We've long looked to Gustiamo for specialty Italian goods. The name may sound familiar from Senior Culinary Editor Sasha's story about colatura di alici and his subsequent recipe for spaghetti con la colatura di alici. It wouldn't be fair of us to keep Gustiamo to ourselves, so this year, we partnered with it to create a custom gift box full of our favorite items.
So what's in there?
Let's start with the pistachio spread, one of Ed's favorites to slather on bread, spoon over ice cream, or just eat with a spoon. (We've seen him do it!) The price tag on the jar may seem a bit staggering, but the spread is made solely from Sicilian pistachios, olive oil, sugar, and sea salt. It has a sweet, slightly salty flavor that warrants double-dipping that spoon.
Then, of course, there's colatura, the original Italian umami bomb from the town of Cetara on the Amalfi Coast. The sauce itself is made from aged anchovies and sea salt. It's rich, savory, and can be used much like we use fish sauce—as a flavor enhancer for meat, fish, veggies, and more.
Should you want some classic Italian pasta, we also included Gemelli Faella, a high-quality dried pasta. Faella is a pasta producer from Gragnano and is renowned for its dried pasta, all of which is extruded through bronze dies and dried slowly at a low temperature. The particular shape, gemelli, is a favorite of Sasha, who loves its chew and coarse texture, which holds sauce really well.
Most San Marzano tomatoes that you find in the United States aren't as authentic as you think. That's why we love these ones that are actually grown around San Marzano sul Sarno, Italy. Once you have good-quality jarred tomatoes in your cabinet, you'll be ready to make great tomato sauce whenever the mood strikes.
Now come the beans, first borlotti beans, a special variety of cranberry beans that cook up nice and plump—worthy of the time and effort you put into them. Then, there are coffee beans from Sant’Eustachio—a storied cafe in Rome—for true Italian mornings right at home.
Want more gift recommendations? Check out our holiday gift guide with our picks for every type of recipient.