Aldo Armato

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In 1982 we were introduced to Aldo Armato by the Anfosso family, our friends and suppliers of Barbaresco (De Forville). Aldo was small in stature and modest in nature but fiercely proud of his long family tradition of producing olive oil from the ancient groves of olive trees (exclusively the Taggiasca variety) planted in the hills above the town of Alassio on the Ligurian coast (just west of Savona). The Armato family has been involved in the olive trade and the production of olive oil for many generations. In fact, one of the tiny hamlets on the winding road near Stellanello (where the bulk of the olives are harvested) bears the name “Armato”, in recognition of the ancestors of the current Armato family that settled there a thousand years ago.

Aldo and his wife, Laura, built their impeccable “frantoio” on the ground floor of their house, a few blocks above the bustling town center of Alassio which sits on the shores of the Mediterranean Ocean. From their tiny “frantoio”, the Armato family provides us with an elegant first cold-pressed olive oil which they refer to as “Sc-iappa” which, in Ligurian dialect, translates as “the ultimate”. In fact, the oil we purchase is from the very first free run juice, the liquid that runs free as the olives are positioned to be crushed by the immense old stone that turns slowly to press the olives and release their liquor. This exceedingly low acid oil offers a more delicate and fruity alternative, almost buttery in texture, to its greener and more rustic counterparts produced from warmer climes around the Mediterranean.

Aldo and Laura’s legacy has been handed down to their daughter, Alessandra, and her husband, Giordano Mazzariol. Alessandra and Giordano form a handsome and dynamic couple whose energy and intelligence effect continuous improvement in the quality that blesses this lovely olive oil. They have combined their talents to extend the use of their locally renowned olive oil to make a series of products that are devastatingly delicious.

Olio di Olive Extra Vergine  2017 harvest: Exclusively from Taggiasche olives from trees planted in the area of the village of Stellanello, situated in the hills above the seaside town of Alassio in Liguria; harvest occurs from November through March; cold-pressed in the family “Frantoio” using the traditional stone mill, this oil is bottled unfiltered; it carries a gold-tint to its color and is sweet and delicately fruity.
5 liter “lattina” Olio di Olive Extra Vergine 2017 harvest: Exclusively from Taggiasche olives from trees planted in the area of the village of Stellanello, situated in the hills above the seaside town of Alassio in Liguria; harvest occurs from November through March; cold-pressed in the family “Frantoio” using the traditional stone mill, this oil is bottled unfiltered; it carries a gold-tint to its color and is sweet and delicately fruity.
Filetti di Acciughe “Anchovy Fillets in Olive Oil”: Anchovies preserved in extra virgin olive oil.
Frutti del Cappero [Caper fruits]: whole caper fruits still on the stem, the most luscious and flavorful version.
Carciofini in Olio d’Oliva [Artichokes in Olive Oil]: For richer salads or as a delicious appetizer.artichokes
Pitted Olives “Snocciolate”: Local Taggiasche olives, from which the pit has been removed, preserved in the best Armato olive oil.
Dried oregano “L’origano”: Locally grown oregano from the hills around Alassio; dried to reveal intense aromatics … a formidable seasoning. Intensely scented and wonderful when used in sauces, soups, pizza and salad dressing.
Dried Porcini Mushrooms: 100gr size package; dried porcini mushrooms sourced from the Ligurian hills above Alassio; exuberantly aromatic, adds intense woodsy flavor to broths and risottos.
Mostarda di Cipolle Rosse [Red Onion Mostarda]: caramelized red onions immersed in sugar syrup, vinegar, salt … a wonderful taste treat to accompany lamb, for example, or simply to spread on crackers.
Peperoncino [Dried Red Pepper Flakes]: Hot red peppers seeded and dried to provide oomph! to any dish … wonderfully piquant and fresh.
Peperoncino [Dried Red Pepper Flakes] 1 KG : Hot red peppers seeded and dried to provide oomph! to any dish … wonderfully piquant and fresh.
Pomodori Ciliegino [Semi-Sundried Sweet Cherry Tomatoes]: Semi-Sundried Sweet Cherry Tomatoes packed in olive oil; made with sweet cherry tomatoes harvested at the height of summer for maximum ripeness and flavor.
Sun-Dried Tomatoes “Pomodori Secchi”: the finest tomatoes of Liguria, dried to express their sweet and compelling flavor, and bathed in Armato olive oil.
Tuna in Olive Oil: The most luscious, delicious tuna you will find … beautiful chunks of “dolphin-safe” tuna preserved in Armato olive oil.

Scrambled Eggs with Goat Cheese and Honey

For one (for more just multiply the ingredients listed by the required factor): crack two or three fresh eggs (buy local and buy fresh …nothing like an egg fresh from the coop laid by a hen that forages or is fed delicious food scraps from a good kitchen … that’s the life my chickens lead!)…

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Pasta Puttanesca

Ingredients: • Pasta … I like a short form type like penne or fusilli which have ridges or curlicues upon which the sauce adheres which makes the vibrant flavors of this dish all the more zesty; • Onion or shallot: diced and ready to be sautéed; • Tomatoes: a bit early in the season here…

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Salade Nicoise

The quintessential summer lunch … on the beach, around the pool, or just about anywhere …. this classic Provençale dish has delighted us ever since that first trip to the Cote d’Azur. There are lots of variations on this salad; so much depends on what is available from the garden. For the moment, let’s try…

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Summer Solstice Pizza

As a tasty vehicle for showcasing the “summer solstice package” of goodies (sun-dried tomatoes, caper berries, cherry tomatoes and agrumi or eucalyptus honey), here is a simple recipe for turning out a crowd-pleaser of a pizza …. First, roll out the pizza dough (I am not supplying the recipe for the dough; there are many…

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