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Shop With Jenny

If you are looking for healthy and delicious dinner options, have we got a treat for you. Food blogger, Jenny with the Good Eats, will be sharing her tips and tricks tonight at 5:30 p.m. Stop by and learn how to shop smart and cook amazing meals.
 
Below are the recipes she will be sharing with all of you:
 

Italian Style Eggs in Purgatory

Serves 4

Ingredients:

4 eggs
2 garlic cloves
14oz of crushed tomatoes
2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
½ cup flat leaf parsley, chopped
2 tablespoons of Kalamata olives, chopped
¼ cup of freshly grated parmesan cheese
¼ cup of crumbled feta cheese
1/8 teaspoon of red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon of dried oregano
salt and pepper to taste
 
Serve with 1 loaf of Russo’s ciabatta bread (with Kalamata olives and feta)
 

Preparation:

  1. Chop ¼ cup parsley, olives, garlic until finely minced together.
  2. Add in oregano and red pepper flakes to mixture.  
  3. Heat cast iron skillet over medium high heat.
  4. Add olive oil to the pan.
  5. Add parsley, garlic, olive, and seasoning mixture to pan and cook for 1-2 minutes.
  6. Add crushed tomatoes to pan. Lower heat and simmer for 5 minutes.
  7. Make 4 indents in sauce to place eggs into.
  8. Sprinkle with half the parmesan and half the feta.
  9. Cover with lid and cook 5 minutes, you will want the egg whites to be set.
  10. Finish dish with addition olive oil drizzle, the rest of the cheeses, and the remaining parsley.
  11. Serve with warmed Russo’s bread. 
 

Russo’s Grilled Cheese

Makes 1 sandwich 

This recipe is simple, flavorful, and vegetarian. This dish is high in unsaturated fatty acids from the olive oil and pine nuts in the pesto. Roasted red peppers have a high vitamin C content, which is important for boosting immunity.
 

Ingredients:

2 slices of Russo’s Italian Bread (½ inch thick)
3 slices ¼ inch thick of fresh mozzarella
1 Tablespoon Russo’s Homemade Pesto
1 Whole roasted red pepper, sliced
1 Tablespoon of Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Serve with balsamic vinegar on the side for dipping (optional)
 

Preparation:

  1. Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a non-stick pan
  2. Spread both slices of bread with 1 tablespoon of pesto
  3. Place mozzarella slices on the bread, then top with sliced roasted red peppers
  4. Place sandwich in the pan over medium heat, cover with lid.
  5. Cook until both sides slightly brown, approximately 2-3 minutes per side.  
  6. Serve immediately and enjoy.
 

Crispy Prosciutto and Arugula Pasta

Serves 4
 
This recipe emphasizes the simplicity of good ingredients. The whole wheat pasta and fresh arugula provide the dish with fiber to help keep you full for longer. The dish is seasoned with fresh herbs and spices to help keep the sodium content down. The sauce of this dish is extra virgin olive oil. Olive oil is an unsaturated fatty acid that may help to prevent cardiovascular disease.
 

Ingredients:

1 package of whole wheat fettuccine
¼ lb of prosciutto, crispy
2 cups of baby arugula
¼ cup freshly grated parmesan
Zest of 1 lemon  
½ cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
3 garlic cloves, minced
¼ cup pasta water
1 cup flat leaf parsley, roughly chopped
½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 ½ teaspoon kosher salt
 

Preparation for crispy prosciutto:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 depress.
  2. Line baking sheet with parchment paper and lay prosciutto flat.
  3. Bake until crispy (approximately 10-12 minutes).
  4. Let cool to room temperature and break into pieces.
 

Preparation:

  1. Cook pasta according to package instructions.
  2. Pour ½ cup olive oil into a sauté pan, heat over medium heat.
  3. Add garlic to heat olive oil and cook for 30 seconds, do not brown the garlic.
  4. Add in ¼ cup pasta water, 1 cup parsley, ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes, 1 ½ teaspoons of kosher salt. Bring the mixture to a boil.
  5. Take off heat and mix in pasta.
  6. After pasta is coated in sauce, plate into bowls.
  7. Sprinkle with fresh parmesan.
  8. Top pasta with baby arugula and crisp prosciutto.
  9. Zest lemon over pasta.   
  10. Serve immediately, pairs well with a simple Caesar salad. 
 
