CLASSIC pasta semolina gnocchi - how to make them
         

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These are the gnocchi di semolina all Romana  --  the famed gnocchi that are ubiquitous in restaurants and at homes in Rome.

This delectable comfort food is a stand-alone dish -- there is no need to add sauce. You just bake it.

Ingredients:

  • four cups milk
  • one and one-third cups semolina flour
  • two egg yolks, lightly beaten
  • two cups freshly grated parmesan
  • one stick of butter
  • salt and pepper

Heat the milk in a heavy saucepan over medium heat until it is just ready to boil. Remove from the heat and add the semolina flour slowly sprinkling the flour into the milk while stirring constantly.

Return to a low heat, and simmer, stirring constantly, for ten to fifteen minutes. The mixture should be getting dense very soon and is done when it forms a mass that comes cleanly away from the sides of the pot.

Add four tablespoons of butter, a half cup of parmesan, and the egg yolks, and stir until they melt thoroughly into the flour, about two to three minutes.

Moisten a hard surface, preferably marble, with cold water. Dump the semolina mixture onto the surface, and the  with the heels of your hands or a flat object like an spatula or side of a knife, spread the mixture into en even thickness, about three-eights of an inch.

Let the semolina cool completely, about thirty minutes.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Smear the bottom of a baking dish lightly with butter.

With a cookie cutter or a glass or similar, cut the semolina into rounds of about one and one-half inches in diameter.

Arrange the gnocchi on the bottom of the dish in a single layer, overlapping as if they were roofing tiles. Cut the remaining two tablespoons of butter into little slivers and spread them over the tiled semolina. Sprinkle the remaining parmesan over the top.

Bake for fifteen minutes. If the top is not a light, golden brown, you can run them under a broiler for a minute.

Allow to settle for a few minutes. Serve from the baking dish, with some added parmesan on the side.

 


 

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