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Gnocchi alla romana (semolina gnocchi)

This Roman-style gnocchi made from rounds of cooled, cooked semolina, baked with butter and parmesan cheese is hearty and simple. It can be prepared well in advance and, needing only a browning in the oven before serving, is such an easy dish when you have guests. Have these as a side, or make them more substantial by adding bechamel sauce to the top before sprinkling with cheese.

Do as the Romans do and make this simple, hearty gnocchi!
Do as the Romans do and make this simple, hearty gnocchi! Photo: Emiko Davies

Ingredients

2 medium sized eggs
160g fine semolina flour
500ml milk
40g of asiago or gruyere (or any other good melting cheese), grated or diced
50g butter, diced
a handful of grated parmesan

Method

In a bowl, beat the eggs with the flour and a pinch of salt until well combined. Slowly add the milk until you have a smooth mixture and then add the melting cheese.

Place the mixture in a medium saucepan (1 litre capacity) and, over medium heat, stir constantly until you obtain a very thick mixture, like thick porridge or oatmeal, about five minutes.

Turn this out on to a damp cookie tray (sprayed or sprinkled with some water) and, with wet hands (or a wet spatula), pat the mixture down to a thickness of about 1cm using the palm of your hand. Allow to cool completely.

Grease an ovenproof casserole pan with a third of the butter.

With a 5cm round cookie cutter (or a glass) cut the gnocchi into rounds (it helps if you have a dish of water to dip the cutter into after each round) and place them in rows, slightly overlapping, in the ovenproof pan.

Tuck a few cubes of butter between gnocchi and top with the rest of the butter and the parmesan.

Bake at 200C  for about 20 minutes until golden. Serve hot.

Suggestion:  Served with a nice salad these can make a main meal.

Emiko Davies is a food writer, photographer and blogger.

Main ingredient:
Eggs, Cream/Milk, Cheese
Cuisine:
Italian
Course:
Starter/Entree, Main-course
Occasion:
Family meals, Dinner Party

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