(Did you get the no-kidding = gnocchi-d-ing joke, or was that too much of a stretch?)
For the Life As Mom Potluck Recipe Swap and Real Food Wednesday Recipe Swap I thought I'd share a recipe that is simple, healthful, and surprisingly well liked by my kids. This is a recipe I've had for a few years and unfortunately I can't remember the origin, maybe The Food Network or Cooking Light magazine. It's fun to have the kids help with this recipe because they can dig in and get their hands messy.
Butternut Squash Gnocchi
1 butternut squash (about 2 lbs.)
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 teaspoon ground white pepper
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
3 to 3 1/2 cups flour, plus more for shaping
3 tablespoons butter, melted
1/2 cup freshly shredded parmesan cheese (or other hard cheese, such as asiago or pecorino), plus more at the table
Freshly ground black pepper
1. With a fork or sharp knife, poke holes all over squash. Microwave it on high 10 minutes. Let sit until cool enough to handle. Halve squash lengthwise; scoop out and discard seeds. Flesh should be tender when scraped with a fork; if it isn't, microwave on high (cut side down) in 1-minute intervals until tender. Let sit until cool enough to handle. Scrape out flesh (discard peel) and mash until smooth.
2. In a large bowl, thoroughly combine 2 cups mashed squash (save any extra for another use), 1/2 tsp. salt, the white pepper, and nutmeg. Stir in flour, 1 cup at a time, until a dough forms (it will pull away from inside of bowl).
3. Turn dough out on a generously floured work surface. With well-floured hands, knead dough 10 to 12 times.
4. Divide dough in half and cover 1 batch with plastic wrap. Roll other batch into a 3/4-in.-thick rope and cut into 1/2-in.-long pieces. Put pieces on a floured baking sheet and set aside. Repeat with remaining dough.
5. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Boil gnocchi until they rise to the surface, about 4 minutes; cook 30 seconds longer and then lift with a slotted spoon, making sure water drains from gnocchi, and place in a large serving bowl. Gently toss with butter and top with cheese and a sprinkling of black pepper. Serve hot and pass extra cheese at the table.