Roi Sicilian Style Red Tomato Pesto
When one thinks of pesto, a vibrant green pesto Genovese usually comes to mind fragrant with basil, but this Sicilian Red Pesto yields the same freshness and versatility while showcasing olive oil from its multi-generation producer, sun-dried tomatoes and buttery cashews as the star ingredients. The sauce is tomato forward, with a rich and robust taste that encompasses the sweetness of sun-dried tomatoes and deep umami of well-browned tomato paste, rounded out with nutty notes from the cashews and salt from the Parmesan. While many jarred red pestos taste like slightly-tweaked marinara, Olio Roi’s recipe is considerably more complex, just as delicious straight from the jar as it would be incorporated into your favorite dish.
Use as you would green pesto: Toss with your favorite pasta or swirl into a skillet sauce with crushed tomatoes, garlic and olive oil the character of a long simmer and the ease of an off-the-cuff meal. Dollop atop soups, spoon into to an oil and vinegar mixture for a fresh and punchy salad dressing, or substitute in place of tomato sauce in our Pasta with Browned Butter Yogurt and herbs for an Italian take on this Turkish-influenced dish.
Roi Basil Ligurian Green Pesto
While many jarred pestos are produced with flavor-altering preservatives and muddle the flavor of basil with other leafy greens to maintain color, Roi’s traditional Basil Ligurian Green Pesto is deliciously fresh—with the aroma of just-picked basil in the convenience and longevity of a jar.
The sauce is simply made with gently-dehydrated basil, garlic, pine nuts, salt and high-quality extra-virgin olive oil hand selected by the producer—a fourth-generation company that’s been in the olive oil business since 1900. With its deeply-concentrated flavor and fragrant ingredients, a little of this vibrant green pesto goes a long way—waking up the palate with an initial hit of salt and then blooming into an herbaceous and slightly-earthy sauce that doesn’t overwhelm with garlic, as many store-bought pestos do.
Use this verdant sauce as a finisher to add brightness to brothy soups such as Soup Au Pistou or spoon into a mixture of oil and your favorite vinegar for a punchy salad dressing to elevate greens and grains. Drizzle over meat or fish for a hit of freshness, or go the simple route and toss with your pasta of choice—making sure to dilute the pesto with pasta water and an extra glug of olive oil before stirring it in off heat so the basil won’t wilt.
Pasta Mancini Spaghetti alla Chitarra
Italian artisanal producer Pasta Mancini extrudes its Spaghetti alla Chitarra through unique bronze dies, based on traditional knowledge that bronze equipment yields porous, rough-surfaced pasta that helps sauce cling to the noodles. This chitarra pasta has a satisfying chewy texture that falls somewhere between spaghetti and bucatini; its square cross-section has slightly more surface area than cylindrical noodles, so it holds onto sauce amazingly well. Made from local, freshly milled semolina flour, the pasta is slow-dried over the course of days to better preserve its robust flavor and texture.
Rustichella d'Abruzzo Senatore Cappellli Orecchiette
Orecchiette—a small, round, dimpled pasta from Puglia—is one of our favorite pasta shapes because of its unique balancing of chewy and tender textures. The delicate edges cook more thoroughly than the dense, chewy center, providing textural contrast, and the cupped shape holds onto sauce. Rustichella d'Abruzzo's handmade version is made with Senatore Cappelli heirloom wheat, a native Italian varietal. The historic family company traces its roots back to 1924 in Penne, Italy, and still makes its pasta using traditional methods, including slow-drying at low temperatures over the course of days; this dedication and attention to detail result in high-quality, delicious orecchiette. Feel free to use it in any recipe where a chunky pasta is specified. Try one of our Tuesday Night favorites, Orecchiette with Sausage and Chard.
Hayden Flour Mills Pasta Flour
If you're taking the time to make homemade pasta, you definitely want a flour that will give the best flavor and texture. Made with an aromatic blend of White Sonora and Blue Beard Durum heritage wheats, Hayden's stone-ground Pasta Flour has nutty depth and a noticeably more complex flavor than other varieties.
Antica Valle d'Ofanto Romana-Style Artichokes in Olive Oil
We were impressed by the superior flavor and texture of these Italian jarred artichokes: Whereas many brands are bottled with cheap oil and stiff amounts of citric and ascorbic acids, muting their natural flavors and leaving a flat pickled taste, Antica Valle D'Ofanto packs their tender yet firm artichoke hearts with wine vinegar and spices to complement their natural savory, vegetal flavors. The third-generation family producer from southeast Italy uses fresh, locally sourced artichokes, which are expertly trimmed so they have a meaty texture and no fibrous strands leftover from the leaves. They're equally great for snacking, chopping and adding to salads or pasta, or topping pizza or focaccia.