After an amazing vacation with some good friends through California Wine Country, I have to say that the highlight of the trip occurred at the tasting table at Far Niente Winery. Despite the breathtaking and jaw-dropping views, expertly manicured estate grounds, and exquisite rare car collection, the winery’s pairing of their renowned Dolce wine with Empereur Bleu d' Auvergne cheese truly stole the show. This dessert wine was basically liquid gold – fruity and sweet like honey, but not syrupy, and crisp and acidic, but still buttery. It paired unbelievably well with the cheese’s salty, strong bite and creamy texture. I was so thankful that Thomas doesn’t eat blue cheese because I gobbled his portion right up. Unfortunately, before I could get around to it, he had already downed his Dolce and shot me a satisfied grin.
After we returned home, I wanted to emulate the flavors of buttery, sweet grapes with pungent blue cheese, so I threw together Gnocchi with Red Grapes and Gorgonzola. It may seem like a strange dish, but trust me, it is delicious (substitute cherry tomatoes for the grapes if you’d like). As we learned at Far Niente Winery, the saying “Il dolce far niente” loosely translates to "the sweetness of doing nothing" – and that is exactly what you will feel like doing after eating this delightfully rich dish.
Gnocchi with Red Grapes and Gorgonzola
Makes 2 servings
2 cups store-bought gnocchi
1-2 tablespoons butter
Handful red seedless grapes, halved
1 tablespoon freshly chopped sage
Gorgonzola cheese for topping
Cook the gnocchi according to the package’s instructions and then set aside. Heat a pan on medium heat and start to melt the butter. Wait for the butter to foam and begin to brown. When the foam has subsided, add the grapes, chopped sage, and gnocchi. Toss together to coat and season with salt and pepper. Top with crumbled Gorgonzola cheese and enjoy!