Let us know what you think!
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In the News: Announcement of our Downtown Location

Have you heard the news about our second store expansion?  

It’s been a whirlwind since the announcement of our second location! We are extremely grateful for the support we’ve received from the Grand Rapids community. We promise we will keep you ‘in the loop’ with project updates as they occur.

Take a look at the recent coverage and let us know what you think!

WKTV: Local international market Russo’s to return ‘home’ downtown, open 2nd location

Wood Radio: Russo’s to Open Grocery Store in Downtown Grand Rapids 

WoodTV: Russo’s to open grocery store in downtown Grand Rapids

MLive: Russo family bringing gourmet grocery store to downtown Grand Rapids

Channel 98.7 FM, WFGR: Russo’s International Market Announces Downtown Grand Rapids Location

Channel 95.7 FM: Russo’s International Market Announces Downtown Grand Rapids Location

GRBJ: Retailer plans downtown grocery store and restaurant

WZZM: Russo’s to open grocery store in downtown Grand Rapids

WMTA: Grocery & Restaurant To Open This Summer In Downtown Grand Rapids

GR Now:*Grocery & Restaurant To Open This Summer Downtown!

MLive: Shuttered Bagger Dave’s in downtown Grand Rapids finds a new tenant

Experience GR: Grocery & Restaurant To Open This Summer In Downtown Grand Rapids

MiBiz: Russo’s International Market plans downtown Grand Rapids location

To stay updated on our expansion into downtown Grand Rapids, visit: russosgr.com/downtown.

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*Grocery and Restaurant To Open This Summer In Downtown Grand Rapids

It’s official: This summer we will be expanding to a 4,500-square-foot second store location, located at 241 W. Fulton St. Our second location will feature catering, grocery, delivery, curbside pick-up and a 60-seat indoor and a 40-seat outdoor restaurant. For 112 years our family has been committed to the Grand Rapids community by offering one of the largest selections of wine, gourmet food, craft beer, liquor, kitchenware, homemade Italian entrees and more. We also plan on hosting a ribbon-cutting ceremony and community celebration once construction is finished! 

“Since opening in 1905, my grandfather made it his mission to serve the Grand Rapids community. Our first location was on Division in what was known as ‘Little Italy.’ When we needed more room, we opened up on 29th Street. We always knew we would return to our roots and this second location will allow us to serve the downtown community as we once did 112 years ago.”

-Phil Russo, President, Russo’s International Market

For the past two years, Grand Rapids has been recognized as one of the top metropolitan areas in the country for economic development. According to Downtown Grand Rapids Inc., 183 residential units were added to the downtown Grand Rapids area in 2015, with an additional 1,437 proposed units to be developed shortly after. With the addition of the proposed units, downtown Grand Rapids would house 5,201 residential units. Downtown Grand Rapids’ goal is to reach 10,000 residential units within the downtown area by 2025.

With the growing number of downtown residents, the need for retail options within the downtown area is evident. Because of this growing need, we will offer much-needed grocery and deli items, fresh produce, wine and beer, pre-made meals and more at our Fulton Street location. The store will also be open later to better serve customers – something that is also a current issue within the downtown area.

“The Grand Rapids community has been so devoted to our family-business throughout the years, and our goal is to continue to serve the community to the best of our ability. We realized the lack of offerings for downtown residents, and this gave us the opportunity to return to downtown Grand Rapids and serve the growing residential population.”

-Phil Russo

We are proudly run by the 3rd and 4th generation Russo family members. In addition to a second store expansion, our store(s) offer the following services:

  • Catering for events, business meetings and more
  • Custom corporate gifts
  • Alcohol delivery
  • Grocery delivery
  • European deli
  • A large selection of Michigan and Grand Rapids products
  • Extensive selection of wine and beer
  • In-store educational events
  • Private label Russo’s brand products
  • **Dine-in eating options
  • **To-go menu items
  • **Curbside pickup
  • **Coffee, espresso and cappuccino bar
  • **Gelato bar
  • **Fresh produce

**only offered at Fulton Street location

The Fulton Street location is in addition to the our existing 18,000 sq. ft. location on 29th Street, which was purchased in 1976, and expanded in 2008. The 29th Street location will continue to offer its 45-foot deli case, with over 300 meats and cheeses from around the world, olives, fresh baked breads, oils, pastas with Russo’s sauces, our own homemade Villa Russo frozen entrees, a vast selection of craft beers and liquor, thousands of wines, kitchenware and more.

