November 1, 2012

Good Times and Butternut Squash Gnocchi

(Due to technical difficulties, I'm only able to upload one photo for this post. I'll post more pics soon!)

Last week I invited my husband into the kitchen for dinner preparation. I needed an extra set of hands and he was totally on board. Also, I agreed beforehand to be on good behavior.

Until he turned it into a competition.

After feeling especially inspired by this recipe over at, I went home intent on making a completely new and different dish for dinner. There is something about gnocchi that is especially appealing to both of us. It all started with this video. Ryan was entranced by the drinks the cook keeps pouring for himself; I fell hard for the potato ricer and the wilted greens that come into play at the end.

Let's not mention the fact that between the two of us, only one of us had read a recipe for gnocchi.

Too much flour gnocchi on the bottom.
In any case, we set out to make butternut squash gnocchi with brown butter sage sauce. An unexpected garden meal with surprisingly few (and very basic) ingredients, the butternut squash gave the gnocchi a lovely hue and a lightly sweet flavor. And what could be simpler than an aromatic brown butter sage sauce?

We learned one important thing about making gnocchi, and that is this: less is more. As in, flour. You want the dough to be workable but as light and fluffy as you can get it. And don't overwork it, either, or you'll wind up with tough, toothsome gnocchi when what you'll really want are fluffy little pillows of gnocchi.

I followed the recipe for direction, but changed a couple of ingredients: instead of pumpkin, I used about one pound of butternut squash from our garden. And since we didn't have any other type of cheese in the fridge... we went with parmesan. The salty touch worked just right.

And as for crafting a recipe together, this went well enough that we'll do it again. Next time, though, Ryan says we'll use potatoes instead of butternut, and there will be steaks involved. I said that'll be just fine, darling.