Hello and welcome to this extra-special edition of Pastastic.
Below you'll find a raft of Pasta-Perfect Gift Ideas to help you delight Italian food loving friends and family this Christmas.
Some of these products you might know already, but hopefully there are at least a couple of cool buys you hadn't thought of.
And yes, I know it's only November, but it pays to be organised!
So here's hoping you enjoy this little lot. And if I don't catch you before Christmas, have a great festive season!
Pastastic Matt - firstname.lastname@example.org
PS: Can't read this email? View it online.
If you have a friend who loves cooking up Italian food, they probably get through a serious amount of parmesan cheese (I know we do!).
Then why not buy them a whopping great chunk or even a whole wheel of it? It'll raise a smile and last them for months...
You can order Italian parmigiano reggiano for US or international delivery here.
Do you have a friend who's big on making and eating spaghetti?
Or maybe you yourself are prone to misjudging the amount of spaghetti required because you're too lazy to get the scales out!?
Either way, this nifty spaghetti measuring tool could be just the stocking filler you're looking for.
If the pan a family member uses to serve up their creations looks like it was last cleaned during the dark ages, they'll surely appreciate one of today's fantastically efficient versions.
This Cuisineart model for example holds 12 quarts and features both a really handy pasta insert (for instant draining) and a steamer basket.
And because it's made from stainless steel this monster pot is easy to clean, won't rust, and doesn't retain the taste of the food cooked inside it.
(See similarly highly-rated pans in the UK and Canada.)
Roll on fresh pasta...
Do you need to buy a gift for a fresh pasta fan?
If so, they'll love a silicone pasta and pastry mat, as they're just the thing for rolling dough flat without picking up off a kitchen worktop.
These easy-to-clean, roll-to-store products are great value and testament to what smart materials manufacturers have to play with these days.
(Click here for a UK version or here to buy in Canada.)
A tasty trip
Is your partner or good buddy planning to visit Italy? Maybe they have a trip booked, or you're organising one together?
Then why not make the most of this delicious opportunity by enrolling them on an Italian cooking course?
There are some wonderful mini-breaks available - some based in specific cities or countryside locations, while others take you on a gourmet learning tour around almost the entire country.
Get started planning with my Italian Cooking Schools Guide.
Bit expensive for your wallet? Then why not opt to spend just one evening during your trip cooking and eating with a real Italian nonna (grandmother) at her place?
There is a foodie movement in Italy that can help... check out this great article to learn all about it, then register at HomeFood.it to get started.
Bowl 'em over
Have you noticed a friend or relative's tableware is looking a little tired?
Then why not soup up their battered bowls by gifting them a couple (or even a full set) of funky modern dishes?
The Rosanna Scribble versions on the right are the bowls that sell best through my site. However if these are a little busy for you, you might prefer the clean lines and lush single colors of French 'Emile Henry' bowls.
Join the club
Joining a pasta club is a great way to ensure you have some interesting new pasta shapes to eat, month in month out.
Sign up your friend for the Pasta Club at PastaCheese.com (see top-right link on the homepage) and every month they will receive:
- 2 packs of pasta: 1 packet of artisan gourmet imported Italian pasta and 1 of fresh pasta.
- 2 jars of gourmet imported tomato.
- One 8-12oz chunk of imported cheese to compliment their dinners.
Great value essential
In truth it's not the most rivetting of presents, but a spaghetti spoon is however one of the most useful.
With this quick-grabbing tool to hand cooking long pasta shapes like spaghetti and linguine becomes a cinch - you can say goodbye to stuck-together noodles and do without a colander or sieve for draining!
And like all good stocking fillers, such spoons won't wallop your bank balance.
Find them online here: US / UK / Canada.
The jury is out on whether real Italian mammas like using pasta machines (Marisa doesn't, but I know of others that do), however I really find them useful for those days when you don't have the time or inclination to spend 15 minutes rolling fresh pasta flat.
just get it started with a quick minute of rolling, chop it using the supplied cutter and crank smoothly through the machine. Works a treat!
So which model is best? According to buyers at Amazon, these 3 pasta makers are top of the pops (personally I use and love the first Imperia model - talk about sturdy, it'll probably outlive me!).
Give them the choice
Not inspired by any of the ideas above?
Or just not sure what your recipient would really like?
Then why not let them choose by grabbing them a gift certificate for a wonderful gourmet food supplier like OliveNation.com?
The site features a raft of delicious offerings - from gourmet packet pasta and balsamic vinegars to luscious extra virgin olive oils, choccies, coffee and much more.
They offer gift certificates to suit every budget, from just $10 all the way up to $250.
Pastastic still just $5!
Pastastic subscribers liked this low-price offer so much I'm doing it again.
This 125-page beast of a book in PDF format is packed choc-a-block full of delicious Italian meals, all explained in plain English using fool-proof step-by-step guides.
In addition to quick-print versions of all my best pasta dishes (and those of Marisa my inspirational Italian mamma), Pastastic - The Recipe Book also includes:
- 4 additional recipe ebooks
- my Lasagna 101 expert guide
- and... 2 series of exclusively downloadable videos (making fresh pasta and how to make pesto).
Missed your FREE Simple Starters recipe book?
Right-click here to save it to your PC.
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I hope you found this gift guide useful <>. Until next time!
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