The expansion comes nearly two months after a rebrand to commemorate our historic 112 years in Grand Rapids. For more information on the opening of our second location, visit: russosgr.com/downtown, and follow us on Facebook, InstagramTwitter.

Show this at our 29th Street store and receive 10% off Russo’s homemade frozen entrees and pizzas – try our brand!

*Pending project approvals. Once finalized and renderings complete, expect follow-up with further details.

 

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Have you seen us in the news?

It’s been an exciting couple of months for Russo’s International Market! Since launching our rebrand last month, we’ve received great feedback from the Grand Rapids community. In addition to this, we’ve had numerous engagement opportunities with local media (and we don’t plan on stopping anytime soon).

Just in case you’ve missed us, here’s a recap of our recent earned media:

WZZM13 – My West Michigan
Thirsty Thursday

Our store offers the largest selection of wine in West Michigan, and therefore consider ourselves professional winos (We’re not ashamed). Watch Eric Russo explain the importance of wine pairings to WZZM’s Jennifer Pascua.

WZZM13 – My West Michigan
Pizza Time!

Who doesn’t love pizza? Nate Follette dishes on how to master the art of making homemade pizza. If this doesn’t savor your taste buds, we’re not sure what will.

WOOD Radio

Talk of the Town

Are you an avid Russo’s International Market shopper? Listen to Nate discuss all things Russo-related with WOOD Radio.

GRNow

Wine & Pairings, Part One

Ben from OGO Initiative breaks down the importance of wine pairings, specifically wine and pasta pairings — Two of our favorite things. Delicioso!
For more information on our expansive product offerings, visit: gbrusso.com/products.

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Spring Drinks to Enjoy Outdoors

Spring is finally here! With the change in season, it’s the perfect time to change your choice of beverage too. Whether you prefer wine, spirits or beer, we’ve chosen our favorite spring drinks to enjoy at your next night out, family gathering or cozy night at home.

Here are our top picks:

White Wine Spritzer: Made with True Myth Chardonnay & Fever Tree Club Soda

True Myth Chardonnay is a classic-style Chardonnay crafted within the Paragon Vineyard in the historic Edna Valley, CA. Known for its aromas of pear, white peach, pineapple and wet stone, along with its tropical fruit flavors and mineral undertones, True Myth Chardonnay will pair perfectly with your favorite club soda (our favorite is Fever Tree Club Soda.) Be prepared for an ultra-refreshing beverage that will quench your thirst on even the hottest of days.

 

West Michigan-made spirit: Made with Gray Skies Utility Vodka, Fever Tree Ginger Beer, & Musette Sparkling Lemonade

If you’re looking for a sweet and satisfying beverage, we recommend this West Michigan-made spirit. Distilled from one of our favorite local distilleries, the Gray Skies Utility Vodka is smooth and versatile, unlike most vodkas on the market. The smoothness of this spirit allows for a “clean” feel that pairs perfectly with your favorite ginger beer and sparkling lemonade.

 

Rosé: Villa Wolf Pinot Noir Rosé, Domaine De La Fouquette Rosé

We can’t pick a favorite between the Domaine Lafage Miraflors Rosé and the Villa Wolf Pinot Noir Rosé! The Domaine Lafage Miraflors is a French Rosé that tastes as good as it looks. It is a soft, dry Rosé, with hints of cranberry and strawberry.  Our second pick, the Villa Wolf Pinot Noir Rosé is handcrafted in the Pfalz region, the “Tuscany of Germany,” allowing this Rosé to have a unique and bold taste. With light and refreshing tastes, blended with bright berry and fruit flavors, this Rosé will certainly come as a (pleasant) surprise. 

 

Roak Blow Your Face Out Double IPA

For the IPA lovers, the ROAK  Blow Your Face Out Double IPA is crafted in Royal Oak, Michigan. This beer has a whopping 10.10% alcohol by volume (hence, the ‘Blow Your Face Out’ name) and is known for its malty, hop flavors. This makes the perfect summer drink for any Michigan beer connoisseur.

