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I love where I live. With Sonoma’s breathtaking beauty among her rolling hills, picturesque vineyards, and the close-knit community I am blessed to call home, it's easy to say I love what I do. As a real estate professional and food writer, Sonoma Dish endeavors to share with you my enthusiasm for living the wine country lifestyle.



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  • Writer's picture Therese Nugent

Trader Joe’s Frozen Cauliflower Gnocchi

Before the novel coronavirus had us hoarding toilet paper, we were stockpiling Trader Joe’s frozen cauliflower gnocchi. Those in the know have this cult product on speed dial. They’re that good. So immensely popular, they are consistently out of stock limiting the quantity you can purchase at any one time. These days, when it’s socially responsible to have a stocked freezer, you’ll want these on hand.

Cauliflower has been the darling of the vegetable world for some time now. What started out as an alternative for folks avoiding gluten, cauliflower exploded into popularity with its chameleon-like qualities morphing into anything we could culinarily imagine. This cruciferous vegetable is surprisingly adaptable in the form of “gnocchi,” the traditional Italian dumplings made with potatoes and flour. In an unexpected and delicious twist, cauliflower masquerades as potato in Trader Joe’s frozen gnocchi. And at just 140 calories per cup, these can’t be beat.

If you can get your hands on a coveted private-label package, don’t follow the directions to boil. Instead, employ the pan-fry method providing a preferable “al dente” texture. (See recipe.) To finish the dish, there is no end to what sauce you can dress up the dumplings. From classic marinara to basil pesto sauce, or just a generous dusting of Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, they’re simply delicious.

In today’s climate, you may have to wait in line to get into Trader Joes. But they’re worth the wait. Practice your social distancing, stay calm, and carry on. And no hoarding!


Gorgonzola dolce or “soft” cheese is just one of the many types of blues to choose from.

Gnocchi with Creamy Gorgonzola, Sage and Walnut Sauce

Serves 4

12 oz package frozen Trader Joe’s Cauliflower Gnocchi

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

8 ounces heavy cream

8 ounces Gorgonzola dolce, rind removed and cut into 1-inch dice

1 tablespoon sage, finely chopped, plus extra leaves for garnish

4 ounces walnuts, toasted and chopped

salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

1. In a large skillet over medium-high heat, heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Add frozen gnocchi and spread into an even layer. Sauté the dumplings undisturbed until golden brown on the bottom, approximately 2 to 3 minutes. Using a large spatula, gently flip the gnocchi and continue to sauté until golden brown all over.

2. In a saucepan over medium-high heat, bring the cream to a boil. Reduce the heat and add the cheese and sage. Cook, gently stirring, until the cheese has partially melted and the sauce has thickened to a coating consistency. Stir in the walnuts. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste.

3. Add the gnocchi to the sauce and briefly toss to coat. Divide among bowls, garnish with reserved sage leaves, and serve immediately.


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