Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Cooking with Colavita: Simply Italian Gift Basket {Review & Giveaway}

Colavita logo
Although it seemed as though life was getting busy when my children headed back to school in the fall, now that the holiday season is approaching, it sometimes feels as though the days are flying by at an alarming rate. Why is there never enough time in the day to get things done? What happened to the concept of free time?

Therefore, by the time I pick the girls up from school, they have a snack and a rest, homework gets done, and preparations for the following day are made, it doesn't seem all that surprising that I often don't start thinking about what is going to be for dinner until... well, dinnertime.

Fortunately, I know that I can always reach for the speed and simplicity of our most-loved dish, pasta, and that there isn't a name that knows pasta better than Colavita!

Colavita products

Originally from the Molise region of Italy, the Colavita family from generations ago became masters at the delicate craft of "tasting" and blending extra virgin oils from different types of olives. This skill enabled the family to produce 100% Italian extra virgin olive oil with a consistently fine quality, setting Colavita apart from the other leading brands.

Today, Colavita is still known for bringing consumers authentic Italian extra virgin olive oil; however, the Colavita brand has grown to include many other quality specialty food products that are sold in over 60 countries. Everything from durum wheat semolina pasta to a full selection of balsamic and wine vinegars to traditional and organic pasta sauces and much more are used in home, restaurant, and professional kitchens worldwide.

And, after the arrival of the Colavita Simply Italian Gift Basket, this is one brand that is going to be a staple in my own kitchen as well!

Colavita pasta products

Could this gift basket include any more amazingly tasty items?

I looked over the collection and found that my mouth was watering and my stomach was growling long before I had finished checking out all of the ingredients!
  • Colavita Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Colavita Balsamic Vinegar
  • Cirio Crushed Tomato with Basil
  • Colavita Eggplant & Sweet Peppers
  • Colavita Olive Bruschetta
  • Colavita Marinara Sauce
  • Colavita Tomato Basil Sauce
  • Colavita Penne Rigate
  • Dal Raccolto Capellini
  • Dal Raccolto Orchiette
  • Almond Cantuccini
It wasn't long before I was browsing the Colavita Recipe Library to get some inspiration for the delicious Italian meal that I was going to make first.

Although the Pear and Chestnut Ravioli definitely caught my eye...

Pear and Chestnut Ravioli soon as I saw the Butternut Squash Cavatappi, it was all the inspiration that I needed. Just about anything with butternut squash has been a big favorite of mine lately!

Butternut Squash Cavatappi

Therefore, I pulled out a selection of items from Colavita and, with the addition of a butternut squash...

Colavita cooking

I was ready to whip up something tasty!

Balsamic Vinegar Butternut Squash Penne


1 medium butternut squash, peeled and cubed
2 tablespoons honey
¼ cup Colavita Balsamic Vinegar
3 tablespoons Colavita Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Salt and pepper, to taste
1 package Colavita Penne Rigate


Preheat oven to 400°F. Put 4-6 quarts of lightly salted water on to boil and cook penne as directed.

In a large bowl, combine all ingredients and mix to ensure the squash is coated.

Line a baking sheet with foil and spread squash into a single layer. Bake until the squash is tender and brown about 30 to 35 minutes, flipping the squash after 15 minutes.

roasted butternut squash

I opted to put my roasted squash directly on the Colavita Penne Rigate (and some Parmesan cheese, of course) and let the flavors do the rest, but next time I might pull together a light cream sauce as well to give it a little extra punch.

For now, however, the results were simple and delish!

Balsamic Vinegar Butternut Squash

Mmm, mmmmm! 

To be honest, I hadn't fully realized how much of a difference high quality ingredients could make in the overall taste of a dish... but these Colavita products definitely made this meal shine!

Ready to include the incredible variety and selection of Colavita into your kitchen as well? Head over to to see their full collection of items and be sure to browse their Recipe Library to get some ideas for an upcoming dinnertime in your household. You can also connect with Colavita on Facebook and Twitter!

Plus, thanks to their generosity, one person will soon be cooking with the best ingredients around as well, because...

One lucky person will win a Colavita Simply Italian Gift Basket (ARV $75)*!

Colavita gift basket

*One winner per household, email address, or home address. If you have won this prize on another blog you are ineligible to win again. Winners must have a U.S.-based address to receive their prize.

I participated in this event on behalf of Wendy's Bloggers for Colavita. I received Colavita products to facilitate my review.


Judy Maharrey said...

This recipe looks delicious!

abfantom said...

G+ & GFC ids: abfantom fantom

abfantom at yahoo dot com

feisty_bee said...

This is a great basket. I would love it.

Frugal Tumbleweed Acres said...

What a great Gift Idea for my granddaughters.

cherylannstark said...

There is nothing better than a beautiful basket with delightful food that will bring joy to any family! Wow, we would be so thrilled to enjoy all the goodies in this basket!!!!

Jan Roberts said...

Thank you so much, I will be borrowing some of your delicious looking recipes!
Jan R.

Linda Manns Linneman said...

I have never heard of this product before but I will definitely be trying it. Thank you for sharing all this great information. Thank you for sharing