Six Pantry Staples That Will Elevate Your Cooking

With simple cooking, it’s all about the quality of the ingredients. I believe that is what really makes the difference between a good dish and a great dish. Here are six pantry staples that will elevate, not complicate, your cooking. 

Rancho Gordo Beans – These are the BEST! I use their beans for my Pinto Beans & Rice recipe and the garbanzo beans for this Hummus Recipe. Once you use them, you will understand what I am talking about. We normally buy them from Cookbook Market or order them directly from Rancho Gordo

Koda Farms – I first discovered this rice at the Hollywood Farmer’s market and it truly was a revelation. Koda Farms is family run and produces a variety of heirloom Japanese rice and rice flour products that are all certified organic, certified kosher, and non-GMO. It’s like no rice I have ever tasted with its delicate flavor and texture. We usually buy ours at the Japanese grocery store Mitsuwa.

Zabs Hot Sauce – If you follow along on Instagram, this needs no explanation. My newest obsession and the perfect compliment to so many things including baby burritos, cheesy quesadillas, beans, and rice, fried eggs, avocado toast….the list goes on and on. Order directly from their website and make sure to try both flavors.

Bionaturae Strained Tomatoes – These are especially great to have on hand for the kiddos who like a smooth tomato sauce. I love to use them in Marcella Hazan’s Tomato Sauce with Onion and Butter and I normally pick them up at Whole Foods.

Bianco Dinapoli Tomatoes – When looking for whole peeled or crushed canned tomatoes, this is my go-to brand. Organically grown and processed in California, they are naturally sweet and have a wonderful depth of flavor. Use them in Grandma’s Tomato Sauce to bring the dish to that next level. We are usually able to find them at Whole Foods or Cookbook Market.

Dry Farm Wines – Getting good wine during the pandemic became quite difficult, as local shops were often sold out or had little variety until I discovered Dry Farms Wine. All-natural and organic wine with low sugar delivered directly to your doorstep each month. Wine that keeps you feeling good. What could be better?!? You will definitely need a bottle on hand to make my favorite Bolognese this fall and winter.