Italian cuisine isn't typified by any particular national dish. Each region has its own local specialities and this is why the food served in the North of the country is often different than that served in the South.
One aspect of Italian cooking that doesn't change however is the importance of ingredients. Every Italian knows that starting with the best quality produce gives the best quality result to a dish.
Take a look at what makes Napolina so special. From our sun-kissed, ripe tomatoes to our delicious Italian pasta, our products are designed to give a superior and authentic taste to every Italian meal you make.
Pasta is simply made from the flour of certain grains mixed with water, which is then kneaded and formed into various shapes. In Italy, these will often reflect the culture of each individual region.
Pasta is now eaten all over the world. It appeals to every taste and offers a variety of flavours, textures and shapes. Dried pasta is commonly eaten in Italy thanks to its long shelf life and dense texture when cooked.
Napolina’s established range of standard and quick cook pasta features shapes such as spaghetti, ideal to serve with light, thin Italian sauces; tagliatelle, ideal for heavier, thicker sauces and conchiglie, perfect for chunkier sauces as the grooves allow the sauce to coat each piece of pasta for fuller flavour.
In addition to durum wheat, pasta can also be made using egg. Napolina’s premium egg pasta is made with a high egg content of five eggs per kilogram. The Napolina egg pasta range features garganelli, campanelle and torchietti, which is made in the Emilia Romagna region of Italy famous for its pasta production.
Napolina's pasta range also includes a premium bronze die pasta which is extruded through bronze dies to create a rough, porous surface. When cooked, the rough surface of the pasta allows full absorption of added sauces.
Tomatoes are at the heart of the Napolina brand.
When Naples businessman Marino Iandiorio bought his first tomato vines over 40 years ago, he was so passionate about the quality of his produce that he formed the Napolina brand – which literally translated means ‘Little Naples’.
Today, Napolina’s famous tomatoes continue to be used as the essence of Italian cooking. Whether canned, sieved or crushed to create delicious pasatta and rustica sauces, Napolina’s tomato products use only the finest Italian tomatoes, picked at the peak of perfection from the sun-drenched Italian countryside.
Napolina’s tomatoes are only harvested when they are fully ripe, creating canned tomatoes that have an intense, rich flavour and a deep red colour.
Napolina canned plum and chopped tomato varieties are the perfect Italian store cupboard staple. The tomatoes can be used straight from the can with no preparation needed.
Other key tomato ingredients used in Italian cooking are passata and puree. The smooth, sieved texture of passata makes it ideal as a versatile base for soups, casseroles and pasta sauces. For a chunkier, more rustic texture to dishes, try crushed tomatoes which Napolina also offers with added garlic, pepper or basil.
Basil is one of the most common herbs used in Italian cooking, thanks to the climate in which it thrives. It is generally used fresh, and when included in recipes is normally added at the last moment to preserve the aromatic flavour.
One of the simplest ways to enjoy basil is with tomato-based recipes. Basil is also the key ingredient in pesto sauce, which hails from the city of Genoa in Italy.
To add a taste of Italy to a simple pasta dish why not try Napolina’s tomato and basil sauce or use our crushed tomatoes with basil as a base to add your own ingredients. Alternatively, sprinkle a few fresh basil leaves on to a Napolina pizza base topped with tomato topping and cheese for a traditional Margherita.
Garlic is especially popular in Italian cooking, and has been since Roman times as it is easily grown and gives a strong flavour to many dishes, particularly pasta sauces.
To add further spice to a dish, many Italian chefs will use pepper and chilli. A basic ‘arrabiata’ pasta sauce simply consists of tomatoes and chilli, whilst ‘pepperonata’ – a flavourful roast pepper dish – can be served as authentic antipasti.
Napolina's range of delicious pasta sauces feature garlic, chilli, basil and peppers. They can be enjoyed straight from the jar - or why not add your own touch by adding more of your favourite spices?
Olive trees have been grown in the Mediterranean for hundreds of years and oil produced from olives has long been a staple of the famous Mediterranean diet. Olive oil is made from crushed olives and contains no additives or preservatives.
Olive oil is usually graded into three different types. Extra virgin olive oil has a strong, distinctive flavour. Using this oil for high cooking temperatures is not recommended as it will result in an alteration of its flavour. Ideally this oil should be used as a basis for sauces, dips and dressings for vegetables, meat, salads and fish.
Standard olive oil is created through blending and has a more subtle flavour than extra virgin. It is great for everyday use and can be used for the majority of cooking methods, from roasting to frying.
Light and mild olive oil is simply olive oil that has been refined to have a lighter colour and a much milder taste than standard olive oil or extra virgin. It still has all the nutritional benefits of olive oil, and its lighter flavour can be used for a wide range of cooking, including baking and frying.
Flavoured oils provide a quick and easy way to give dishes an added touch of flavour with no need for preparation of ingredients.
You will find extra virgin olive oil, standard olive oil, light and mild and flavoured olive oil within the Napolina range.
Italian food is all about simple, good quality ingredients.
Beans and pulses fit this Mediterranean style of cooking perfectly, providing a tasty, healthy base for soups, salads, starters and stews.
In Tuscany, cannellini beans are at the heart of the region's famous Tuscan bean and pasta soup. And across Italy, lightly dressed beans and pulses are often served as an alternative to rice or potatoes because they are very good at absorbing the flavours of their dish.
If you're in a hurry, canned beans and pulses are the perfect way to recreate a real taste of Italy without any soaking. You will find chickpeas, red kidney beans, cannellini beans and butter beans in the Napolina range, each of which count towards your five-a-day.
Many authentic Italian dishes add the finishing touch of a light sprinkling of cheese. Grano Padano Italian cheese is one of the most popular varieties.
Similar to Parmesan but matured for less time, Grano Padano originates from the Po Valley in Northern Italy. It is a finely grained hard cheese, that has mild nutty flavour and aroma. It’s ideal for grating or shaving over various Italian dishes, and can also be used for cooking.
Why not try Napolina's Italian grated cheese to give your dishes a real authentic flavour? Made with high quality Italian cheese, it is sourced direct from Italy and comes ready-grated, so you can simply sprinkle it over pasta or meat dishes, or even add to a salad or sandwich.