The Best Traditional Roman Gnocchi Recipe
Traditional Roman gnocchi are simply delicious (probably our favorite kind of gnocchi!) and we can’t wait to share the best recipe ever. Gnocchi di semolino are not gnocchi as you know them. They are made from semolina flour and are prepared in flat squares or medallions which are layered and coated with butter and parmesan before being baked in the oven. Read on to get the recipe and watch Foodie Sisters, Benedetta and Valeria, prepare it in the Local Aromas kitchen.
Also sometimes called gnocchi alla romana, gnocchi di semolino are very different in shape and texture from the more common version made from potato or sometimes ricotta.
Semolina flour is made from durum wheat and has a coarse texture which gives the gnocchi a firm bite and a dense consistency. The recipe takes a little time but the dough can be prepared in advance and left to cool before being shaped, layered and baked. The combination of soft gnocchi, melted butter, and parmesan cheese topping produces the ultimate comfort food.
We like to use the recipe below which comes from our favorite cookbook Il Talismano della Felicità.
Gnocchi di Semolino
250g Semolina flour
1 lt milk
2 egg yolks
50g grated Parmigiano Reggiano
Heat the milk in a saucepan until it boils then slowly sprinkle in the semolina flour, stirring all the while with a wooden spoon to prevent any lumps forming. The mixture will quickly start to thicken.
Continue to stir the mixture well, making sure that it does not stick, and cook for another 10 minutes.
Remove the pan from the heat and add a good pinch of salt along with the egg yolks, a handful of grated parmesan and half the butter. Stir everything together well and then place the mixture onto a worktop which has been lightly sprinkled with water.
Wet a large kitchen knife with water and use this to flatten the dough to a thickness of about 1cm. Leave the dough like this for one hour and, when the dough is completely cool, cut into squares or circles approximately 4cm wide.
Use butter to grease a baking dish suitable for the oven then place a layer of the gnocchi pieces on the bottom. Sprinkle with a little parmesan then continue to build up layers, adding parmesan in between, until you have a dome-like shape.
Once you have layered all the gnocchi, add another generous sprinkle of parmesan on top then melt the remaining butter and pour across the top.
Put the dish into a medium oven for 15 minutes and, when the top layer of gnocchi has turned golden, serve immediately.