A great alternative to mashed potatoes! Gnocchi alla Romana is an ideal side dish for roasted or grilled meat – creamy and cheesy! Simply heavenly!
Just like the general population (I think), potato gnocchi are the only gnocchi that I have known all my life. Granted, there are some other root vegetables that can be used, and sometime herbs or greens will be added like spinach, parsley, etc.
But I had no idea that somewhere in Italy, they are using semolina flour to make gnocchi – and boy, was I glad I discovered it. 🙂
Although this recipe is about ‘Roman-style semolina gnocchi’ (or Gnocchi alla Romana), I have also seen (and tried) semolina gnocchi in Puglia.
However, the Pugliese version do NOT use eggs. I personally prefer to use eggs, not only because it makes the whole mixture stick together better, it also makes it creamier.
How to Make Gnocchi alla Romana
If you are tempted to use a whisk to mix the semolina flour into the milk – DON’T. I tried that myself, thinking it will be easier to remove lumps. Yikes! A chunk of the mixture got stuck inside the whisk. ANNOYING.
Use a wooden spoon or a spatula instead and do not rush when adding the flour. Full disclosure: Continually mixing it is no easy task. I always wish I have stronger arms when I make this dish. 🙂
I have used a metal, non-stick baking dish and some ceramic ones for baking semolina gnocchi. I noticed that there is more crunch at the bottom of the gnocchi when I use the metal ones.
If you have both types of baking dish, try them both, maybe it’s got something to do with my oven. (?)
Gnocchi alla Romana is my default side dish for grilled or roasted meat for colder nights. It pretty much replaced mashed potatoes for me – except for Swedish meatballs, that is. 🙂
I know some people serve it with marinara sauce. Not me. I love the plain creaminess and cheesiness – another winner ‘comfort food’ on my list.
Btw, if you are looking for an another comfort food for colder months, check out my other post for a richly, satisfying stew (Spanish Beef Stew) Enjoy!
FOR MORE SIDE DISH IDEAS, CHECK OUT MY SIDE DISHES COLLECTION!
OR IF YOU WANT ANOTHER POLENTA RECIPE, YOU MIGHT LIKE Italian Polenta Cookies (Zaleti)!
Gnocchi alla Romana
- 3 cups milk
- 2 cups semolina flour
- 60 grams butter, (splitted into 50 and 10 grams)
- 2 egg yolks
- 1 & 1/2 cups Parmigiano Reggiano, grated
- pinch nutmeg
- salt, for seasoning
- Combine milk, 50 grams butter and nutmeg in a medium pan. Heat over medium heat. Season with salt.
- When milk is almost boiling, slowly add semolina flour while mixing the entire time. Adjust the heat to low and keep mixing until the mixture has thickened and the mixture is pulling away from the sides of the pan.
- Combine egg yolks and 1 cup parmigiano in a bowl.
- Take the pan off the heat and add the yolks mixture into the flour mixture. Mix quickly to combine. NOTE: It will be quite a challenge mixing at this point.
- Pour the mixture on a baking sheet lined with plastic (or aluminum foil). Use a spatula or your hands to even out the top of the mixture.
- Set aside until the mixture has hardened. I normally put it in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 200 °C (375 °F).
- Once ready, use a cookie cutter to cut circles from the mixture. I normally get 15 medium-sized circles from this recipe.
- Arrange the circles of gnocchi on a baking dish.
- Cut the remaining 10 grams of butter into tiny cubes and add them on top of the arranged gnocchi randomly. Sprinkle with the remaining ½ cup of parmigiano reggiano.
- Place in the oven for 30-35 minutes, or until the top has turned slightly brown.