The retail food landscape has long been populated by bland, low-cost spaghetti noodles and insipid jars of watery marinara sauce. However, gourmet foods companies are revolutionizing the world of prepared sauces and dry, fresh and frozen pastas with high-quality ingredients and surprising flavor combinations. More and more consumers are turning to these companies and their products in order to make their Italian meals more memorable. Here are 10 companies to look for when stocking your pantry with artisan pastas and sauces.
1. Cucina Antica Foods Corp. The 2014 sofi Award winner in the Outstanding Pasta Sauce category for its Tuscany Pumpkin Pasta Sauce, Cucina Antica Foods Corp. offers a broad selection of all-natural sauces and authentic Italian pastas. The signature Tuscany Pumpkin Sauce features pumpkin and carrot puree, mixed with Italian San Marzano tomatoes, autumn spices and a touch of cream.
2. Dave’s Gourmet. The gourmet pasta sauce experts at Dave’s Gourmet strive to think outside the box when it comes to introducing new sauce flavors into the specialty food marketplace. The company’s product line contains unexpected hits like butternut squash, Indian-inspired masala marinara and wild mushroom. Dave’s Gourmet also offers a gourmet pasta sauce gift basket.
3. The French Farm. The French Farm offers a number of Italian specialties, including herb mixes, risotto mixes, polenta, sauces and dry pastas. The company recently introduced a new product to its line of brightly colored pastas: farfaline (bowtie). The new multicolor farfaline pasta is made exclusively from high-quality durum wheat semolina, tinged with natural plant-based colors.
4. Italian Foods Corporation. The shelf-stable dry stuffed pastas in Italian Foods Corporation’s La Piana line are a convenient and delicious way to enjoy an authentic Italian specialty. The stuffed pastas include ravioli, tortellini and mezzaluna filled with everything from Gorgonzola to winter squash to pesto. Italian Foods Corporation also offers artisan egg pastas, gnocchi and jarred sauces.
5. La Pasta Inc. A brilliantly-colored artisanal pasta delicacy, La Pasta’s Beet, Butternut Squash & Goat Cheese ravioli recently won the 2014 sofi Award in the Outstanding Pasta, Rice or Grain category. The product features the star ingredients wrapped in a delicate pasta sheath. In addition to this sofi Award-winning ravioli, La Pasta delights consumers with fresh vegan and gluten-free pasta offerings.
6. Michael’s of Brooklyn. Michael’s of Brooklyn traditional Italian tomato sauces taste like homemade, because they use high-quality ingredients: imported Italian tomatoes, fresh herbs and spices, garlic, onion and olive oil. The result is an extraordinary range of fresh, delicious sauces in six distinctive flavors, including marinara, tomato basil, filetto di pomodoro, puttanesca, arrabbiata and the newest flavor, home style gravy.
7. Pastificio Felicetti. Felicetti pasta is the world’s largest supplier of 100 percent organic pasta. The company’s pasta is outstanding because of its exceptional aromatic quality, taste and excellent nutritional value. These results are thanks to the attention paid to three key components: flour, water and drying technique. The company’s Monograno Felicetti line comes in three varieties: Farro, Kamut and Matt.
8. Po Valley Foods. Imported from the Po Valley plains of northern Italy, the products from Po Valley Foods include dry pastas, risotto, rice, polenta, olive oils and vinegars. The company offers four dry pasta lines: Campofilone® Elite, high-quality egg pastas; Premiato Pastificio Afeltra, bronze drawn durum wheat pastas; Carlo Moro, a line of buckwheat pastas; and Casarecci di Calabria pasta kits.
9. Robert Rothschild Farm. The artichoke pasta sauce from Robert Rothschild Farm features tender artichokes blended with tomatoes, onions, celery and herbs, creating a truly gourmet pasta topping. The product is just one of a number of distinctive pasta sauces offered by Robert Rothschild Farm. The company’s other sauces include puttanesca, vodka, roasted portabella, roma tomato and more.
10. Sauces ‘n Love. Specialty food company Sauces ‘n Love recently introduced a line of gluten-free pastas, including ravioli, tagliatelle, rigatoni and gnocchi. These products have a premium gourmet taste that surpasses many traditional wheat pastas in flavor and consistency and pairs perfectly with the brand’s pasta sauces. It is an innovation both omnivorous gourmands and wellness-concerned customers can enjoy together with gusto.
Award-winning La Sovana extra-virgin olive oil, distributed in the United States by Mintie Wine & Spirits, is a renowned Italian single estate olive oil, combining a blend of leccino, moraiolo and coreggiolo olives. The olives are harvested at the peak of freshness and pressed by hand on the Olivi family’s Tuscan estate. Preserving the essence of the Italian countryside, the olives are pressed within 24 hours of being harvested.
La Sovana extra-virgin olive oil has been certified by the Consortium for the protection of PDO Extra Virgin Olive Oil DOP Terre di Siena. In addition, the product was recently awarded a Mention of Merit from the national Sirena d’Oro di Sorrento competition.