 

Aperol + Prosecco

 

Known as the Aperol Spritz and “Italy’s Favorite Cocktail,” this wine-based cocktail is pleasantly citrusy and slightly bitter. To avoid bitterness, try adding club soda to the mix as well. Otherwise, we recommend mixing half Aperol and half Prosecco to create this deliciously bubbly drink.

 

Oberon

A Michigan-staple brewed by Bell’s Brewery in Kalamazoo, Michigan, Oberon is a wheat ale blended with spicy hop and fruity flavors. Although Oberon is only made with four flavors, do not underestimate this beer’s distinct and thirst-quenching taste. Bell’s Brewery quotes, “Oberon is the color and scent of a sunny afternoon.” We recommend pairing Oberon with an orange pieces for an even greater refreshing taste.

 

Blood Orange Cider

You can’t compare apples to oranges, which is why we had to include a cinder in our list of spring drinks. Handcrafted on a fifth-generation family farm located in Hudsonville, Michigan, Farmhaus Cider Co. blends local ingredients to create a cider you’ll love. Farmhaus’ Blood Orange Cider is a crisp, tart, delicious drink ideal for a day spent outdoors, lounging on the deck with family and friends.

All of these beverages can be found in Russo’s International Market. To view the largest selection of wine in West Michigan, in addition to our plentiful spirits and beer options, visit the store from Monday through Thursday from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.; Friday from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m.; Saturday from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Sunday from noon to 5 p.m.

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Russo’s Take on Easter

Easter is quickly approaching! As one of the most celebrated holidays for Italians, it’s only necessary that Russo’s International Market goes above and beyond for the holiday festivities. Allow the Russo family into your home this Easter, by purchasing one of their many holiday items:

Traditional egg bread, or colomba di pasqua:

Colomba di pasqua (also known as colomba pasquale), is a traditional Italian Easter cake that is typically made in the shape of a dove. Colomba di pasqua is traditionally made on Good Friday and/or Holy Saturday in honor of Easter. We will be selling ready-to-serve colomba di pasqua in the store, in addition to some of the ingredients needed to make the dish yourself.

Colomba di pasqua recipes are passed down from generation-to-generation. We’re keeping our family recipe a secret, but take a look at these recipes for specific ingredients and cooking instructions:

We also have traditional Italian Panettone available as well.

Chocolate

Is explanation really needed for chocolate? If you’re not eating chocolate for Easter, you’re missing out.  And, we’ve got you covered in that department.

Homemade dinner dishes

Our store offers over 100 homemade options for customers to choose from, all of which are made in-store. Customers can choose from a variety of traditional everyday Italian foods, such as our homemade sausage and lasagna, both in a variety of flavors. Allow our family to prepare Easter dinner for you and your family.

Traditional Greek Easter Egg Dye

In many cultures, it’s a tradition to decorate Easter eggs in honor of the holiday. Take this one step further by dying hard-boiled eggs a shade of deep red to symbolize the redeeming blood of Christ. The deep red dye symbolizes Christ’s Resurrection, which is the main purpose of Easter. If you’re looking for the traditional deep red dye used for coloring Easter eggs, we’ve got you covered.

Adult Easter Baskets 

Are you attending an Easter gathering and looking for a special something to gift the host? Visit the store and put together an adult Easter basket, filled with mini liqueur bottles, chocolates, small kitchen gadgets and more.

(Note: You will be guaranteed a spot at next year’s table after gifting this!)

Don’t forget to check out our Adult Easter Egg Hunt, happening at the store on Saturday, from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Visit the store and be on the lookout for hidden Easter eggs that contain coupons for in-store items! Keep in mind that the store will be closed on Easter Sunday, in effort to spend time with family.

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Russo’s Branded Dressings

Are your appetizers and/or salads in need of something extra? Add a little unique flavor to your first course meal with our Russo’s-branded dressings.

Blackberry Walnut Dressing

As the weather starts heating up in West Michigan, try this sweet, fruit-filled summer salad dressing. Extremely refreshing, and enjoyed by adults and children, alike.

This dressing would pair well with: Spinach, walnuts, cranberries, apples, grapes, asparagus and blue cheese.

