Store all items in this kit in air-tight containers in a cool, dark, dry place.
This kit was designed for use in creating Italian-themed foodie gift baskets. We recommend separating all these bulk-packaged items into separate jars or decorative bags, labeling them and packing them in baskets, gift bags or shipping them as care packages.
See below for recipes & usage tips you can pass along to the recipients:
Vialone Nano Rice:
Vialone nano is a premium risotto rice that is best suited to making risottos & rice puddings. It can be cooked similarly to arborio or carnaroli rice (and used as a substitute for them in most recipes), though it will likely require different quantities of time & cooking liquid.
How to Make Risotto
Cranberry beans can be used in soups, side dishes, etc. To prepare them, first soak them in water overnight. Drain off the soaking water, cover with fresh water. Boil them for three minutes, then reduce the heat and simmer until tender. Cranberry beans swell up to three times their dried size when cooked.
How to Soak & Cook Dry Beans
Fregola sarda can simmered in water or stock until al dente (up to 15 minutes) then used in salads & side dishes or simmered to soups. Alternatively you can cook them using the risotto method as an exciting alternative to arborio rice.
Fregola Sarda & Couscous Recipes
The rich, complex flavor of hazelnuts is a welcome addition to both sweet and savory dishes. Add them to baked goods, vegetable side dishes, seafood dishes, salads & more as you would other nuts.
To awaken their full flavor, briefly toast hazelnuts in a 350˚F oven until hot & aromatic (7-10 minutes). Nuts scorch easily, so be sure to check on them frequently and shake the pan periodically to redistribute them and promote even toasting.
To peel hazelnuts, wrap them in a towel immediately after toasting (while still hot). Once the towel is cool enough to hold, vigorously rub the nuts together. This should crack the skins and cause them to start flaking off. Finish peeling them with your fingers once the nuts have cooled enough to handle with bare skin. You may not be able to remove every speck of the skin…that’s normal.
Sundried tomatoes can be used to bring rich tomato flavor to dishes & sauces. They are frequently soaked in oil or other liquids (stock, broth, etc) before use in order to soften them. For use in salads, blanch them in boiling water for 30 seconds to soften their texture and reawaken their flavor. For use in purees and sauces, blanch them for a minute for a softer result.
Dried Porcini Mushrooms:
Dried porcini mushrooms are intensely flavorful and are most often used to flavor dishes rather than being rehydrated for use as you would fresh mushrooms. Use them in soups, sauces, braised dishes, etc.
How to Reconstitute Dried Mushrooms
Porcini Mushroom Recipes
Dried Mushroom Recipes & Techniques