Already used in some of the finest restaurants in Europe, La Sovana extra-virgin olive oil is now being introduced to the American market. The oil is now available online at www.zingermans.com, as well as at The Cheese Store in Beverly Hills, California and in a growing number of specialty food stores.
For more information, visit the company online at www.lasovana.com/en/olio.
For an effortless way to add zest to food, Doxy’s Fine Foods , a brand of artisanal seasoning blends, announces the launch of its newest product: Doxy’s™ Pasta Sauce Herbs. The Pasta Sauce Herbs mix, made of sweet garlic and natural spices, is the perfect addition to Italian-style home meals, without added preservatives or excessive sodium.
“Knowing Americans have limited time in the kitchen, I developed our blends to make meal preparation easy, delicious and fun,” says Nina Faull, Founder and CEO of Doxy’s Fine Foods. “Doxy’s Pasta Sauce Herbs is so versatile, and provides a feeling of la bella vita to weekday, home-cooked meals.”
All of Doxy’s seasonings boast gluten-free, fat-free, and no-added MSG natural goodness to meet another demand among Americans: health. With Doxy’s Pasta Sauce Herbs mix, Americans can add flavor to their meals without sacrificing health. Available on Doxy’s website for just $3.50, a package of Pasta Sauce Herbs takes quick home-cooking to the next level. Enhance simple canned tomatoes with a packet of all-natural Doxy’s Herbs to create an impactful, healthy dish. Mixed with extra virgin and olive oil for an herb vinaigrette, or dusted atop buttered baguettes, Doxy’s Pasta Sauce Herbs offer a new twist to a typical standby meal.
Bauli, a creator of authentic Italian holiday cakes and pastries, is announcing its official launch in the United States. Bauli products are now available at retailers, including Fairway, Whole Foods and Duane Reade stores nationwide. Bauli’s line of products will introduce traditional Italian desserts to the U.S. market, guaranteeing the highest quality of natural ingredients to customers.
Rooted in Verona, Italy with history dating back to 1922, today, the Bauli family business maintains the same dedication to excellence that it started over 80 years ago. Bauli prides itself in having combined the skill of homemade recipes with high technology to bring authentic Italian baked goods and holiday products to consumers. With respect for traditions and ancient recipes, Bauli products are oven baked and made with no preservatives, no artificial colors or flavors and no genetically modified ingredients and are kosher certified. The Bauli family’s guiding principle has always been a desire for excellence.
Bauli’s core products include Il Panettone di Milano, the traditional and most famous Italian Christmas bread, loaded with candied citron, lemon zest and raisins; Il Pandoro di Verona, a pan d’oro or golden bread, which is a traditional Christmas bread from Verona that’s baked in a special star-shape mold, sprinkled with confectioners’ sugar and made with real eggs, which gives it the beautiful golden color; and its everyday croissant treats, which include chocolate cream, vanilla custard, and cherry jelly. In addition to these core products, Bauli is also offering its specialty Italian treats for the U.S., including Il Budino, a moist cake with delicate chocolate filling, exquisite chocolate icing and dark chocolate decorations, and La Bavarese, a soft pan d’oro dough with delicate custard cream and sugared cocoa filling. Bauli’s authentic products are the ultimate holiday hostess gift, arriving in a beautiful packaging, Il Panettone and Il Pandoro are an awaited Christmas tradition at many family tables throughout Italy, uniting the love of family, friends and food. Bauli products are a delicious Italian tradition that’s perfect for sharing with family and friends just like in Italy, and great for making delicious recipes, including panettone pudding and orange ricotta panettone ‘shortcake’.
Victoria Fine Foods has just launched new packaging for its Victoria premium brand of artisanal pasta sauces listing ingredients on the front of the label.
Extensive consumer research was conducted among primary shoppers and meal preparers of pasta sauce that led to the revolutionary decision to place the ingredients on the front of the label. Consumers indicated that placing ingredients on the front was very positive and helped show that Victoria had all natural fresh ingredients without preservatives that were similar to ingredients they would use in their own pasta sauce. They also indicated it would make shopping easier.
This new label approach supports Victoria’s philosophy of Ingredients Come First™, making Victoria the only major pasta sauce brand to highlight the ingredients on the front of their package.
“We are proud to be first major brand in the pasta sauce category to declare our ingredients on the front of our package; It’s not just a location, it’s a philosophy” says Don Davide, Chief Strategy Officer, VFF. “We are committed to using only fresh ingredients and the most authentic slow kettle-cooking process for a true homemade taste, and by announcing this on the front of our new label, we believe our new package allows the consumer to make an informed decision about what they are feeding their families.”
Victoria maintains small-batch, home-style cooking methods on a larger scale by slow kettle cooking all of their sauces starting with freshly chopped ingredients. Unlike leading national brands, Victoria never adds water, paste (tomato byproducts), or dried ingredients and never compromises taste for processing alternatives like quick heating transfer tubes. Victoria maintains that life and food, like a gondola ride, is better when taken slowly.
