A passion for food + fashion

Elf Help: La Dolce Vita Edition

In Food on November 29, 2010 at 12:27 pm

Yup, the Christmas lights are up at our house and I can’t believe that Hannukah starts on Wednesday! Herman Miller asked me to share a holiday gift guide on its LIFEWORK blog, which you can check out by clicking HERE. But that’s just scratching the surface, so in the coming weeks I hope to share some of my favorite ideas for giving—and receiving! Starting with this:

Oh yes, a gift box from Olio & Olive! Talk about la dolce vita. My friend Gaia brought over this gorgeous handmade wooden basket of Italian indulgence and I nearly died. Though Olio & Olive offers gift baskets in all price points, this particular splurgy basket retails for $189.90, so that special someone on your list had better have been exceptionally nice this year. I don’t even know where to start—it’s loaded with classics like aged balsamic vinegar, extra virgin olive oil, red sauce, penne, parm, olives, polenta, salami—all of it the stuff the pros use. And I loved experimenting with the jar of Tartuflanghe Parmigiano Reggiano and Truffle Cream ($24.90) tucked in there, which by itself would make a great hostess gift or stocking stuffer.

Gaia added that it’s best to save some of the starchy pasta water to mix with the sauce and pasta, which we tried. She was right. It totally helps the sauce coat the pasta better.

We enjoyed the sauce both with a bowl of bucatini and some farro pizzichi from Rustichella d’Abruzzo (you want a fairly toothy pasta to stand up to the richness of the sauce):

But what I loved best about the rich and aromatic sauce—and in fact this basket—is that it has the true hallmark of a perfect gift. That is, something that makes someone’s day just that much better while reminding them that friendship is the most nourishing gift of all.

  1. Once again, your blog has tempted me to munch on my computer screen. What a generous–and delicious and beautiful and thoughtful–gift!

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