Our Wine of the Week, Pedroncelli 2012 Dry Creek Valley Chardonnay ($14), is a great quaffer to have around as summer slides into fall.
Its richness, combined with flavors of baked apple, ripe pear and honeydew melon, mirrors the flavors and textures of the season.
Add the little wisps of toast that weave through the wine and next thing you know you're thinking about the first fire of the season or how you've always wanted an outdoor wood-burning oven.
The wine is lovely with all things corn, from corn on the cob slathered with basil butter to corn chowder, cheese grits, creamy polenta and polenta soufflés. It is excellent with pear and chicken salad, apple and bacon chowder, pork tenderloin with pear chutney, sea scallops and wild Pacific King salmon.
This wine is also excellent with classic risotto Milanese, made with bone marrow and saffron.
Today's recipe is inspired by one in Deborah Madison's classic “Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone” (Broadway Books, 1997).
Here, I've combined two of Madison's variations — adding cheese, adding roasted peppers — to create a layer of lusciousness that resonates beautifully with the wine.
Savory Cheese-Filled Noodle Cake with Roasted Sweet Peppers
Makes 4 to 6 servings
2 teaspoons hot water
— Pinch of saffron threads
— Kosher salt
12 ounces dry spaghettini
3 large eggs, beaten
— Black pepper in a mill
2 ounces (1/2 cup) grated Vella Dry Jack or similar cheese
1/2 cup chopped Italian parsley
3 large sweet peppers, roasted, peeled and seeded
2 garlic cloves, slivered
3 tablespoons olive oil or butter
8 ounces Italian Fontina cheese, cubed or shredded
Put the hot water into a small bowl, add the saffron threads and set aside.
Fill a large saucepan two-thirds full with water, season generously with salt and bring to a boil over high heat.