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15 italian gift baskets

Italian gift baskets can inspire anyone to explore the cooking styles of Italy. They can also take someone on a little sabbatical without a costly vacation. Giving a wonderful Italian gift basket will inspire anyone to take a trip to Italy right in their own kitchen.

What Italian gift basket would be complete without some imported Italian pasta? You might want to include a few different varieties to allow them to be used in several dishes of different styles. Pasta shapes were created for certain types of sauces, so including a few choices of shapes will give someone some options for the types of dishes in which they will use their pastas. Great popular types of pastas are spaghetti, angel hair, fusili, rigatoni, bow ties and fettuccini.

Italian food is not all made from tomatoes, but they are a very common element in Italian cooking. If you would like to bring a true Italian taste into the basket for your gift recipient to use in their kitchen, try to include some imported canned tomatoes as well. San Martzano tomatoes are widely available and have an unparalleled flavor. You can find them whole or crushed. You can also find fire roasted tomatoes, which will add a smoky and deep layer of flavor to any dish in which you use them.

Olive oil is another essential in Italian gift baskets. Just as anything else, olive oil comes in many varieties, based on the manner in which it will be used. A general purpose olive oil can be heavy and is better used in meat or heavy dishes. More commonly used in the United States is extra virgin olive oil. This oil is a great all purpose oil for sautéing, sauces, coating meats and pastas and dipping. It is lighter than regular olive oil and is from the first pressing of the olives used to make it. Extra light extra virgin olive oils are used primarily for baking and salad dressings. It is just as its name implies, very light in texture, color and flavor. Any of these types of oil are available in any price range and great olive oils can be quite affordable.

Wines can also be added to Italian gift baskets, and although they are not necessary, they are a nice touch. Plan to include at least one bottle of a quality red wine. Red wines pair better with many of the flavors in Italian cooking and can pick up herbal undertones in sauces. Whites may also be included, especially when the person to whom you are giving the gift basket loves chicken. If you don’t know much about choosing good wines, check with a wine steward at your local liquor store. They will be happy to assist you.

When you think of Italian gift baskets, think of the flavors of Italy. Make sure you add quality items, and if available, items imported from Italy for authentic flavors. Have fun and remember the basics when you give Italian gift baskets.

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