Italian food is all about simplicity, which means every ingredient counts – and these are 5 of Giada’s favorites.
Giada was honored to highlight authentic Italian ingredients with the Italian consulate in LA to encourage people to support these Italian businesses. When it comes to Italian cuisine, a dish can pack a powerful punch with just a few ingredients – so quality matters! The Linguine with Anchovy and Walnuts that Giada demonstrates above only requiers 9 ingredients – but it’s loaded with vibrant flavors, thanks in part to some of Giada’s favorite authentic Italian ingredients below.
5 Of Giada’s Favorite Italian Ingredients
Italian Linguine Pasta – This pasta from Rustichella D’Abruzzo is made in small-production in Italy only using the finest ingredients – and their process of extruding the pasta with bronze dies and slowly air-drying gives it a fantastic rustic texture. Not only does the brand carry diverse and authentic pasta shapes that are difficult to find elsewhere, but the pasta itself is noticeably a cut above the rest.
Calabrian Chili Pepper Paste – Seasoned readers know this is one of Giada’s absolute favorites! These spicy peppers from Calabria aren’t just hot, but they have a great depth of flavor and some sweetness to them, too. They add layers of warm flavor to any dish they’re added to… just add a little at a time, though, becuase they’re no joke!
Italian Fish Sauce (Colatura di alici di Cetara) – While people may associate fish sauce with Vietnamese or Thai cuisine, it’s actually very prevalent in Italian cooking, too – and this version originated in ancient Rome. This is a truly powerful ingredient – it adds a distinct rich, umami flavor and saltiness to any dish. While it hasn’t reached mainstream popularity in American cuisine yet, we think it’s basically liquid gold! Add just a dash to pasta, vegetables, and even meat to enhance savory flavors.
Anchovy Paste – Similarly to Italian Fish Sauce, anchovy paste adds a great kick of umami saltiness to any dish. Those who even proclaim they don’t like anchovies might be surprised at how much this paste can enhance a dishes flavor! If a dish calls for filets of anchovy, like the pasta above, you can use this as a quick substitute.
Parmigiano Reggiano – If you thought Parmigiano Reggiano was just a fancier way to say Parmesan, you’re certainly not alone – some of us didn’t even realize the real differences until Giada made this video! As a matter of fact, “Parmesan” refers to domestic Parmesan that is about half the price of authentic Parmigiano, but generally isn’t aged for as long, nor does it have as much complexity in flavor. This 24-month Parmigiano Reggiano is the real deal – you can always tell by the rind, too! The 2-year aging process develops the nutty, delicious flavor of the cheese, and it gives it a wonderful texture as well.