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.
Mast chocolate bars
What kind of chocolate is in de Laurentiis’ fridge? Ethically sourced, eco-friendly Mast chocolate — and Amazon has a variety pack with 12 different flavors, including almond butter, coffee, lavender, oat milk, and more.
Pomi chopped tomatoes
Made from 100 percent fresh Italian tomatoes, Pomi chopped tomatoes are available pretty much everywhere, from Target ($3.49 each) to Walmart ($3.24); and you can use the product in recipes such as cioppino and pasta with amatriciana sauce.
King Arthur Flour
To make de Laurentiis’ Italian Easter bread, use her go-to flour, King Arthur 100 percent organic, unbleached all-purpose flour. It’s popular on Amazon, too, with more than 100 reviews and an overall 4.7 rating.
De Laurentiis doesn’t simply eat Simply7 popcorn straight out of the bag. Instead, she tops a bowl full of gelato with her olive oil popcorn for added crunch.
Pacific Foods chicken broth
On de Laurentiis’ list of cleanest, best-quality essentials for Thanksgiving is Pacific Foods’ chicken broth.
Mezzetta Castelvetrano Italian olives
Mezzetta olives are also a de Laurentiis cheeseboard favorite.
Tate’s Bake Shop chocolate chip cookies
These cookies may not be an ingredient de Laurentiis uses in her recipes, but it is one of her recommended back-to-school snacks.
These seaweed snacks are also one of de Laurentiis’ preferred after-school snacks.
Mutti tomato paste
Mutti is Italy’s No. 1 tomato brand, so of course, this brand’s products would make their way to de Laurentiis’ pantry.
Wyler’s chicken bouillon cubes
Don’t have chicken stock on hand? Don’t fret; de Laurentiis recommends substituting it with Wyler’s chicken bullion cubes instead.
Red Boat fish sauce
Another great de Laurentiis-approved substitution is replacing anchovies with Red Boat fish sauce.
Tutto Calabrian chili paste
De Laurentiis told Bon Appetit that she uses this chili paste in everything from pasta to stews. “One jar will last a long time,” she said.
Amore anchovy paste
“Anchovy paste adds a certain salty, depth of flavor that is hard to replicate with any other ingredient. Bonus: It easily dissolves right into oil so people don’t even have to know it’s there,” she told Bon Appetit in April 2018.
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