Italian Gift Baskets

Written by Sarah Provost
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Do you know anyone who doesn't love Italian food? A cuisine that ranges from spaghetti and pizza to carpaccio and ossa buco has something for everyone. Fortunately, excellent Italian food can be made at home with little effort.

Fresh, authentic ingredients are the key to any cuisine, and Italian is no exception. Fortunately, because Italian food is so popular, it has become easier in recent years to find excellent ingredients. That also makes it easier to create gorgeous Italian gift baskets.

Authentic Italian Ingredients

Olive oil may be the quintessential Italian ingredient, and it should probably be the centerpiece of your gift basket. A visit to a large supermarket, a specialty market or an import store should give you lots of choices of premium olive oils, often in very attractive bottles. You might want to buy two kinds: a light oil for cooking and salads, and a very green oil for dipping bread. Small, shallow dishes for dipping would be a lovely addition.

Pastas come next, of course, and are available in a wide variety of attractive shapes and colors. Tuck in a few cured Italian meats, some provolone cheese, and jars of olives, artichoke hearts and pepperoncini to make an antipasto plate. Add a pound of Italian roast coffee and some pizzarelli or other Italian cookies. A bottle of Sambuca might also be very welcome. Don't forget to top off your basket with a red, white and green bow, and say "Mangia!"

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