Garlic Vinaigrette with Olive Oil

Back to the basics. If you’re looking for a traditional salad dressing, try this classic recipe. Our branded garlic vinaigrette with olive oil has all of the essentials, wrapped into one dressing: olive oil, vinegar and garlic.

This dressing would pair well with: Lettuce, broccoli, carrots, peas and capers. The possibilities are endless!

Miso Sesame Scallion Vinaigrette

Delizioso! Our Miso dressing packs a punch with it’s distinct flavor. If your taste buds are craving an earthy, deep Asian flavor; this dressing is for you.

This dressing would pair well with: Kale, rice noodles, grilled chicken, zucchini, mushrooms, cauliflower, sunflower seeds, mandarin oranges, tofu, edamame and shredded carrots.


Creamy Roasted Red Pepper

Feeling extremely hungry, but still looking for something healthy? Our creamy roasted red pepper dressing is thicker in texture and has a fulfilling, vibrant pepper flavor. Keep in mind that it would also work well as a sandwich spread.

This dressing would pair well with: Lettuce, fresh or jarred peppers and corn. If you’re still hungry, spread some of this dressing over our Italian bread, baked in-house, and pick up some fresh mozzarella for an Italian twist on a grilled cheese.

All of these dressings, along with many of the pairing suggestions, can be found at Russo’s. Stop in to find your perfect salad pairings today!

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Wine and Sauce Pairings

The age old question, “What do I pair with ….”

And if there is anything in the wine world that has been overwritten about, it is experts telling you what food to pair with what wine. So we too, decided to put pairings to the test. We gathered eight people to taste six different pasta sauces with nine different wines. We’ll share the highlights, draw some conclusions and make some suggestions for your next meal: 

First, sparkling wine is versatile.

Ours was a Prosecco from Northern Italy. It had the most positive pairings, except for the Mushroom Alfredo. The Albarino, a light bodied, zesty white had the fewest negative pairings. Only the Pesto dish scored poorly. The heavier style of our Russian River Valley Chardonnay paired wonderfully with the Mushroom Alfredo and Bolognese sauce, but fell flat with all the other dishes. The aromatic, slightly sweet white, a Kabinett Riesling from the Mosel River Valley in Germany, scored highest on the two spicier dishes, the Thai Curry and the Bolognese. 

The Rose we chose, from the Savoie region in Eastern France, was probably the hardest to pair with the six sauces, striking out often, but not the Puttanesca sauce with its briny, olive and caper infused flavors. The light bodied Pinot Noir from Willamette Valley, Oregon brought out the best of the Mushroom Alfredo and Puttanesca dishes, but the higher acid made it struggle with the Curry, Pesto and Pomodoro sauces. 

Secondly, the medium-bodied.

Of the two medium-bodied reds we tried, the Merlot based Bordeaux Blend from France stood out as the best pairing with the Pomodoro sauce, offering nice, juicy flavors that complemented the bright tomatoes. It had enough body to match the weight and richness of the Alfredo and Bolognese sauces, but, like most of the reds, the tannins and alcohol were too overpowering for the Pesto and Curry. The other medium red, a Sangiovese from the Chianti Rufina region of Tuscany, Italy, was the ideal partner for the two richest dishes, the Mushroom Alfredo and Bolognese, with its acid, spice and tannins. 

And finally, full-bodied.

The final red wine was a full-bodied Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon from California. It paired well with the meaty Bolognese sauce, but, in the biggest surprise of the tasting, it also paired beautifully with the Pesto sauce as well! Besides the Curry, which the group universally declared was not meant to be eaten with any red wine, the Cabernet performed “ok” with its other dance partners. 

What kind of conclusions can we draw from this? 

The stronger the flavor of the food, the harder the pairing. The Pesto and Curry, with their intensely focused herb and spice presented issues with all but a couple wines. The bright, acidic Pomodoro tomato sauce didn’t produce as many bad pairings, but had few winners as well. 

Lower acid wines need low acid foods. Every time we paired the oaked Chardonnay with food that didn’t have enough fat to balance the acid in the dish, the wine came out tasting flabby. 

The higher the spice, the lower the tannin and alcohol should be in the wine. Wines with a lower alcohol level and a little residual sugar (Riesling, Prosecco & Albarino) paired best. 