By Lorrie Baumann
In a matter of hours, Riccardo Felicetti of the Pastificio Felicetti will know whether he’s eating his Monograno Felicetti pasta with butter and anchovies for a celebration dinner or because that’s his ultimate comfort food. “It’s very easy, very simple, but it’s exactly the pasta meal I eat when I come back from my travels,” he says. “This is exactly my comfort food.”
The pasta has been named a finalist for two sofi Awards: one for Best Organic Product and one for Best Pasta, Rice or Grain, and it’s the first time that Pasta Felicetti has ever been in the running for the Specialty Food Association’s ultimate recognition for outstanding food innovation. Felicetti wangled an invitation for dinner at a friend’s New York apartment with the understanding that his favorite Spaghettoni with Butter and Anchovies would be on the menu. “And if I don’t get the award, then I will need a heavy comfort food,” Felicetti says ruefully.
He believes that his product was considered by the award’s jurors because it’s a single-source organic pasta from the biggest organic pasta producer in Italy. The buyers from Pastificio Felicetti travel Italy and the world searching for the best organic grains and then combine that grain with pure spring water from springs in the Italian Alps around their pastificio production facility. The pasta’s taste and its elegant packaging probably also played a role, he acknowledges.
He hopes that American consumers will appreciate the premium pasta for its great taste and texture, regardless of the degree of al dente to which it’s cooked. Even in Italy, there’s no consensus about that proper degree of firmness for the cooked pasta, and so the Felicetti pasta is made to be good no matter the al dente preference of the cook who prepares it. “It cooks to your preference,” he says. “The most important thing is that you cook it the way you like it.”
Putting food into the body is an extremely intimate act, and Felicetti hopes that the consumers who ultimately purchase, prepare and eat his product will choose it because they understand and appreciate that the pasta was made in a modern production facility with 21st century sanitation practices using a safe process that enhances the grain’s natural flavors. “I trust that always more people will be interested in knowing what they are eating,” he says. “We will continue to offer high-quality product to interested American customers because we believe they will understand the difference between a high-quality pasta and another pasta.”
Visit Pastificio Felicetti in booth #2615 at the Summer Fancy Food Show.
Felicetti pasta, the world’s largest maker of 100 percent organic pasta, has been named finalist for Best Organic Product & also Best Pasta, Rice or Grain in the Specialty Food Association’s 2014 sofi™ Award competition.
Felicetti pasta was selected by a national panel of specialty food professionals from 2,724 entries from Outstanding Appetizer to Outstanding Vinegar. Winners will be announced by Cronut™ creator Dominique Ansel at a red-carpet ceremony June 30, 2014, at the Summer Fancy Food Show.
On a romantic trip in the Tuscan countryside, gourmet food entrepreneur Jerry Bello sank his teeth into lightly baked, fresh pasta dough that was drizzled with olive oil and sprinkled with sea salt. So moved by the seductive texture and flavors, he was inspired to create Pasta Chips, the innovative and unique snack quickly winning over major grocery and club stores across the United States. Taste this new snack in its East Coast debut at the Summer Fancy Food Show held June 29-July 1 at the Javits Center in New York City at booth 5148.
Pasta Chips is the very first company to recreate the traditional baked pasta from Italy into a snack food. Pasta Chips are made with the same semolina flour, ancient grains, and Italian herbs that were celebrated over 800 years ago. The Tuscan-inspired chip is married with different seasonings based on regional Italian favorites that are steeped in hundreds of years of Italian culture and living.
In five delectable flavors inspired by the sauces and tastes of Italy, savor Pasta Chip’s delectable Marinara, Alfredo, Spicy Tomato Basil, Garlic Olive Oil, and Mediterranean Sea Salt flavors.
Outstanding in flavor and taste, Pasta Chips have 4g of protein, are cholesterol-free, and contain 60 percent less fat than potato chips and 20 percent less fat than pita chips. Additionally, Pasta Chips are kosher and GMO free.
“The initial reaction to our product has been incredible,” said Bello. “They’re unique and tasty which make for a combo that people love.”
Pasta Chips are now available at Roundy’s, Shoprite, Safeway, Big Y, Von’s, Mariano’s, Albertson’s, Harris Teeter, Winco, and Randall’s, Plaid Pantry, Quick Chek, Sheetz, select Target stores and other retailers across the country.
It’s not hard to find the specialty food products at the National Restaurant Association Show #NRAShow when they bring along their collection of sofi Awards and set them out on the shelf in their display. That alone says something about the respect in which the sofi Award is held by all those foodies who know how to find the sure sign of the very best. Around the company’s sofi statuettes, Creminelli Fine Meats is displaying its line of artisan salami, all made in Salt Lake City, Utah, where the climate is ideal for curing meats, says Andy Dallas, the company’s Regional Sales Manager for the central U.S. The company was started in Salt Lake City by Christian Creminelli, who is originally from Biella, Italy. He’ll be bringing the entire line to the Summer Fancy Food Show, where you’ll be able to see them in booth # 668. Here at the National Restaurant Association Show, find Creminelli in booth #3679 in the South Hall.