, the words ‘Carbonara Pizza’.
It needed to be tried. Not least because the Osteria team have labelled it “TRUE EXPERIENCE” on the menu. I don’t think they mean authentic experience necessarily, because I’ve been fortunate to visit Italy on a number of occasions now and I don’t recall seeing this on any menu. I think they mean true in the sense of unforgettable. See it to believe it.
Now that’s the sort of thing that will encourage me to visit again. I would like a true experience. Especially in a nice Italian restaurant where I can enjoy a soft glass of Chardonnay at the same time. Well, Chardonnay isn’t the most Italian choice, but you know what I mean.
What’s on a carbonara pizza?
So I returned and ordered it. We’ve got a mozzarella base – so a white pizza. It is topped with crisp guanciale. Which is basically bacon, but made from pork cheek. Which we all know is one of the most flavourful parts of any animal. They specify crisp on the menu and they do not lie.
Furthermore, you’ve got egg yolk, you’ve got pecorino and you’ve got a twist of black pepper. I put more on, but that’s how I roll. All the ingredients of a classic carbonara, nay, a proper carbonara. And mozzarella. But on a pizza. It sounded phenomenal.
Things started to hot up after I placed my order and the waitress came over to give me an official disclaimer. In hushed tones, she discretely informed me that this was a very rich, fatty and salty pizza. OK, I’m listening. And because of the nature of the cooking process, the egg will be cooked, but there may be softer areas. Take my money. I am sold.
I get where the warning is coming from. Some people can’t take soft eggs (weird.) Others find rich food to be simply overbearing after just a few bites. Those of a nervous disposition simply can’t take this kind of flavour intensity.
How was it?
To me it sounded like heaven. It tasted like it too. It was very rich, intensely flavoured and the guanciale and pecorino added a huge bite of salinity, which actually helped to cut through all that fat. As ever, with an Osteria pizza, the crust was perfection. Just how you will get it in Italy, with a lovely crust, homemade, handstretched shape and soft chewy border. In the middle it is thin, paper thin. As you would want.
I ate the whole thing in surprisingly short order. It was a glutton’s delight. A great celebration of appetite and excess. A powerful explosion of signals to the brain telling you that you are having A Good Time. Plus, if you have it at lunch, you can enjoy the Carbonara Pizza for £10 with that glass of Chardonnay I mentioned. Don’t order the red to go with this one, that way madness lies.
Ladies and gentlemen, I think we have ourselves a GOAT.
🐐 58-59 Mardol, Shrewsbury, SY1 1PP
This write up is purely my opinion of my experience and I paid for my pizza with my own pennies. I don’t know why I have to write this rubbish or who cares, but there you go.