But when the October issue of Bon Appetit arrived with a recipe for Butternut Squash Gnocchi with Sage Brown Butter -- from the kitchen of Lidia Bastianich -- I was determined to try it.
But let's add up the damage: FOUR HOURS of cooking. Yes, I made a pot of chicken vegetable soup too while I waited through various cooking and chilling times. But seriously, I started at 4:40 p.m. and ate around 9. Thank heavens I went to Duke and have plenty of free time on my hands during football season!
The other downside: this recipe was a clear violation of my friend Anne's rule not to make anything that makes you buy something you do not typically need or keep on hand. (Said rule applies not so much to perishables as things like truffle oil or fish sauce or -- in this case -- nutmeg -- that will linger in your pantry for months, possibly years.) I further violated this rule by purchasing a special piece of kitchen equipment, a potato ricer. Even worse, I had to go to three stores before I found the ricer, finally purchasing one at my trusty neighborhood Blackhawk Hardware. Worse still, this potato ricer cost me $14.
And the worst of the worst is that it broke! No kidding. Notice bent handle below.
The gnocchi have to chill for at least an hour, so I worked on my soup for a while and cleaned up my extremely messy kitchen. By now, I was in the home stretch. Soup made and kitchen tidied up, I boiled the chilled gnocchi for 15 minutes. It actually looked like it was working! I was worried the gnocchi would just turn to mush being boiled that long, but I guess it puffs up the flour and activates the egg.
It was absolutely delicious. Almost as delicious as the butternut squash ravioli with sage at Aria in uptown Charlotte. And that is what I belive I will be having the next time I get this craving!