Gnocchi Alla Romana

There’s a big misconception here in the States, that gnocchi is a potato dish. This would be a fairly big surprise to the folks who made gnocchi before the new world was colonized.

Truth is, Gnocchi has more in common with polenta than pasta, at least when it comes to its genealogy. A recipe that contains a fine grain mixed with a liquid and other ingredients? That’s the basis of gnocchi.

Sure, sure, when potatoes finally made their way to Italy, potato flour took over. But the Romans said “No thanks. We got a good thing going on already” Looking at the recipe below, they do.

No pictures, as my camera went “kerflooey”. And if you’ve ever had a camera go “kerflooey”, you know how painful it can be.

  • 3 cups milk
  • 6 Tablespoons butter
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup semolina flour
  • 1 cup freshly grated Pecorino
  • 4 egg yolks

Pre-heat your over to 425 F.

Using a sauce pan, heat the milk over medium heat until it start to scald. Add the butter and salt and whisk until the butter has melted. Slowly pour in the semolina flour into the heated milk. Whisk vigorously allowing it to thicken. Continue cooking over heat for one to two minutes, whisking all the way. Remove from heat and add 1/2 cup of the grated cheese and the eggs yolks. Mix well.

Pour the batter onto a buttered cookie sheet and spread about, ensuring it’s an even thickness. Allow to cool for about 30 minutes or so.

Cut the semolina into crescent moons,roughly 2-3 inches in length. Place into a buttered baking dish, leaning each piece of gnocchi slightly upon each other. Sprinkle with remaining grated cheese and bake in oven for 15-20 minutes, until grated cheese is a light golden brown.

Remove from oven and serve immediately.

Serves 4

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