So, what are our suggestions?

If you’re picking both food and wine:

  1. Start by matching the “weight” of the wine and food. Big Food=Big Wine. Chardonnays, Cabernets & Syrah are bigger varieties. 
  2. Make sure the acid in the wine is at least equal or greater to the acid in the dish. A good rule of thumb is that if you would squeeze a lemon on the dish, serve a bright, white wine. 
  3. Finally, the greater the spice of the food, the higher the sweetness and lower the alcohol and tannins should be in the wine. Think Chenin Blanc, Riesling & Gewurztraminer. 

If you’re charged with bringing wine to a dinner and don’t know what is being served:

  1. Leave the big, high alcohol and overtly oaked wines at home. Remember rule number two above: pick a wine that has an acid that is equal to or higher than the food. 
  2. In red wine, light to medium body wines that have red fruit flavor profiles work well. In white wine, light bodied wines like Albarino, several Italian whites, Chenin Blanc, dry Rieslings from Alsace, France, or Chablis-style Chardonnays that have little or no oak. 
  3. Don’t forget about Sparkling! Our group found these to be incredibly flexible wines that paired well with most food. 

If you’re cooking a meal and guests are bringing a mystery wine:

  1. Keep the spice at a minimum and make sure there is enough richness to balance whatever acid the dish has. This will minimize the chance of creating a difficulty pairing. 
  2. To reduce any awkwardness, have a backup wine ready and ask your guests when they arrive, “Would you like to open this tonight or was this meant for another day?” 
  3. If the gift is meant for tonight and you are certain the wine will be an awful pairing with the meal, suggest that we enjoy the wine before or after the meal, and have a different beverage during the meal. 

Whatever pasta you find in front of you, and whatever wine you are served, remember that at the end of the meal, it isn’t really what’s in front of you that matters; it’s who you find across from you. So, enjoy, make it meaningful, and make it memorable!

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Tips for a Great Red Sauce

The foundation of any delicious, homemade red sauce is easy: quality ingredients. Whether you’re picking items fresh-from-the-garden, or purchasing in-store, quality ingredients will ensure mouth-watering red sauce that will highlight any pasta dish (homemade or store-bought)!

 

Tomatoes

Roma tomatoes are you best bet. We may be bias, but we love heirloom tomatoes because they’re a variety that has been passed down, generation to generation. Roma tomatoes, also known as plum tomatoes, are small in size but mighty in flavor. Grab a can of Cento San Marzano tomatoes – another variety of plum tomatoes, with the convenience of being peeled and chopped. These tomatoes are from the San Mrazano region of Italy, grown in volcanic soil from Mount Vesuvius, giving these tomatoes a unique flavor.

Russo family tip: when using canned tomatoes, drain the tomatoes out of the juice before adding into your sauce.

 

Herbs

If you’re using dried herbs, add them in early in the process to really pick up on the flavors in your sauce. We have a full-range of dried herbs for you to choose from, so you can stick with your traditional flavors or take a walk on the wild side with some new and exciting flavors! If you choose to use fresh herbs, they should be added in towards the final minutes of cooking. Because of their subtle flavors compared to dried herbs, you’ll risk losing the flavor of fresh herbs if they’re added in too early.

Russo family tip: add in basil after the sauce has cooked and has been taken off the flame.

 

Wine

While you’re picking up a bottle of wine to enjoy with your homemade pasta sauce, use some to cook with. Better yet, pick up a separate bottle! The type of wine you pick up can depend on the type of sauce you’re making and the foods that are being paired with it, but the most important factor is what makes your taste buds dance! Visit our wine section to get advice for our experienced wine department.

Russo family tip: If you choose a Chianti, you may see two kinds available – Chianti, and Chianti Classico. A Chianti Classico is produced from grapes that are harvested in what are considered the best vineyards in the region. But, we don’t play favorites!

If you’d like to use a less expensive, but flavorful wine, try Tavernello Vino Rosso in your pasta sauce!

 

At the end of the day, you have one rule: enjoy yourself! A red sauce can take time and practice, so turn on your favorite album, pour yourself a glass of wine (or two), and have fun! 

