Olive Oil & Rosemary Cornbread

Give, receive & enjoy fresh cornbread this holiday season. We tweaked a recipe using our extra virgin olive oil & fresh rosemary for golden, tender & moist bread with just enough sweetness. Enjoy it with a glass of wine as an appetizer or serve with your holiday lunch or dinner.

Yields approx. 8 slices.

Simple Ingredients:

  • 2/3 cup Villa Graziella organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil + more for drizzling

  • 2/3 cup of buttermilk

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour

  • 1 cup yellow corn meal

  • 2 large eggs, slightly beaten

  • 3 tablespoons organic sugar

  • 2 tablespoons of fresh, chopped rosemary plus 2 sprigs for garnish

  • 1 teaspoon baking powder

  • ½ teaspoon baking soda

  • ½ teaspoon sea salt

Easy Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 425F◦ degrees, arrange rack in the oven to the center.

  2. Generously brush a loaf pan with olive oil.

  3. Place cornmeal into a large bowl, sift flour with baking soda, salt, sugar & rosemary into bowl.

  4. In a second bowl, lightly whisk eggs, add buttermilk, then olive oil to bowl with eggs.

  5. Mix on medium speed until combined.

  6. Combine dry ingredients into the bowl of wet ingredients, in 2 batches, mix lightly on low speed.

  7. Pour batter into a loaf pan, distribute evenly, top with a drizzle of olive oil & 2 rosemary sprigs.

  8. Bake until golden brown approx. 25-30 minutes, or if a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.

  9. Remove from oven & cool approx. 15 minutes, run a knife or spatula around the edges to release. Cool 30 minutes.

  10. Slice & serve at room temperature. Enjoy alone with Villa Graziella Bianco Toscano IGT white wine.

RecipesAmy WrightComment
Fresh Italian Plum & Olive Oil Cake

Using Villa Graziella Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil instead of butter, with fresh seasonal Italian plums for a guilt free dessert. Enjoy it for dessert, it tastes even better the next day for breakfast!

9 Servings

Easy Ingredients

1 lb. red or Italian plums (about 6)
3 ounces Villa Graziella Organic extra virgin olive oil, + 1 teaspoon to grease pan
1 ½ cups all-purpose, unbleached flour, + extra to dust the cake pan
¾ cup of turbinado sugar (Sugar in The Raw)
½ cup milk
3 eggs room temperature
1 ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
1 ½ teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon sea salt
½ teaspoon nutmeg

Simple Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 325◦F

  2. Grease a 9’’ round or square pan with 1 teaspoon olive oil & flour

  3. Cut plums into thin wedges

  4. Combine flour, baking powder, salt, nutmeg & sugar, add oil, blend until the mixture resembles coarse meal

  5. Combine milk, eggs & vanilla

  6. Stir in dry ingredients, mix until moistened

  7. Pour into prepared pan

  8. Push plums into batter in rows leaving skin side exposed

  9. Bake about 60 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean

  10. Let cake cool, serve & enjoy!

TIP: Cover securely to prevent from drying out.

RecipesAmy WrightComment
One Pot Chicken Tortellini

October is National Pasta Month & we’re celebrating with meat & cheese filled life preserver shaped tortellini pasta! Tortellini dates to the early 1660’s region of Emilia Romagna in north central Italy. Legend suggests an infatuated inn keeper spied upon the sleeping Goddess of Love Venere (Venus) through the key hole of the door to her room. So taken with her shapely form, he filled pasta dough he was making with cheese, twisting it around his ring finger to resemble the form of her navel. We tweaked a recipe using Villa Graziella Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil, cherry tomatoes & kale with boneless chicken breast for a nutritious, flavor packed, week-night dinner. Makes 4 abundant main course servings.

