A couple of months ago, I won a giveaway through Annie's Cooking Lab, a wonderful food blog written by a friend of mine. The prize was a bag of pasta noodles, tomato puree, and cookies--all imported directly from Italy and the perfect foundation for a delicious Italian meal! Because I had never heard about Marovato Italian Imports before entering the giveaway contest, I figured I would give a review of sorts on the products I received since you all know how much I love (and miss) Italy!
The pasta I received was a bag of armoniche tricolore by PMC. These noodles are made of 100% durum wheat semolina; the red noodles have 4% tomatoes, and the green noodles have 2% spinach. The individual noodles are about 1" by 0.88", and they have a little curl. They are not available on their website right now, but you can view all the other pastas here.
To go with the pasta was a large glass jar of passata di pomodoro by Dal Podere. This is literally just tomatoes and salt! It's a very smooth puree and acted as the base to the sauce I made. You can purchase this here.
For a sweet treat following the pasta meal, I received a bag of tarallini icing cookies by Pastificio del Pellegrino. These small, frosted cookies are made up of soft wheat flour, sugar, vegetable oil, olive oil, white wine, extra virgin olive oil, icing (sugar fondant, egg white, lemon), and sulfites. These are also not currently available, but here's the link to the baked goods, including taralli, which are the larger version of tarallini.
Because the tomato puree is just that, I wanted to add some flavor and texture. I chopped up half a yellow onion and half a zucchini and sauteed those with olive oil. Before adding in the puree, I finely chopped garlic and added that to the pan (Chris helped me chop; he's much better at it than I am!).
I tasted the puree before adding it to the veggies. It tastes exactly how you would imagine: very tomato-y! I'm not a big fan of plain tomatoes, so it wasn't my favorite, but I love how it acts as a base to whatever kind of sauce you want. After adding it to the veggies and garlic, I stirred in a tablespoon of butter and sprinkled in salt and pepper to taste.
After the noodles were cooked and drained, I added them to the sauce. The noodles expanded a LOT more than I was expecting (I put in about half the bag), so a few of the noodles were put in a plastic container to eat later. I would recommend adding slightly less than you think you need.
Doesn't it look delicious?! This dish wasn't revolutionary by any means, but it's simple and so satisfying. There was enough for me to have it for lunch the next day!
For dessert, I munched on the cute tarallini coookies while sipping a glass of moscato d'asti (my favorite type of wine; Trader Joe's carries my favorite brand: Villa Alena). The cookies are crunchy (read: messy), tart thanks to the lemon, and sweet due to the icing. They have a wonderful balance!
I would definitely recommend Marovato Italian Imports if you are looking for real Italian food at a reasonable price. I'd especially be interested in trying their olive oils--mmm! They are definitely on my list next time I need a taste of Italy. :) It's also worth mentioning that they packaged the items very well; the box was large given the size of the items, but they were spread out and the box was filled with packing peanuts, so everything arrived in perfect condition.
I hope you have a wonderful weekend! I'll be back on Monday with a new outfit post. :)