Recipes   /   Gnocchi alla Romana – Baked Semolina Gnocchi

Gnocchi alla Romana – Baked Semolina Gnocchi

Oct 27, 2015 by Gabriele Corcos

DIFFICULTY

While growing up this recipe has always been one of my favorites. Straight out of Nonna Lola’s kitchen, this dish encompasses everything that a family meal is about: comfort, happiness, delicious flavors and lots of love. Yes you can read it as a very nostalgic note, as every time I savor a bite of these gnocchi my mind gets transported back in time and very far away… all the way back home in fact.

My grandmother used to prepare a full casserole of these gnocchi in her kitchen and then call me up to walk through the fields to go get it. She would tape a note on top of it with instructions about when to put it in the oven and at what temperature. I would all happy go back home, set up the kitchen table and turn the oven (and the TV) on, and start cooking the gnocchi while my parents were on their way back from work.

This gnocchi can allow you to be a bit creative as well. When I make it for the family I place them lined in a casserole and use a spatula to serve portions at dinner time, but at my shop I like to prepare individual cast iron ramekins that can be baked to order and plated differently. Cookie Cutters Anyone?

Serves: 6 / Prep Time: 30 minutes / Cooking Time: 30 minutes

  • 4 cups whole milk
  • 2 oz (1/2 stick) Unsalted Butter, plus more for greasing
  • Pinch of freshly grated nutmeg (optional)
  • 1 1/3 cup (9 ounces) semolina flour
  • 2 tablespoons freshly grated Gruyere cheese
  • ½ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese, divided, plus more for serving
  • 2 egg yolks, large and preferably organic
  • 2 tablespoons melted butter
  • Handful of sage leaves
  • Kosher salt

1In a skillet, heat the milk over a medium high flame. Add the butter, season with a generous pinch of salt and just a touch of freshly grated nutmeg.

2As soon as the milk starts boiling, lower the flame to a medium, and slowly start adding the semolina flour; whisk well to avoid any lumps, and then switch to a wooden spoon and mix until it reaches a consistency like that of mashed potatoes, about 1-2 minutes.

3Remove from the flame; add half of the grated Parmesan cheese and the egg yolks and stir well for about 3-4 minutes.

4Pour the mix into a large buttered baking pan and with the help of a spatula distribute it evenly into a layer of about a half-inch. Let cool for 30 minutes in the fridge or 1 hour out of the fridge.

5Heat your oven to 375 Fº.

6When the semolina has cooled off, use a round 3 inch cutter or a medium size water glass to cut out the gnocchi. One by one lay them overlapping and lengthwise in a buttered 13×9 casserole dish… it should look like three or four rows of perfectly fallen domino pieces. Season on top with the remaining grated Parmesan, the Gruyere and finish with a drizzle of melted butter and sage.

7Bake in the oven for about 20-25 minutes, or until it looks golden brown and crisp. Cool off for about 10 minutes and serve with some extra freshly grated Parmesan.

NOTE Always make sure the gnocchi have cooled off properly, especially if you are serving this dish to kids… they might feel cool to the touch, but they can really hurt if bitten when too hot.

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