While exploring the streets of Venice, longtime partners Donovan Steyl and Michael Thompson discovered an intriguing little package of dehydrated veg and herbs, intended for making a pasta dish.

After preparing it that night (with tasty success), they realised that this was something the South African market would love.

Thus the Taste of Italy range of dehydrated pasta blends was born. Inspired by authentic Italian pasta dishes, it offers easy-to-use combinations of dehydrated vegetables and herbs that you simply rehydrate and combine with your favourite pasta.

With our busy lifestyle today, every cook deserves and needs a helping hand in the kitchen. Taste of Italy ensures that just about anyone can cook up an authentic and delicious Italian pasta – without the cost and waste of having to buy all the ingredients separately.

Cooking Taste of Italy could not be easier. All you have to do is place the dehydrated ingredients into a pot, add boiling water and olive oil, let stand for five minutes, then bring to boil until water has cooked off and toss in already prepared pasta.

It’s ideal for vegans, vegetarians, busy housewives, executives, people with limited culinary skills and the health conscious.

All ingredients in each packet are locally sourced and only the freshest produce is used. Ingredients are dried at 45 degrees to retain up to 97% of their colour and nutritional value.

No preservatives or additives are used and each packet is hand packed and individually checked to ensure consistency and quality.

The range offers five variants, all based on popular Italian dishes.

These include Puttanesca (olives, chilli, capers, onion, basil and tomato); Funghi (mushrooms, red peppers, onion, garlic and a blend of herbs); Arrabbiata (tomato, onions, garlic, chilli, red peppers and basil); Zuccu (butternut, mint, onion, chilli and garlic); and Mediterranea (spinach, olives, tomato, onion, garlic and a blend of herbs).

Not only can you add the blends to pasta dishes, the guys at Taste of Italy have also successfully experimented with breads, quiches and pizzas.

“Your imagination is your only limit,” exclaims Steyl, adding, “We encourage our stockists and consumers to come up with interesting ideas when using our products”. Taste will also be expanding into flavoured rice, salt grinds, bread dippers and soups mixes.

Taste of Italy is available at selected venues throughout South Africa. See the “outlets” page on their website for details.

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