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!

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Gnocchi alla Romana

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

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

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Large pot with higher sides where you will, boil the milk and add the semolina.

A long wooden spoon to stir the semolina.

Two-inch wide round cookie cutter.

An ovenproof dish for the final baking.

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Gnocchi alla Romana

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.
gnocchi alla Romana

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.
Gnocchi alla Romana

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:

Roasted vegetables

Mushroom medley

Roasted tomatoes

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. 

Gnocchi Alla Romana

5 from 12 votes
gnocchi alla Romana
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Resting Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes
Servings: 4 people
A specialty dish from Rome. Pillowy golden rounds are made of semolina flour, parmesan cheese, milk, and butter.


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


  • 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. 


Calories: 628kcal | Carbohydrates: 58g | Protein: 28g | Fat: 31g | Saturated Fat: 18g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 8g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 166mg | Sodium: 1800mg | Potassium: 541mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 12g | Vitamin A: 1147IU | Calcium: 624mg | Iron: 3mg

Giangi’s Kitchen provides nutritional information, but these figures should be considered estimates, as a registered dietician does not calculate them.

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Originally published on April 23, 2020. Updated on February 22, 2023..