Roman-style gnocchi with asparagus
Asparagus is one of the stars of spring cuisine. Pair it with gnocchi made from semolina for something a little different.
Photo: Steven Siewert
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- 250g asparagus, bases trimmed
- 1 litre milk
- 250g semolina
- 2 egg yolks, lightly beaten
- 100g unsalted butter
- Half tsp grated nutmeg
- 70g grated parmesan
- Passata (or other pasta sauce), to serve
Bring a pot of salted water to the boil and add asparagus. Cook until tender, drain and let cool. Cut tips to 4cm lengths and finely slice the leftover stalks. Set aside.
In a saucepan, bring milk to a gentle boil with 2-3 pinches of salt, and add semolina, pouring in a fine stream and stirring with a whisk to prevent lumps forming.
Once mixture has thickened, turn heat to low and continue to stir with a wooden spoon for 10-12 minutes. It will thicken a lot but continue to cook.
Remove from heat then stir in egg yolks, butter, nutmeg and half the parmesan and the asparagus stalks. While mixture is still hot, pour onto a marble slab or wooden board to a thickness of 1cm.
Once cooled, use a 5cm round pastry cutter to cut out gnocchi. Line a baking dish or two with baking paper and place gnocchi side by side, leaving a space between each.
Cut asparagus tips in half lengthwise and lie one on each of the gnocchi. Scatter remaining parmesan on top.
Bake in a preheated 190C oven for 30 minutes. Serve hot with a tomato sauce.