This is the perfect item on a dinner party menu as you can prepare gnocchi alla Romana, or Roman-style gnocchi, well in advance and just pop in the oven when guests arrive – and they are always a hit.

Serves
4

Preparation

20min

Cooking

25min

Skill level

Easy
By
Average: 3.2 (157 votes)
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As Easter normally falls in April, Italian food writer Pellegrino Artusi’s reliable suggestions for this month’s Italian menu consist of plenty of dishes that you could traditionally find on an Easter table, including the ones that Italians call magro or lean. In other words, fish or vegetables but no meat, the diet to be followed on Good Friday. Among a list of some of my favourite spring dishes, such as artichoke tart, broad beans served raw, Easter lamb and chocolate gelato, is the irresistible recipe for gnocchi alla Romana.

Quite different from the traditional potato gnocchi that many are used to, these are made from semolina flour and are considerably easier to make if one is not as skilled as a northern Italian nonna at rolling gnocchi off the tines of a fork. Here is an adapted version of Artusi’s recipe.

Ingredients

  • 2 eggs
  • 150 g semolina
  • 500 ml (2 cups) milk
  • 40 g melting cheese, such as Asiago or Gruyere, grated or cubed
  • 50 g butter, cubed
  • 40 g (about a handful) grated Parmesan

Cook's notes

Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.

Instructions

Cooling time 10 minutes

In a bowl, beat the eggs and semolina until well combined. Gradually add the milk until you have a smooth mixture, then stir in the cheese.

Place the mixture in a 1-litre capacity saucepan over medium heat and stir constantly for 5 minutes or until very thick, like thick porridge or oatmeal. Turn out onto a baking tray sprinkled with water. With wet hands or a wet spatula, pat the mixture to a thickness of 1 cm. Allow to cool completely.

Preheat the oven to 200ºC. Press one-third of the butter over the base and sides of an ovenproof casserole. With a round cookie cutter (or a glass; I used 5 cm diameter), cut the gnocchi into rounds and place in rows, slightly overlapping, in the casserole. Tuck a few cubes of butter between the gnocchi and top with the rest of the butter and the Parmesan.

Bake for 20 minutes or until golden. Serve hot.

 

Recipe from emikodavies.com by Emiko Davies, with photographs by Emiko Davies.