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baked, golden gnocchi
  • mains

Gnocchi alla Romana

Gnocchi alla Romana are super light gnocchi made with semolina

The story goes that these gnocchi were a basic staple in Roman times. They were peasant food ( cucina povera) as they could be quite filling and were made from simple ingredients. Then over time, like many cucina povera dishes ( think pasta or pizza ) people experimented with other ingredients. When you add things like finely chopped vegetables, butter, eggs or cheese, a simple dish of gnocchi becomes something of a delicacy.

I like to use spinach but you could also try mashed pumpkin or even create a three- flavoured dish - one row of plain gnocchi, another of spinach and the centre row pumpkin. The colours look tantalising and, of course, its a delicious mix of flavours that takes a Roman street food from back street to high street.

  • Ingredients
  • 1 litre full cream milk
  • 1/2 litre water
  • 250 gr coarse semolina
  • 2 organic egg yolks and 1 whole egg
  • 150 gr grated parmiggiano
  • 3 tablespoons bread crumbs
  • 100 gr butter
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 young leek finely chopped ( optional )
  • 250 gr baby spinach ( optional )
  1. pre heat the oven to 200˚

  2. bring the milk, water and salt to a gentle boil then add the semolina in a constant stream, whisking vigorously with a whisk so as not to form lumps

  3. cook for a few more minutes until the semolina thickens to a mashed potato consistency

    thickened semolina in the pan
  4. add the 2 egg yolks and the whole egg and mix them in very well

    semolina with 2 egg yolks and 1 whole egg
  5. now add the parmiggiano and pepper and taste, add more salt if needed

    semolina and parmiggiano in saucepan with a whisk
  6. if you are adding spinach separate some of the semolina to leave plain and add the spinach and leeks you have slowly cooked in a fry pan

    chopped spinach and leek being added to semolina purée
  7. spread out the semolina on your kitchen bench to about 1 cm thickness and let it cool totally

    one plain and one spinach semolina flat disc, spread on kitchen bench
  8. with a 5 cm cookie cutter, cut out circles

    semolina disc being cut with cookie cutters
  9. butter an ovenproof dish and lay the semolina discs side by side

    an ovenproof dish with circle of one green semolina discs and the centre plain
  10. sprinkle some more parmiggiano on top, the bread crumbs and little knobs of butter then some fresh sage

    finished dish with knobs of butter and sage
  11. bake for about 20 minutes or until golden brown

    the baked gnocchi golden brown
  12. serve a mixed green leaf salad with some thinly sliced fennel as a side dish

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