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The Gluten-Free Pantry of a Famed Italian Chef

Chef Michele Casadei Massari shares his gluten-free must-haves in both his and your Italian kitchen.

Michele Casadei Massari

Chef Michele Casadei Massari of Lucciola in New York City.

Whether you’re cooking for yourself or for a loved one, factoring in gluten-free ingredients doesn’t have to limit you in terms of Italian cooking. There are plenty of options on the market including gluten-free pastas, pre-made pizza crusts, flours, and more.

But there are some options that stand out from the pack, according to renowned New York City chef Michele Casadei Massari, Executive Chef for Ferrari and Executive Chef and founder of Manhattan’s Lucciola, who was last seen hosting demos at the 2023 Summer Fancy Food Show and preparing his famous risotto at a party hosted by Giada De Laurentiis and Parmigiano Reggiano.

Massari, who hails from Bologna in the food-centric region of Emilia Romagna, takes special care to consider the allergies and dietary restrictions of those who dine in his restaurant. He often purchases premade or pre-mixed products that are gluten free as opposed to making his own at Lucciola, to eliminate the possibility of cross-contamination. As a result, he’s cultivated a list of gluten-free must-haves. Many items included in Massari’s selection are available online or at retailers like Eataly.

Here the four gluten-free products Massari always uses for gluten-free cooking at his restaurant, as he shares with Appetito (responses have been edited and condensed for clarity):

Felicetti, penne rice and corn, No 33 organic and gluten-free

“I love Pasta Felicetti's Penne No 33 Organic, gluten-free pasta made with rice and corn. It has exceptional taste and texture, maintaining the al dente quality we crave in pasta. The use of organic ingredients ensures a healthier choice, and its versatility allows for a variety of delicious dishes. It's the perfect option for gluten-free pasta.”

Mama Emma gluten-free gnocchi

“The taste and texture are exceptional, just like traditional gnocchi. Mamma Emma's commitment to quality ensures a truly authentic Italian experience. They're convenient to prepare and perfect for those with dietary restrictions.”

Gluten-free Pinsa Romana De Marco

“The dough is light and airy, with a crispy exterior and a soft, chewy interior. Di Marco's commitment to quality ensures a fantastic gluten-free pizza experience.”

Riso Buono Flour and Rice, both black and white

“It's naturally gluten-free, making it perfect for those who need to avoid gluten. But beyond that, it's packed with nutrients, high in fiber, and rich in antioxidants. Plus, it has a low glycemic index and is versatile in the kitchen.”

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