From Italy: the best Christmas gifts… on your table!

Mangia, mangia.…. Xmas is coming, Italian families celebrate with food, wine and happiness. Here our choice for some of the best italian product to enrich your table.
Buon appetito!

Let’s start with pasta.
Feudo Mondello, Sicily

I prepared the traditional dish with Sicilian durum wheat pipe rigate with pumpkin, an easy recipe from the “poor cooking” of the Sicilian history.

Let’s go to Ferrara, one of the most beautiful town in the Emilia Region
Pasta di Canossa was born from an intuition of Ottavio di Canossa and is produced in Ferrara in the ancient Tenuta Cuniola where the Canossa family has been taking care of these lands with passion and dedication for a century. Our Pasta, produced only with our durum wheat, is the result of love for the Emilian artisan traditions, for experimentation and the search for quality.

Have a Happy and prosperous 2022 with … lentils!
In Italy It is a traditional habit to eat lentils at the stroke of midnight on New Year’s Eve
They are said to bring money and luck. Lentils are considered the oldest legume, cultivated as early as 7000 BC. in Mesopotamia and loved by the ancient Romans, to whom we owe the custom of eating them on New Year’s Eve and giving them a “scarsella”, or a leather bag containing lentils, with the hope that they would turn into sound coins during the year. Even today we say “Eat the lentils that bring good luck

Well, Felicia is following the trend with a line of alternative organic pasta to flavour a healthy and natural diet. Felicia was founded in 2009 in Gravina, Apulia. A brand by Andriani SpA Benefit Corporation. Felicia brings to your table an experience based on wellbeing, taste and balance. Made from organic and naturally gluten-free raw materials such as buckwheat, brown rice, oats, chickpeas, lentils, peas and beans.

For your “lentils moment” , Felicia uses red lentils that grown mainly in southern Italy, between Puglia and Basilicata, from organic and sustainable agriculture. There are several kind of pasta like Spaghettini, Spaghettoni (love them….) Sedanini, Red lentil Fusilli and Risoni They are lovable and , considering the “good lluck” superstition… may be a good reason to eat them all year long.

Too lazy to cook?
Chek this: My Instant Pasta created a range linked to tradition and another related to organic. It’s a great novelty for lovers of pasta and good Italian cuisine … ready in 4 minutes!
Easy and quick! Just add some hot water, stir, wait few minutes and enjoy a great pasta dish.variety italian style: fusilli with cheese and fusilli with pesto. The organic line is instead composed of tricolor fusilli . I tried the pesto, and loved it!

Add a drop of oil, but make sure it’s good!
Centonze oil has ancient origins, blossoming along the Mediterranean until reaching Nino Centonze’s Family, custodians of an Olive Oil Legacy. in Castelvetrano, Sicily, where the olive trees are nourished by the mineral present in abundance in the tuff rock on which they majestically stand. Since 1953, this company has been cultivating within this area of extraordinary historical and scenic interest.The “Latomie” are ancient quarries from 800 B.C., testimony to centuries of the Greeks extracting large blocks of limestone tuff for the construction of Selinunte.

Centoze oli characterized by its green colour, fruity fragrance, and rich, complex aromatic composition. These qualities have made the company winner of numerous national and international awards. and recognized by Slow Food Presidium.

Let’ s spice it up !
Let me introduce Italipepe a factory born in 1969 in Rome from the passion of Alfonso Vitaletti. Italpepe exports spices, aromatic herbs, seasonings and salts to 35 countries around the world. It offers a wide range of references including black pepper, chilli, saffron, turmeric, ginger with its properties, oregano, superfoods such as maca, spirulina, moringa, baobab among others.

Santa is coming from a very cold land, perhaps he would love a hot, spiced up drink….
Shall we give him a warm welcome?
The Italipepe Spice Up Your Cocktail line, created by the Chef Davide Mazza, brings home the originality and innovation of the best international mixologists. Nine aromatic mixes (Gin Tonic, Spritz, Mojito, Margarita, Negroni, Irish Coffee, Daiquiri, Hugo and Bloody Mary) able to give refined and intriguing nuances to the most popular cocktails you grind the product directly into the drink and let yourself be amazed by the refined aromatic notes released by fascinating combinations of flavors. Easy!

His Majesty, King Panettone

There are several legends about the birth of the panettone.
The most common dates back to the 1476. It tells of Ugo, a young falcone who worked for Ludovico il Moro, the Duke of Milan. The boy was secretly in love with Adalgisa, daughter of Toni, the most popular baker in Milan. To spend more time with her, Ugo managed to become a pastry cook apprentice. Christmas was coming, and Ugo wanted to give a twist to the usual bread.He sweetened up the dough, adding sugar, butter, eggs, raisins and chopped candied fruits, then he cooked and shaped it like a giant muffin.-The novelty instantly became the talk of the town. Everybody wanted the new Toni’s bread (pan de Toni) soon named panettone.

This year panettone comes for sunny Sicily , created by starred chef Pietro D’Agostino of the Restaurant Capinera of Taormina, available at the Rinascente in Catania, Palermo, Milan and Rome. Pietro D’Agostino’s panettone is characterized by its Sicilian character, thanks to the addition of orange, lemon and mandarin peel or raisins soaked in passito di Pantelleria.

Pietro D’Agostino , a Michelin starred Panettone

What about a panettone with the the flavor of the sea ?
To celebrate the 2021-2022 Holidays, Chef Antonio Scarantino, with the support of the master pastry Andrea Urbani, created a Xmas cake with unusual ingredients: ginger, candied lemon and nori seaweedf adding a sweet and iodized new taste. The result is a fragrant, unique and original sensory experience: a sea of ​​sweetness. Let’s go swimming!

Chef Scarandino of “AlMare” Restaurant in Fano with his unusual panettone dessert

Il Pandoro
The special edition signed by Rustichella d’Abruzzo of the classic dessert of the Christmas Holidays. The star shape, the delicate vanilla scent and the softness of the dough make it the most popular dessert of the Christmas holidays. An artisanal product of the highest quality, the result of a confectionery art based on rigorous and careful respect for the rising times of the precious dough.

Let it shine!
Bottega Stella is a Brut sparkling wine of great personality that originates from a special cuveé obtained from Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Glera grapes. The bottle of great and immediate impact portrays a constellation on its surface. The blue background highlights the stars that shine intensely, thanks to the LED light bulb placed at the base of the bottle and which can be activated through the simple flip of a switch. Original and refined, Bottega Stella is an intriguing suggestion for exclusive parties, informal events or evenings with friends.

Ready to toast?
Let Costaripa do the honours! Try Campostarne, a delicious and highly wine created together with Christiaan Barnard, aged for at least 12 months in small white oak barrel, this wine is delicious and highly digestible, boasting a bouquet of flowers and forest fruits, blackberries and raspberries.
To say goodbye to 2021 and welcome to the New Year, Costaripa suggests Mattia Vezzola Rosè, an elegant rosè caracerized by an effervescence and persistent perlage with little bubbles, with an Intense, well-rounded aroma of ripe fruit with hints of forest fruit.

CESARE ZUCCA Travel, food & lifestyle.
Milanese by birth, Cesare lives between New York, Milan and the rest of the world. He photographs and writes about cities, cultures, lifestyles. He likes to discover both traditional and innovative gastronomic delights. Cesare meets and interview top chefs from all over the world, ‘steals’ their recipes in a ” non touristy tourist ” style

Merry Christmas!
Buon Natale!


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