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Giada De Laurentiis on the Holidays and Giadzy

Appetito interviews Italian food icon Giada De Laurentiis about the unique products from Giadzy and her holiday gift ideas.

Giada De Laurentiis.

Giada De Laurentiis, the celebrity chef and TV personality, is also behind an online marketplace for Italian products and recipes, Giadzy.

The ubiquitous Italian-American chef is at it again. Only this time, Giada De Laurentiis is taking her love of cooking to a whole new level with Giadzy, an all-in-one marketplace where De Laurentiis shares her love of Italy through recipes, travel guides, and meticulously curated Italian products.

For the holidays, Giada is also launching her own line of panettone, for which she teamed up with Italian baking masters to bring her fans several different panettones to salivate over.

Here, we chat with De Laurentiis to find out more about Giadzy and the best ways to make this holiday season deliciously Italian.

Tell us about Giadzy. What inspired you to start this marketplace?

Giadzy is really my love letter to Italy—it’s the home for all of my recipes, travel guides, and wellness tips, along with hand-selected Italian goods and now my own line of products that pay homage to my birthplace, like Giadzy Pasta.

I was inspired by my grandfather, with whom I shared a deep connection over cooking. It left quite an impression on me that whenever we were in Italy he had such strong ties to the food-making community there and personally knew and respected the farmers and artisans he purchased from in each small town. When I set out to create Giadzy, I knew I wanted this ethos to be reflected in the way I sourced imported Italian products and developed new ones. It’s really a full circle moment.

What are some of your favorite products that can't be found anywhere else in the US?

Oh, where to start…. The pasta! I spent years working on this, and I’m so proud of it. Our Giadzy pasta is sourced from Abruzzo and uses organic semolina wheat that’s grown in ideal conditions, just outside the pasta factory. Aside from the natural spring water from the nearby Magellan mountains, those are the only ingredients. It’s cut on 100-year-old bronze dies and slow dried for 36 hours, which imparts a rustic texture that allows sauce to better cling to the pasta and makes it easier to digest. It was so important to me to create something true to the simplicity of Italian food— pure, with the best possible ingredients!

Apricot Panettone from Giadzy.
Apricot Panettone from Giadzy.

What makes your organic line of pastas different from others on the market?

Aside from the ingredients and the taste, I’d say it’s the shapes. Selfishly, I wanted to introduce some of the hard-to-find shapes I grew up eating in Italy, like the organic taccole and bucatini lunghi (24’’ long), which are only produced by a few Italian pasta makers, us included.

You just launched a panettone collection. What can you tell us about that?

We are honored to have met two of the most talented and notable panettone bakers in Italy. They employ the time-honored method of naturally leavening the dough for 48 hours, which gives them an unrivaled height. We worked with them to develop our custom flavors of double chocolate and apricot, in addition to our traditional panettone. I can truly say they are the best I’ve ever tried — we grew up eating panettone by the truckloads each Christmas in my house, so I’m a tough critic!

What makes them a truly special gift is the packaging! Giadzy panettone comes in a gorgeous, custom-designed keepsake tin. It’s vibrant, design-forward, and the perfect gift.

You sell Holiday Gift Box sets. What are some of your favorites and why?

It’s so hard to choose; we have many! One of my favorites right now is the luxurious Perfect Pasta Pomodoro Gift Box which features our namesake pasta in the unique nodi marini shape along with imported tomatoes, olive oil and Parmigiano Reggiano, and a signed copy of my book, Giada's Italy. I also love the Orange Olive Oil Cake Baking Kit as it’s the perfect gift to encourage baking around the holidays with your loved ones; and, the recipe is delicious.

Do you have any special holiday recipes for readers to try out?

Yes! Here are the ones that are in my rotation:

Baked Manfredi Lunghi Pasta with Butternut Squash Sauce and Sausage

Balsamic Roasted Brussels Sprouts

Calabrian Fig Jam Crostini

Sweet & Spicy Roasted Carrots

Baked Bolognese

Any special tips to make your holiday into an Italian extravaganza?

Since I travel to Italy extensively for work and visiting family, I really love to focus on specific regions when I’m thinking about cooking and entertaining as a theme lends some focus to the planning process. I visited Bologna and Modena last October and left so inspired. This year I’m infusing my holiday menu with the flavors of Emilia-Romagna region, which is home to Balsamico, Bolognese, and Parmigiano Reggiano. I’m adding dishes that complement more traditional holiday classics yet give a la dolce vita flair like a Baked Robiola and Torta Tenerina (Flourless Chocolate Cake from Bologna). They are divine!

[Note: Appetito may earn commissions from products featured in links to this story.]

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