Simple Ingredients

  • 1-pound boneless skinless chicken breasts or tenders, cut into 1-inch pieces

  • 3 tablespoons Villa Graziella Organic Extra Virgin olive oil, plus extra to flavor

  • 20 ounces of fresh or refrigerated tortellini

  • 2 cups fresh (or frozen) kale or spinach, washed, dried, cut into pieces, discard the stems

  • 3 cups organic chicken broth

  • 2 cups cherry tomatoes, halved

  • 1/2 cup heavy cream

  • 1/4 cup fresh grated Parmesan cheese

  • 2 tablespoons flour

  • 2 tablespoons chopped, fresh parsley

  • 1 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter

  • Sea salt & cracked pepper

Easy Directions

  1. Heat olive oil in a large pan or Dutch oven over medium-high heat

  2. Add chicken to the pan, season with salt & pepper, cook until browned 5-8 minutes

  3. Remove the chicken from the pan; cover to keep warm & set aside

  4. Add butter to the pan, melt until foaming, whisk flour, cook for 1 minute

  5. Stir in chicken broth, simmer 2-4 minutes or until slightly thickened

  6. Add tortellini pasta to the pan, bring to a boil cooking 4 minutes, stirring occasionally

    ensuring tortellini is coated with liquid

  7. Stir in cream & parmesan cheese, simmer over medium heat 1-3 minutes

  8. Return the chicken back to the pan with kale, cook 2-3 minutes, or until kale is wilted

  9. Fold in tomatoes to the tortellini mixture

  10. Sprinkle parsley over the top, serve & enjoy!

Tip: Let tortellini stand covered for 2-4 minutes allowing sauce to thicken & flavors to fully blend.

Click here for the inspiration recipe!

RecipesAmy WrightComment
Wine Storage 101

Prior to popping the cork or twisting the cap learn the Do's & the Don'ts. Read our article in the latest edition of Chicago Woman Magazine!


Amy WrightComment
Torta di Cioccolato & Olio di Oliva di Chef Rosa Hanslits’ Dark Chocolate & Olive Oil Cake

We’re celebrating National Dessert Day with a Torta di Ciccolato & Olio Di Oliva recipe from one of our FAVORITE people, Rosa Hanslits of Nicole Taylor Pasta Shop & Back Room Eatery in Broad Ripple, Indianapolis. We swapped butter with a healthier choice using Villa Graziella Organic Extra Virgin Olive for delicious dark chocolate cake! 8 to 10 slices.

Easy Ingredients

  • 1/3 cup Villa Gabriella Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil, + more for the pan

  • 2 cups King Arthur™ Unbleached, All-Purpose Flour, + more for dusting

  • ¼ cup Dutch-process cocoa powder

  • ¼ teaspoon sea salt

  • 1/8 teaspoon baking soda

  • ½ cup sugar in the raw

  • 1 large egg plus 1 egg yolk

  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract

  • ½ teaspoon finely grated lemon

  • ½ teaspoon finely grated orange zest

For the glaze

  • 4 oz. bittersweet chocolate, chopped

  • 2 teaspoons honey, plus more for drizzling

  • 2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil

  • ½ teaspoon finely grated orange zest

  • Large pinch of sea salt

  • ½ teaspoon coarse black pepper

Simple Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Brush a roundpan or Bundt pan with olive oil & dust with flour.

  2. Whisk the cocoa powder and ¼ cup hot water in a small bowl, let cool slightly & set aside.

  3. Combine flour, salt, baking soda in a bowl.

  4. Combine sugar, egg & egg yolk, vanilla & lemon zest, beat on medium high speed until pale & thick, approx. 1 minute.

  5. Slowly drizzle in olive oil. Add the cocoa mixture & beat until combined.

  6. Reduce the mixer speed to low, add the flour mixture & beat until just incorporated.

  7. Bake for 30-35 minutes. Let cool in the pan on a rack.

  8. Remove from pan & let cool completely on the rack.

  9. Make the glaze, put the chocolate, honey, olive oil, salt in a pan, heat over a medium flame, stirring occasionally.

  10. Drizzle over cake, sprinkle sea salt, cracked pepper & orange peel, let cake thoroughly cool before enjoying!


RecipesAmy WrightComment
Balsamic Glazed Salmon Fillets

October is National Seafood Month! Enjoy an easy dinner with fresh balsamic glazed salmon fillets. We tweaked a recipe from allrecipes.com for a healthy & delicious dinner! Serves 5 to 6.

Easy Ingredients

  • 6 5-ounce-fresh salmon fillets

  • 1/3 cup Villa Graziella Organic 8 Year Aged Balsamic Vinegar di Modena

  • 3 tablespoons of Villa Graziella Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil

  • 5 teaspoons Dijon mustard

  • 3 tablespoons of dry white wine

  • 1 tablespoon honey

  • 1 tablespoon oregano

  • Sea salt & fresh cracked pepper to season

Simple Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 400°F (200°C). Line a baking sheet with foil & brush with 1 tablespoon olive oil.

