Written by Ellie Wilson, MS, RDN Senior Nutritionist   Great home cooks and chefs alike know that exceptional meals begin with exceptional ingredients, and we have a wonderful assortment of authentic Italian products featured this month. Powering up your pantry with these simple and savory items can help you make a quick meal into a delicious event. Quick is key with Bella Terra Rapido No Boil Pasta – combine that with Botticelli or Rao’s Pasta Sauces for a fast, fun and flavorful meal. You can also get everything you need to make your own pasta sauce (slow cooker power!) – Mutti, Cento and Botticelli tomato products can be mixed and matched in your family recipes. Deepen the flavor of those sauces with Urbani Truffle Sauces, Amore garlic paste, and Racconto Sundried Tomatoes or Pesto. Price Chopper Sicilian and Toscano olive oils bring the Mediterranean to your table with their regional flavor notes – great to use for cooking or salads. Bella Italia Regional Pasta and Sauces transport you virtually to the towns, villages and families that have perfected their flavors and focus into unique items. Fabulous Italian cheeses, so special they earn an internationally recognized seal of authenticity, can start or finish your meal. Grana Padano, Parmigiana and Gorgonzola can elevate your cheese display or recipes beautifully. Think Parmigiano is just for pasta? Check out the potato recipe below, which will complement almost any meal. Finish with a Perla pastry, or a Divino Gelato Novelty, both special endings for special meals. Delizioso!   Parmigiano Reggiano Potato Wedges potato-wedges Preheat oven to 392 degrees F. Slice potatoes into wedges and toss in oil. Mix together rosemary, Parmigiano Reggiano, a good pinch of black pepper and add to the potatoes, mixing to give a good coating. Roast in the oven for 40-50 minutes or until cooked through and golden brown. Serve sprinkled with more Parmigiano Reggiano and rosemary.   untitled.pngWritten by: Ellie Wilson, MS, RDN  Senior Nutritionist Bring your appetite and sense of adventure to our Italian Fest! Italian cuisine is popular around the world -the dishes are simple, elegant and have few ingredients, but those ingredients have superior quality and intense flavor. There are twenty different regions in Italy, and each has unique agriculture, traditions and recipes. Enjoy some wonderful treasures and bring these flavorful Italian foods to your own table. Start your journey with pasta – Italy is the world leader in the craft of pasta making, with a heritage that is over 500 years old. Explore the regional pasta varieties like DeCecco gnocchi and pasta, Rummo and Bella Italia Regionali pasta, and the fresh Rana pasta in the deli case.  Cucina Amore has taken creamy risotto, polenta and nutty ancient grains, and applied innovation to ensure time-pressed cooks can bring these traditional flavors to their kitchen table. What a wonderful way to explore culture and authentic ingredients you can share with family and friends. Dress all of those pastas and grains up with exciting sauces and flavors – Urbani fresh canned pesto or cherry tomatoes with summer truffles, regional extra virgin olive oils, peppery and bright, and Bella Italia Regionali or Rienzi prepared sauces. Explore Mutti, Ceccato and Price Chopper certified authentic Italian tomato products – make your own sauce with these and you will know why Italian dishes have traveled the world.  Alessi vinegars, with flavors like white balsamic, pinot grigio and cabernet sauvignon add depth, complexity and brightness to your dressings and sauté’s. The artisan cheeses will transport you – there are over 600 varieties of cheese made in Italy, and we can offer you a delicious tour in most of our stores. Taleggio, a soft Alpine cheese aged in caves pairs well with fruit and honey. Locatelli Romano, from the region near Rome (hence the name), is one of the world’s oldest cheeses. Montasio, made from the milk of three different breeds of cow, was first made by 13th century monks. Gran Cacio Estrusco is a semi-hard sheep’s milk cheese, cave-aged for four months, wonderful over silky gnocchi with lemon, peas and a touch of Prosciutto di Parma. What a great dish to herald spring! Round out your meal with fruit-infused San Pellegrino sparkling water, and the fresh, bright flavor of Italian kiwifruit. Imported from the South Pacific by adventurous Italian farmers 30 years ago, Italy is now the largest producer of kiwifruit. If you would like recipes that are authentic as these amazing ingredients, check out our Extraordinary Italian Taste Pinterest board. Join us on a delicious journey around Italy, and embrace the Italian treasures that bring the Mediterranean diet to life, right in your own kitchen. Buon Appetito!Extraordinary Italian Taste Logo.jpg   Written By: Ellie Wilson, MS, RD  Senior Nutritionist, Price Chopper Supermarkets There are many voices highlighting different diet strategies, but none of them is as time tested, delicious and now highly proven to offer the best any diet can offer – exciting, appetizing fare that results in substantially better health for most people. Enter the Mediterranean diet, a food heritage and cuisine that emphasizes extra virgin olive oil, fruits and vegetables, seafood and nuts, along with red wine, as mainstays. Pasta, crusty breads and beans round out the Mediterranean foundation. We carry a great variety of imported Italian foods, including Price Chopper and international brands, and many of them are highlighted during our Italian celebration starting on October 11th.  They offer an authentic link to the flavors and foods of the Mediterranean.Untitled Extra virgin olive oil is darker green in color, and can vary in flavor from sweet to peppery. The darker color means there are more polyphenols and antioxidants, which contribute to the flavor elements and healthfulness of the oil. Great for cooking at lower temperatures, and for adding cold to salads and bread dips, extra virgin olive oil should be a staple in your pantry. The best study showed that up to 4 tablespoons of olive oil per day helped protect from high cholesterol, high blood pressure and stroke. San Marzano tomatoes are a particular heirloom variety of tomatoes originating from the small Italian town of San Marzano sul Sarno, and have been grown since the 1700’s, when they were brought back from Peru. They have a strong, sweet taste and lower acidity than Roma’s, and make a wonderful sauce. They are so unique, they are certified by the Italian government. Lycopene, an antioxidant that also lends its red color to tomatoes, is more easily absorbed from cooked tomatoes, so these items are rich sources. Check out the Price Chopper and Cento brand canned tomatoes, great for sauces and salsa’s. DeLallo brand began offering authentic Italian foods door to door in the 1940’s. Their pepperoncini and giardinera are wonderful – spice up cole slaw with thin slices of pepperoncini, or add it to a sandwich mixed with shredded lettuce. Giardinera is a jarred vegetable salad with cauliflower and carrots in a spicy vinegar, comes in mild and hot varieties, and is a savory, convenient vegetable side salad for lunch or dinner.  Cento brand has brought over 1,000 authentic, premium Italian foods to the United States for over 40 years, and flavor makers like anchovy, clam juice and marinated artichokes are all highlighted this week. Put it all together with fresh seafood (October is National Seafood Month) and you will enjoy the best the Mediterranean diet has to offer! An easy, delicious dinner can include your choice of fresh white fish (1 pound) like cod or haddock, broiled. Combine Price Chopper canned San Marzano tomatoes (28 oz.),  in a sauce pan with two tablespoons each of dried basil and oregano, two cloves of minced garlic, and one anchovy filet, brought to a boil, then simmer and reduce until slightly thickened (about 15 minutes).  Be sure the filet has dissolved into the sauce. Serve over the white fish, with a side of al dente pasta and a green salad with olives. Serves 3-4. You can also try our Create, Take and Bake fresh seafood meals at the seafood counter. Welcome to the Mediterranean!