Dry pasta is a standard go-to on busy nights because it’s so quick to prepare. But you can enjoy the more refined texture and flavor of fresh pasta – and still get dinner on the table quickly – if you’ve got frozen gourmet ravioli or gnocchi on hand.
Italian markets are often a fantastic source for handmade fresh pastas, and you can pop the filled varieties in the freezer until you’re ready to use them (just make sure they’re well wrapped). Don’t have a local source? Divine Pasta’s quick-frozen fresh ravioli, in flavors like asparagus or rapini and pecorino, ship overnight.
Cost: $5 to $8/8 oz., plus shipping.
Imagine a freezer filled with artisanal Italian pizza. As in, actually from Italy. Now, drumroll please: whether your taste in pies runs to classic Margherita or black truffle, Pizza Romana imports those wood-fired beauties, so you can indulge your culinary wanderlust right in your own home. A 12-pack sampler, which includes 10 pizzas in a range of flavors along with 2 top-them-yourself crusts, is $130 including shipping, or just over $10 a pie.
Yes, it’s handy to keep some tasty little morsels in the freezer for impromptu entertaining. It’s also undeniably fun, every once in a while, to just forget all about dinner, pop open the bubbly, and dine on hors d’oeuvres. Here are some great online sources for ordering appetizers and hors d’oeuvres. You’re on your own finding a butler to serve them.
I could happily fill an entire freezer with ice cream, gelato, and sorbet - especially now that there are so many high-quality options in the frozen treat department (rule of thumb: look for short lists of totally recognizable ingredients, and check natural and gourmet stores for intriguing regional selections).
Ice cream (in all its incarnations) is so versatile: it’s great on its own, sandwiched between cookies, served atop pies or alongside cake, or used in simple-to-make showstoppers like this Blueberry and Citrus Sorbet “Layer Cake” or these Lemon & Green Tea Ice Cream Tortes.
Can’t find exciting frozen goodies in your area? IceCreamSource.com has a great selection of premium and artisanal brands, including Sibby’s organic ice cream, Talenti gelato, Silver Moon liqueur infused ice cream and sorbet, and LaLoo's goat milk ice cream. They've even got gift assortments and an ice cream club, should the selection prove overwhelming.