  2. In a small saucepan, over medium heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil.

  3. Add garlic & cook until soft & golden, approx. 3-5 minutes, do not brown.

  4. Add white wine, honey, balsamic vinegar, mustard, salt & pepper.

  5. Simmer, uncovered for 5 minutes, until liquid thickens, remove from heat & set aside.

  6. Arrange salmon on foil lined baking sheet, skin side down.

  7. Brush fillets with balsamic glaze, season with oregano.

  8. Bake 10-15 minutes. To check for doneness, insert a knife on an angle into the center of salmon & gently part the meat. If opaque & flakes into small pieces, salmon is cooked.

  9. Remove fillets from oven, brush with remaining glaze, season with salt & pepper, allow fillets to “rest” 2-3 minutes & remove skin.

  10. Serve & enjoy with Villa Graziella artisan crafted IGT Bianco Toscano white wine made with organic grapes.

Click here for the inspiration recipe!

RecipesAmy WrightComment
Roasted Garlic & Butternut Squash Cassoulet

We’re celebrating World Vegetarian Day with a hearty butternut squash Cassoulet. A nourishing 1 pot meal from southwestern France slowly cooked in a cassole-the traditional clay pot in the hearth, we tweaked a traditional recipe for a meatless Monday. Makes 8 servings & tastes even better the next day!

Simple Ingredients:

  • 1 whole garlic head

  • 2 tablespoons. Villa Graziella Organic 8-Year Aged Balsamic Vinegar

  • 3 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon Villa Graziella Organic Extra Virgin Olio Nuovo Olive Oil.

  • 2 cups vertically sliced onion

  • 4 1/2 cups (approx. 2 lbs.) peeled butternut squash cut into 1/2 in. cubes

  • 1/2 cup organic vegetable broth (can substitute with chicken broth)

  • 2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme

  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt

  • 1/8 teaspoon. freshly ground black pepper

  • 4 (15 oz.) cans cannellini or other white beans, rinsed & drained

  • 3 bay leaves

  • 2 (1 oz.) slices of bread or 1 cup fresh bread crumbs

  • 3 tablespoons grated fresh Parmesan cheese

Easy Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Remove white papery skin from garlic head (do not peel or separate cloves). Wrap garlic head in foil. Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour. Remove from oven & cool 10 minutes.

  2. Separate cloves; squeeze to extract garlic pulp. Set pulp aside, discard skins & preheat oven to 375 degrees.

  3. Heat a large Dutch oven over medium high heat with 2 tbs. oil to pan, add sliced onions

  4. Reduce heat to medium-low; cook 25 minutes, until onion is tender & browned, stirring frequently.

  5. Stir in vinegar over low heat, add garlic pulp, squash, broth, thyme, salt, pepper & beans to onion mixture, stirring well, cover.

  6. Place bread in food processor & pulse 10 times or until coarse crumbs measure 1 cup.

  7. Combine bread crumbs, cheese, & remaining olive oil; sprinkle evenly over squash mixture.

  8. Cover & bake at 375 degrees for 50 minutes or until squash is tender. Uncover & bake an additional 15 minutes or until topping is browned. Discard bay leaf.

  9. Let sit covered for 5 minutes.

  10. Sprinkle with parsley, serve & enjoy with Villa Graziella Artisan Crafted Wine Made with Organic Grapes

Click here for our inspiration recipe!

Amy WrightComment
Easy Bruschetta

September 30th is International Extra Virgin Olive Oil Day! Celebrate the ancient, noble, liquid elixir with delicious & easy Bruschetta. The word bruschetta originated from the Italian verb “brusciare” to burn & was considered a working man’s food using day old bread, with 4 simple ingredients; extra virgin olive oil, tomato, basil & parsley. Garlic, cheese & meat were added over the years depending on the season & ingredient availability. No set recipe, we just stayed true to the original; using our Villa Graziella Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil, fresh tomatoes, quality country style bread, backyard basil & parsley, sea salt & cracked pepper. Prepare ahead & serve at room temperature as a healthy half time snack, delicious appetizer, or side bread for soup & salad.