 

Sources:

https://www.tomatofest.com/what-is-heirloom-tomato.html

http://www.cento.com/sanmarzano/sanmarzano.html

http://vinepair.com/wine-101/chianti-italian-wine/

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Kitchen Favorites: Favorite Italian Kitchen Items

Some say it’s easy to make a good Italian meal, but having the right kitchen utensils will elevate not only your food, but also the whole experience. We’re featuring some of our favorite items carried in store to make pastas, pizzas, and desserts. Think of it as your must-have list for your Italian kitchen!

 

Pasta

Pasta maker

Test your culinary skills by making your own homemade pasta! Using a reliable and well-made pasta maker can lift your chef status in the kitchen and around the dining table.

Pasta drying rack

If you’re going to make your own pasta, you’re going to want a pasta drying rack. Using a drying rack allows each noodle to dry at the same pace.  

Ravioli forms and stamps

Presenting a plate of perfectly formed ravioli, consistent in shape and size, is an impressive feat. It’s also really easy with the right tool! We have a variety of forms and stamps for your signature ravioli.

Ravioli cutter 

Similar to a pizza cutter, it has small triangular blades on one side and a straight edge on another. It’s two tools in one; a time saver and a way to create beautiful ravioli as an end result.

Gnocchi boards

This small wooden paddle will make creating small gnocchi with consistency and ease. Use this board to help shape the gnocchi and you’ll have no problem!

 

Pizza

Pizza paddle

We love pizza, can you blame us? Using a pizza paddle can help with putting your pizza in the oven and taking it out after it bakes, as well as rotating it for an even bake. Assembling your pizza on the paddle makes an easy transition into the oven.

Deep dish pizza pan

Like all good Midwesterners, there’s a special place in our hearts for deep dish pizza. With this pizza style, you can add in all of your favorite ingredients – vegetables, meats, and cheeses. Bring a taste of Chicago home with a quality deep dish pizza pan.

 

Graters and Slicers

The right grater and slicer can be a game-changer when it comes to preparing your Italian feast. Providing consistency in sizing as well as small, delicate balance for your meal, you’ll impress your friends and family with your cooking skills!

Fresh parmesan graters

The Microplane cube grater is versatile and can be used beyond grating your favorite cheese. After you snag your grater, head over to our cheese selection – we carry a wide variety of cheese for you to choose from, including fresh Parmesan Reggiano, Grana Padana and other aged cheeses. 

Garlic slicer

Garlic is part of a classic Italian dining palate, but can be a pain to peel and chop finely. A garlic chopper is exactly what you’ll need to have perfectly minced garlic for all of your Italian cooking needs.

 

Forms and Makers

Cannoli form

These tools look simple, but a cannoli form will save you from hassle when you’re forming cannoli casings. For the shell, we recommend using an all-purpose Italian 00 Flour, salt, nutmeg, cinnamon, white wine, and olive oil. Pick up G.B. Russo’s filling, a family recipe and perfect for your cannoli!

Pizzelle maker

While this utensil may take up a bit of space in your kitchen, it’s worth it. Pizzelle are the Italian version of a waffle, made from flour, eggs, sugar, Madagascar vanilla extract, butter or vegetable oil. We recommend adding anise extract, which can be found in-store! These sell out quickly, so contact us today to reserve your pizzelle maker.

Espresso maker

As Kelley says, an espresso maker is “my lifesaver when I work until 6am!” Once you’ve found your favorite espresso maker in our store, be sure to pick out some coffee to go with it. We love Illy, a premium Italian coffee brand or our GB Russo Brand Old World Blend Dark Roast.

 

Grocery Items

Now that you’re set with the necessary kitchen utensils, it’s time to focus on the grocery items you’ll want to make your Italian pizza/pasta creations authentic and delicious.

Flour

Chefs claim 00 Flour (pronounced ‘double-oh’) is the best flour to use.  It is a very finely ground flour that can be used to make pizza, pasta, bread, cakes, and more. Gluten free? No problem! We also carry gluten free flour options.

Dipping Herbs

Try adding Villa Russo Dipping Herbs to your pasta or pizza for an added flavor boost or anything your heart can imagine. Let your taste buds be your guide. The possibilities are endless!

Visit us today to find more kitchen essentials to help you make your next Italian entrée the best yet!