Every food enthusiast has a bottle or two of olive oil in the kitchen. It’s a must for any food lover, especially if Italian is one of your favorite cuisines. (If you don’t like Italian food, then I’m not sure we can be friends!) However, not all olive oil is created equal and that becomes quite clear once you’ve had the good stuff.
I recently received a sample of Paolo Bonomelli’s Ca’ Rainene Classico Extra Virgin Olive Oil, which is currently ranked #6 on the World’s Best Olive Oils of 2015/2016. This bottle of golden deliciousness comes from the picturesque Paolo Bonomelli olive farm in Torri del Benaco, located in the Province of Verona in Veneto, Italy. Their award-winning olive oil is grown and bottled directly on their farm of 5000 olive oil trees. For those of you who live in NYC or plan to visit soon, you can find Paolo Bonomelli products at Eataly NYC.
(Photo below c/o Paolo Bonomelli Farm)
What’s your favorite way to enjoy premium olive oil? You can use olive oil for all sorts of things, but for a clean, uninterrupted taste of the olive oil, I kept it simple with bread and balsamic vinegar. Paolo Bonomelli Ca’ Rainene is rich and fragrant on the nose, and it was lighter in color than I had expected. Very enjoyable with bread and balsamic — the simple joys! It’s fruity flavor makes it a good option for lighter dishes, like salads. Be careful not to go overboard when drizzling this oil… too much of it could get too bitter. Less is more when it comes to EVOO.
In addition to the tasting, I decided to cook up a quick and simple gnocchi dish with Ca’ Rainene. Olive oil and pasta are always a winning pairing. The olive oil packs plenty of flavor on its own, so you don’t need many other ingredients for a satisfying meal. After cooking the gnocchi, I decided to fry some sage in Ca’ Rainene for an extra special touch, but couldn’t resist snacking on the pillowy gnocchi in the meantime! If you’re planning to pair this dish with wine, I’d reach for a light-bodied white wine.
Gnocchi with Paolo Bonomelli Ca’ Rainene & Fried Sage
Serves 2 as an entree (or 4 as an appetizer)
1 lb package of potato gnocchi (or homemade gnocchi if you’re up for it!)
Paolo Bonomelli Ca’ Rainene olive oil
12-16 sage leaves, washed and dried
Cook the gnocchi according to package directions, making sure that your water is heavily salted before you add the gnocchi. Strain the gnocchi as soon as it floats to the surface of the water. Set gnocchi aside.
Add enough olive oil to cover the surface of a skillet. Heat over medium-high heat until oil is hot. Add sage leaves and cook for a 3-5 seconds until crispy. Larger leaves will take longer to fry. Transfer to paper towels to cool, then sprinkle with salt. (You may need to fry the sage leaves in two batches.)
Drizzle the gnocchi with olive oil. Season with black pepper. Sprinkle with sage leaves. Toss gently and serve immediately. Buon appetito!
Note: I received a complimentary olive oil sample from Paolo Bonomelli. This was not in exchange for a positive review and all opinions expressed here are my own.