Serves 6-8 as an appetizer or side condiment

Simple Ingredients

  • Fresh, in season, cluster of on the vine, room temperature cherry tomatoes, chopped

  • 1 baguette loaf country Italian or French bread, sliced

  • 4-5 tablespoons Villa Graziella Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil, plus extra to flavor

  • 1/4 cup fresh basil, chopped

  • 1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped

  • Sea salt & cracked pepper (to taste)

Easy Directions

  1. Stir together tomatoes, basil, parsley & olive oil in a bowl, set aside.

  2. Add salt and pepper to taste, salting at the end, as it tends to break up the tomatoes.

  3. Brush both sides of bread with olive oil, place on the grill top or preheated in an oven at 300°F.

  4. Turn slices over when brown, heat other side.

  5. Remove from heat, spoon tomato mixture on to bread.

  6. Serve & enjoy with Villa Graziella artisan crafted wine made with organic grapes.

RecipesAmy WrightComment
Herb Roasted Marcona Almonds

Native to the Spanish coastal regions of Alicante, Málaga & Valencia, Marcona almonds are referred to as La Reina de las Almendras (the queen of almonds). Skinless with a delicate, fine texture & slightly sweet flavor, the prized trees bloom early in the year making them susceptible to spring frosts. Our friends Joyce & Sue shared a recipe for Marcona almonds, we tweaked by adding fresh rosemary, sage & sea salt for a delicious & healthy snack rich in oleic acid & mono-unsaturated oils. Serves 8-10 as tapas or a snack

Simple Ingredients:

  • 1 pound of roasted, salted Marcona Almonds
  • 2 tablespoons of Villa Graziella Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 2 tablespoons of fresh herbs such as rosemary, sage & thyme
  • 2 teaspoons of sea salt

Easy Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350◦ degrees
  2. Arrange almonds on a baking or cookie sheet
  3. Add Villa Graziella Organic Extra Virgin Oil & toss
  4. Add herbs & toss
  5. Spread almonds evenly on a parchment lined cookie sheet
  6. Roast for 8 minutes; remove from the oven & turn.
  7. Repeat process 10 – 15 minutes or until lightly toasted, careful to not overcook & burn
  8. Sprinkle with sea salt & toss
  9. Remove from cookie sheet & place on paper towel lined platter to drain any excess oil
  10. Serve warm or at room temperature, enjoy with Villa Graziella Organic wine. ¡Buen provecho!

*Helpful tip: refrigerate & store in an airtight container up to 6 weeks*

Click here for the inspiration recipe!

RecipesAmy WrightComment
FICO - Eataly World!

It’s been called an Italian food theme park, a mall with a glorified food court, a food snob’s nirvana. 

FICO-Fabbrica Italiana Contadina-Italian Farming Factory launched fall 2017 outside of Bologna, Italy to many a pundit. Under the Eataly food hall organization with national & international outlets, FICO-Eataly World, a 25-acre agri-food park is their largest installment. 

Curious, we went to FICO to see & taste, firsthand. The objective is to educate people on the history of Italian food traditions and Italy’s ever important contribution to the world’s culinary biodiversity. Like its smaller counterparts, discovery, interactive learning is a focus with extensive signage & displays. 

The space is vast; 45 restaurants, food stands & pop up markets, 6 multimedia pavilions and 30 daily classes on Italian food history & production. Including artisan ice cream & sorbet, dry & fresh pasta, breads & specialty Sicilian desserts, honey & bee keeping. Also courses on aged & fresh cheeses, olive oil, beer & wine. The outdoor periphery is an open-air museum with artifacts and educational displays, vegetable & herb gardens, a vineyard, a mini olive grove, a barn with farm animals, even a truffle patch. 

There are themed open kitchen restaurants, carefully curated pop up shops are interspersed throughout with fresh, packaged food, produce, wine & liquor, books, kitchen equipment & gadgets, stationery, personal care and home goods. As inviting, open sell environments, they are merchandised with plenty of signage to encourage “discovery” i.e. buy.

We took a few “exploration” classes, the instructors were enthusiastic about sharing history and production methods. For the novice visitor they are an interesting, interactive & fun.  

FICO Eataly is a far cry from the traditional, neighborhood bottega selling 1 category, just bread, only fruit & vegetables. It can be overwhelming; a large lay out (bikes are free for those who don’t want to walk) and a plethora of different foods to eat, drink, sample and purchase. 

Overall it was a positive experience, friendly, helpful staff, tasty food in an attractive environment. Students young & mature, new to Italy’s abundant agriculture, rich food traditions and culture will benefit from a full food immersion with an educational twist.    

Amy WrightComment