Cooking with Quality Products

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Recently I received an email from Olio2go, a company whose mission is to seek out the best quality products from all over Italy asking me if I’d like to review some of their artisanal products, after checking out their link of course I said yes!

One of the three products I received was Olio Verde Novello coming from Castelvetrano, Italy on the Island of Sicily, this olive oil was freshly pressed this passed October, and boy can you taste that freshness! It’s rich, fruity and slightly pungent all at the same time with hints of artichoke and lemon, I swear I could drink this stuff, oh and I love the shape of the bottle!
Did you know that high quality extra virgin olive oil is very stable when heated and it has a high smoking point? I didn’t!
The pappardelle comes from Pastificio Vicidomini, in Castel San Giorgio, near Naples, from a family owned business that has been making high quality pasta since 1812, now 6 generations strong this pasta is made with certified organic semolina and mountain water. There must be something to that mountain water because the flavor and the texture was superb!
The pretty jar of crispy asparagus comes from Villa Cappelli in Puglia perfect for an appetizer or placed into a salad.

For the pappardelle I decided to let the pasta shine through by tossing it with roasted shards of butternut squash. I call it shards because that’s what they ended up looking like after I shredded and roasted them up on my baking sheet.

I actually loved how all the jagged pieces looked when tossed among this amazing quality pasta.
I used a basil brown butter sauce and plenty of freshly grated parmesan cheese and cracked black pepper to finish it off.

When I read that Olio Verde had hints of lemon and artichoke, I went out and bought 4 of the prettiest artichokes I could find, I trimmed them, cut them into quarters, scooped out the chokes, cooked them until tender, and then after they were cooled down I placed them into a pool of this liquid gold along with fresh parsley, lemon juice as well as the zest, red pepper and chopped garlic. One word… DIVINE!

I’m sorry but I just couldn’t get enough of this olive oil so I went ahead and made a savory baked ricotta, perfect when smeared on top crostini. Ricotta is such a blank canvas, it takes on flavors so well, so when it was finished baking I poured a generous drizzle of it right over the top which made every bite sublime!

I had 1 1/2 cups of ricotta sitting in my fridge so with that I mixed in 1 egg, 1/2 cup of grated romano cheese, 5 small cherry tomatoes cut lengthwise, a couple of tablespoons of fresh chopped basil, 1 small minced garlic, zest of 1/2 a lemon, salt, pepper and 3 chopped olives.

Oil a shallow gratin dish, or a ramekin if you want to un-mold it, spread the mixture into the dish and bake 375F for around 20 minutes or until nicely golden on top.

Of course if you don’t have these particular products on hand you can make any of these recipes using your own favorite pastas and olive oils, but if your looking for an extra special treat, check out Olio2go!
Buon Appetito!
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  1. Everything you made with these quality Italian imports look so scrumptious, Marie! The artichokes are calling my name!

  2. I’m proud of Italian Cooking too and find your blog really great, Grazia!/pages/Cooking-Italian-Recipes/194810623869554?sk=wall

  3. I always look forward to your posts. You never fail to tempt me. Grazie!

  4. Hi,
    Your recipes sound delicious!
    I have one question. When you say you trim the artichokes, how much do you trim off. From your photo it looks like about half?

  5. I will now be on the look out for these products – you took something good and made it great.

  6. Oh my, Marie, once again you have my mouth watering over your divine pasta. I love artichokes, too, and would like to scoop several pieces right off that little plate. What a beautiful gift. Thanks for sharing.

  7. Everything sounds delicious!! I like the ricotta dip, that is so simple. What a great way to try out some of the best tasting products in Italy.

  8. D-r-o-o-l-i-n-g!! What a delicious post!

  9. Susan, actually it’s a little more than half, peel away all the outer leaves until you get to the tender light green ones.

  10. That olive oil you got to try is one of best oils I have tried.
    The chefs at Dell’anima in NYC turned me on to it, they don’t use it cook, but to finish pastas and salads.
    I am definitely going to buy a bottle!

  11. PS: making that baked ricotta a.s.a.p.!

  12. Beautiful photos! We appreciate the great review!

  13. My mouth is watering.

    You do such a beautiful job.

  14. Things to do before I die – sitting in your kitchen is quickly moving to the top of my list! Your foods look amazing and it is such fun having you share them with us!

  15. This products sound wonderful…I’ve got to check them out for myself. You’ve made some great things too. Love the pasta and squash

  16. Oh for dinner I am making that ricotta dish…amazing looking

  17. Hi Marie – I have got to try that lemony artichokey olive oil! All your dishes look gorgeous, as usual!

  18. I don’t know what to make first. And will seek out that olive oil. And will seek out four of the prettiest artichokes I can find… and there’s ricotta sitting in my fridge (duh). Your posts are so tantalizing and edible!

  19. Wow! Those look delicious! I’ll have to subscribe to your site. I’m always looking for new recipes that make me want to cook. Thanks!

  20. It all looks so delicious! I would love to try these products.

  21. As usual, every time I open your blog I want to go to the kitchen and get a fork out of the drawer. I aspire to take beautiful photos of the dishes I make and your photos are always such an inspiration. All of these recipes also look very “do-able”. I love recipes that are simple but delicious with just a few ingredients. Thanks for a wonderful and inspiring blog!

  22. Oh my goodness, Marie! It all looks sublime, but I so want to just put a fork in that pasta… Drooling now.

  23. My mouth is watering at all these dishes, Marie. I came to visit, looking for some fresh artichoke recipes (because I have seven of the prettiest baby artichokes sitting on my table!) and look what I find – your recipe that looks simple and fresh. I think I will roast them and toss them with olive oil and lemon, too. Thanks! You are always an inspiration. (And I wish I had come to your house for Super Bowl Sunday with all those wonderful goodies. Must try your version of the cauliflower pesto!)

  24. Lovely idea using ribbons of roasted squash with the pasta! That is something I will definately try very soon!

  25. this all looks so delicious…it makes me wish I had ricotta in my fridge right now!!

  26. Gorgeous photos. You really had some fun with those products.

  27. Butternut and pasta always works very well! Nice photos

  28. Marie – Once again, you’ve given me a problem – What to make first. They all look so appealing and that oil is delicious, I know from using it. But those artichokes are making me think springtime is near.

  29. All of your posts have me coming back for more and more. I love artichokes and the savory ricotta sounds wonderful!

  30. Everything sounds delicious!What a great way to try out some of the best tasting products in France.

  31. Your recipe looks simple, it sounds like everything is fresh and delicious! What a great way to try some of the best products in the Italian taste.

  32. Dear Marie, Let me just thank you for this wonderful review you wrote about our Olio Verde. We are proudest of one thing, by the way, that you uncovered one of the olive oil’s world best kept secrets: when it’s good it really works wonders in hot cooking, not just when used to season or by drizzling cold over dishes before serving… We hope you find a way to come visit Sicily one day, and that you will stop by to say hello. We’re the Becchina family, at Tenuta Pignatelli, in Castelvetrano-Selinunte ( Thank you again! Best, Gabriella