Gnocchi Alla Romana specialty

While potato gnocchi is made in all parts of Italy, semolina flour gnocchi is a Roman specialty. Growing up it was a treat when my mom made them and you can also found it in the most trattorie in Rom. The baked gnocchi comes to the table basted with butter and generously covered with Parmigiano, which melted and lace the gnocchi voluptuously. Pure simple and pure food bliss with each bite.

To make your life a bit easier to spread the cooked semolina, I placed a parchment paper over my clean counter. The semolina can be sticky thus use a clear saran wrap sheet to spread the mixture to an even thickness. Not necessary but definitely will reduce fighting with it.  A cookie-cutter works like a charm. Once all the rounds are made with the semolina spread, reassemble and flatten out again and restart the same process.

Ingredients

4 cups whole milk
2 teaspoons salt
1 1/2 cups semolina flour
5 tablespoons butter, melted plus extra for greasing
1 cup Parmigiano Reggiano cheese
2 large eggs, lightly beaten

Preparation

1 Preheat the oven to 400F. Grease an ovenproof dish with butter.
2 Pour the milk into a pan, add the salt and bring to a boil. As soon as the milk starts to simmer add the semolina flour while whisking constantly with a long wooden spoon to prevent lumps for forming. When all the flour has been incorporated, keep cooking and stirring with the wooden spoon reaching all the way to the bottom of the pan. About 10 minutes. The semolina is cooked when it sticks heavily to the spoon and comes away clean from the sides of the pan.
3 Let cool slightly, then stir in half of the butter and half of the Parmigiano and both eggs. Mix until all is well incorporated.
4 Pour the semolina over a parchment paper and spread the mixture out to a ½ inch thick with a damp knife or damp spatula
5 Stamp out the 2-inch round with a cookie cutter and place a layer of those rounds in the prepared ovenproof dish, slightly overlapping one another. Brush the rounds with the remaining butter and sprinkle with the remaining ½ cup Parmigiano.
6 (This dish can be prepared up to this point a few days ahead, covered and refrigerated)
7 Bake in the middle rack of the oven until the gnocchi has a golden color. 10-15 minutes. Let stand 5 minutes before serving.

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