Entertaining Photo Credit: Clinton Hussey

10 Italian Must-Haves For Your Pantry

Stock up on these pantry must-haves for a taste of Italia at home.

10 Essentials for the Italian pantry

1. Carnaroli rice by Acquerello
This risotto rice from the North is aged one year and then put into vacuum-packed tins or bags for freshness.

2. Italian (or Spanish) tinned tuna
Often packaged in beautifully retro tins—it’s the taste and texture that can’t be replicated by domestic brands.

3. Grissini
These breadsticks can be made quite easily, but there are plenty of great store-bought brands that are imported from Italy. Serve on their own with an aperitif, or wrapped with salumi for a great party snack.

4. Tipo ’00’ flour
The secret ingredient for making authentic Napoli pizza and fresh pastas.

5. Domenica Fiore Olio Novello
This organic olive oil from Tuscany is pressed from the first olives of the season and packaged in stainless steel bottles—brought to you by Vancouver mining mogul Frank Giustra.

6. Salumi
If it’s bought from your Italian butcher it needs nothing—slice and serve.

7. Carpano Antica Formula red vermouth
Made from a recipe dating back to 1786, this slightly sweet vermouth (served cellar cool) makes for a perfect aperitif—guaranteed to get those taste buds ready for a party.

8. Imported dry pasta
Look for brands like Maccheroni Calabresi—not that expensive, and far superior to those made in North America.

9. Auricchio provolone
This is far removed from the bland domestic variety Americans put on sandwiches. Its unexpected sharp bite makes it the star of any antipasti platter.

10. San Marzano tomatoes
These tomatoes are perfectly balanced in terms of sweetness and acidity. They’re pricey but they don’t need much else to make them into a sauce—Mother Nature (and a few farmers in Italy) have already done the heavy lifting. Not all San Marzano tomatoes are created equal—shop around and find a brand that suits your taste. Look for the D.O.P. (Denominazione di Origine Protetta) designation to ensure it’s really from the area.

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