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! Photo: Emiko Davies
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2 medium sized eggs
160g fine semolina flour
40g of asiago or gruyere (or any other good melting cheese), grated or diced
50g butter, diced
a handful of grated parmesan
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.