Extra Virgin Olive Oil
☛ Tuscan olive oil has an intense,
fruity olive taste. Use it when you
want the taste of olive oil to take
☛ It is a show stopper when drizzled
over slices of tomatoes, mozzarella
cheese and chopped fresh basil. FRANCE FREEMAN
☛ Drizzle over bowls of thick homemade soup, such as split pea, for an
Parmigiano Reggiano ☛ Mix equal parts vinegar and honey,
and use as a dip for fruit and cheeses.
☛ Always allow this cheese to reach
room temperature prior to serving, as ☛ Sip on its own after a meal as
cold numbs the flavor.
☛ Grate shards onto ☛ Heat with a small amount of
sugar and drizzle over ice cream.
aged ham or pumpkin
ravioli and other pas- Kirkland Signature
tas. Finer gratings are Extra Virgin Olive Oil
perfect for risotto and
tortellini in brood ☛ The Italian side of the family taught
(tortellini in broth). me to pop popcorn with all-Italian
extra virgin olive oil. It is fantastico.
☛ Roll wedges
of pears in honey ☛ Use in place of mayonnaise for a
and then in grated Kirkland Signature tuna sandwich.
Parmigiano Add capers and chopped red onions.
Reggiano. Garofalo Pasta
Kirkland Signature ☛ To cook, boil water (at least 4
Balsamic Vinegar quarts per pound of pasta), add a
of Modena pinch of coarse sea salt and then the pasta. Cook for 11 minutes. To keep
☛ Drizzle over strawberries, a the strands separate, make sure water
wedge of Costco’s Kirkland Signature is boiling rapidly. Stir the pasta occa-Parmigiano Reggiano or even sautéed sionally as it cooks and mix it with
potatoes. sauce immediately after straining.
☛ Brush on grilled asparagus or ☛ Don’t rinse your pasta after straining,
squash. as it becomes less flavorful and creates
☛ Drizzle vinegar and Tuscan olive oil watery dishes.
over simple greens for an easy salad ☛ Toss fresh-cooked pasta with Tuscan
dressing. olive oil and Parmigiano Reggiano.
Recipes for these Kirkland Signature products can be found
in the Costco magazine at costco.com. Buono appetito!—PV
I complete this most extraordinary trip by traveling about an hour south of Naples to the small
hilltop village of Gragnano.
My view is filled with the volcanic giant Mount
Vesuvius. I swear that it’s venting steam, but no one
seems to care or notice. The talk is only of dried pasta.
When I ask about the volcano, my host, Luca de
Luca of Storico Pastificio Garofalo (historic pasta
maker Garofalo), says with a shrug, “Signora, you are
standing at the birthplace of Italy’s pasta. Not so long
ago these stradas [streets] were lined with pasta
being dried by the sea breezes and sun. We live for the
pasta, not the volcano. I tell you, we know from the
blood how to make the best dried pasta in the world.”
Garofalo, with more than 250 years of pasta-making experience, is just one of Costco’s dried-pasta suppliers.
The facility is enormous and modern. Mixing
tanks the size of small trucks mix superior-grade
pure semolina (made from the center core of milled
100 percent durum wheat) and fresh, purified
spring water into stiff dough. This dough is then
forced through dies to create pasta shapes, cut into
lengths, passed through numerous driers and packaged. Flat pastas, such as lasagna, are rolled rather
Good dried pasta made of 100 percent hard
durum wheat semolina pairs well with most dishes,
absorbs little water during cooking, stays firm to the
bite, provides a slightly nutty taste and stores easily.
Pastas made of non-durum or other low-quality
flours often lack firmness, flatten when cooked and
have a mushy feel in the mouth.
The executive chef prepares a feast of Costco’s
Garofalo pasta. I tell myself to take only a few bites,
but within minutes abandon all such reasoning.
Mama mia, what works of art!
At the airport I discover a slight dusting of
semolina on my clothes. It smells splendid and provides welcome company on my long flight home.
I depart Italy knowing we are all the richer for
Italy’s passionate food traditionalists—and Costco’s
dogged determination to provide only the finest and
most authentic Italian foods. May the words “fatto in
Italia” (made in Italy) continue to be treasured. C