Food Network star Giada de Laurentiis is the “modern Italian meets California” cuisine queen. “I try to lighten recipes and make them more accessible to people. I wouldn’t say that I make Italian food that your grandma would make, but more of a younger, more modern version,” she told us in 2012. So, it’s no wonder the author of nine cookbooks relies on a set of ingredients that mirror just that: a healthy mix of traditional Italian ingredients and popular pantry items.
De Laurentiis is so particular about the ingredients she uses, in fact, that she dedicated the entire first chapter of her 2018 cookbook Giada’s Italy to it, writing, “Italians consider grocery shopping an integral part of the cooking process and buy perishables like fish, meat, cheese, and produce nearly every day, relying on a limited but essential store of pantry good to round out their meals.” But de Laurentiis gets that this isn’t an option for everyone (especially now, in the midst of this pandemic), which is why she shared her go-to list of essential ingredients — those she always keeps in stock in her own pantry. “They offer so much big, authentic flavor that you really can’t duplicate any other way,” she wrote.
From Calabrian chile paste to anchovies and even chocolate bars, here are some of de Laurentiis’ favorite ingredients we found on Amazon.
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A version of this story was originally published September 2020.