Gnocchi Alla Romana – Roman semolina gnocchi. A specialty dish from Rome.
Pillowy golden rounds are made of semolina flour, parmesan cheese, milk, and butter.
They are crispy and golden on the outside and tender on the inside. So good!
Growing up, it was a treat when my mom made them for us. Another great pleasure was when we went to a trattoria in Rome and here the menu, those beautiful words were written on the menu.
A real treat for us children.
Layers of baked semolina gnocchi come to the table basted with butter and generously covered with Parmigiano, which melts and laces the gnocchi.
Pure simple and pure food bliss with each bite.
Relatively easy to make; just a bit of elbow grease when whisking the semolina into the hot milk.
In this Article
- Why we love this recipe
- What is the difference between gnocchi and gnocchi alla Romana
- What is semolina?
- Here are a few helpful tips for the ingredients needed to make this Gnocchi alla Romana
- Equipment needed to make this recipe.
- Cooking tips and step-by-step instructions to create this excellent gnocchi alla Romana
- The mixture will go from sticky to well smooth. The next step is where the fun begins.
- Storage instructions and reheating
- Variations and suggestions
- What to serve with gnocchi alla Romana
- If you enjoyed this recipe, check out these flavorful recipes:
- Gnocchi Alla Romana
Why we love this recipe
This is such a versatile dish. You can enjoy it as a main course with a green salad or tomato salad with fennel.
Or you can serve it alongside any stews instead of pasta.
Great for parties as you can either small or large quantities, and you can take advantage that you can prepare this gnocchi in advance.
What is the difference between gnocchi and gnocchi alla Romana
Potato Gnocchi are boiled and served with any sauce you wish to have them
The semolina Gnocchi alla Romana is baked to golden, crispy, and with lots of cheesy deliciousness. Pure Italian delight and comfort food.
What is semolina?
A type of flour, semolina is made from durum wheat, therefore used in making pasta, couscous, and puddings.
Similarities to cornmeal in flavor, nutty, sweet in taste, and coarse in texture.
Here are a few helpful tips for the ingredients needed to make this Gnocchi alla Romana
This is a quick introduction; please read the recipe for complete instructions.
Whole milk: To make the Roman gnocchi, use whole milk, which cannot be replaced.
Semolina flour, finely ground, made from durum wheat. It is slightly coarser than regular flour and has a yellowish/golden color.
Butter: Unsalted butter will give you more control over the seasoning and not alter the recipe
Salt: Use fine sea salt, which will melt beautifully with the milk
Large eggs: bring them to room temperature
Parmesan cheese: Use good quality Parmesan and freshly grated. A key ingredient with this dish and lots of the flavor comes from the cheese.
Equipment needed to make this recipe.
Large pot with higher sides where you will, boil the milk and add the semolina.
A long wooden spoon to stir the semolina.
An ovenproof dish for the final baking.
Cooking tips and step-by-step instructions to create this excellent gnocchi alla Romana
You can find the printable recipe with all the correct amounts at the bottom of this post.
- Pay close attention so that your milk will not over-boil and spill over.
- Pour the semolina slowly and steadily while whisking constantly. You want to avoid lumps from forming.
- Once the semolina thickens, change from a whisk to a wooden spoon, and cook uncovered and stirring frequently.
- The semolina is ready when it sticks to the spoon and pulls away from the sides of the pan.
- Remove from the heat and let the semolina dough cool off before incorporating the eggs into the mixture.
- Once done, place parchment paper or plastic wrap over my clean counter to make your life a bit easier to spread the cooked semolina.
The mixture will go from sticky to well smooth. The next step is where the fun begins.
- The semolina can be sticky; thus, a transparent saran wrap sheet spreads the mixture to an even thickness. Not necessary, but it definitely will reduce fighting over it.
- A cookie-cutter works like a charm. Perfect rounds are cut. Dip the cookie cutter into the water if the mixture gets sticky.
- Once all the rounds are made with the semolina spread, you will have odds, bits, and ends. Reassemble them and flatten them out again and restart the same process.
- Butter an ovenproof baking dish well before adding your gnocchi Alla Romana rounds. They should slightly overlap each other.
- This dish can be made ahead of time, and here is where you can stop. Cover with aluminum foil and refrigerate. Bring to room temperature before placing in the hot oven.
- Bake in the middle of the hot oven for about 10 to 15 minutes.
Storage instructions and reheating
Please do not throw away any leftover pieces; they make the perfect snack.
Store any leftovers in an airtight glass container in the refrigerator for several days.
Please bring them to room temperature when ready to eat them again. You can use your stove top or oven.
- Cut the gnocchi evenly and toss them in a skillet with butter until golden.
You can also place them on a cookie sheet that you will have spread with butter.
- Place your gnocchi over the butter.
- Place a few small pieces of butter over it, cover it with aluminum foil, and reheat in a 325F oven for 15 to 20 minutes.
Variations and suggestions
Add some sage to the butter or Parmigiano. Those little nuggets are so much fun and quite delicious.
Serve warm. Enjoy this gnocchi recipe by itself with a glass of wine. A nice green salad or tomato salad will be great, also.
Cut them into dipping sticks, two by four inches long, and dip them into your favorite sauce.
What to serve with gnocchi alla Romana
To make it a complete meal, serve it along:
If you enjoyed this recipe, check out these flavorful recipes:
This tender cheese, Gnocchi Alla Romana, will transport you to Italy.
They are easy to make and emerge from the oven, beautifully golden and crisp.
Equipment and ingredients needed to prepare this dish
Gnocchi Alla Romana
- Preheat the oven to 400F. Grease an ovenproof dish with butter.
- Pour the milk into a pan, add the salt, and bring to a boil. As soon as the milk simmer, add the semolina flour while whisking constantly with a long wooden spoon to prevent lumps from forming.
- When all the flour has been incorporated, keep cooking and stirring with the wooden spoon reaching 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.
- Let cool slightly, then stir in half of the butter, half of the Parmigiano, and both eggs. Mix until all is well incorporated.
- Pour the semolina over parchment paper and spread the mixture out to ½ inch thick with a damp knife or wet spatula.
- 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.(This dish can be prepared up to this point a few days ahead, covered, and refrigerated)
- Bake in the middle rack of the oven until the gnocchi has a golden color. 10-15 minutes. Let stand 5 minutes before serving.
Giangi’s Kitchen provides nutritional information, but these figures should be considered estimates, as a registered dietician does not calculate them.
Did you make this?
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Originally published on April 23, 2020. Updated on February 22, 2023..