Our new potato ricer was put into use this afternoon – with both potatoes and butternut squash. Victor bought the ricer for the sole purpose of making a lighter gnocchi. And tonight, he succeeded!

Making gnocchi is all about a light hand and not overworking the dough – very much like making biscuits. For those of you who actually make real biscuits and not those store-bought tube things, you’ll know what I mean.

In all my years of cooking, I never owned a ricer. I now see where I have been missing out. Old dog, new trick.

The other new trick was making a butternut squash and potato gnocchi. Victor headed into he kitchen and started creating. My only job was to bake a loaf of bread – otherwise, dinner was on him! It’s a great sharing of responsibilities!

He hasn’t quite perfected the recipe to his standards, so no actual amounts are listed, tonight. Personally, I thought they were perfection in a fresh herb, garlic, and butter sauce – but… if he thinks he can make them even better, I sure as hell am not going to stop him!

Step one is baking off potatoes and butternut squash – and then sending them through the ricer.

Then, it’s mixing the two with egg, salt, nutmeg, grated cheese… and slowly incorporating a bit of flour…

When it all comes together, it’s rolled into a rope, cut, and then shaped.

Lather, rinse, repeat.

These were some of the lightest gnocchi I have ever had. Victor was worried about adding too much flour, but he thinks the next time he may actually be able to add a bit more. It’s done by look and feel, so he has his baseline. I will write down exact amounts next batch – but you’ll still have to adjust, as necessary.

Totally delicious.

I made my favorite Pane Pugliese.

It’s a crusty crunchy bread that has a mind of its own in the oven.

I dimple the entire loaf 10 minutes before baking to help keep it from going too crazy – but much of the charm is the huge holes.

It’s based on Carol Field’s book. My favorite…

So… stay tuned. A new batch will be coming in a few weeks.

I’m psyched!