Christine Hickman is getting down to serious work on her book on gnocchi. Part of that process is having a series of classes at Las Cosas in which students test recipes she is considering including in the book. Her last class, Gnocchi with Gusto. had us trying several different varieties. A tasty experience that sharpened my appreciation for the art of writing recipes.
One of my favorites was a simple dumpling- Semolina Gnocchi "alla Romana" -which would make an excellent side for any roast meat. It would also serve well in a vegetarian meal.
Semolina Gnocchi "alla Romana"
(Maes 6 servings)
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter, plus extra for greasing the pan
- 4 cups whole milk
- 1 1/2 cups semolina flour
- Salt taste
- 2 egg yolks, lightly beaten
- 3/4 cup finely grated Pecorino Romano or Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Lightly butter a 13x9-inch baking dish and set aside.
Thoroughly whisk together the semolina, milk and salt in a 2-quart heavy saucepan and bring to a boil over moderate heat, whisking constantly.Reduce heat to low and cook, stirring frequently,until very stiff, 8-10 minutes.
Let cool slightly, then slowly stir in the beaten egg yolks followed by 1/2 cup of the grated cheese and 1/4 cup of the butter.
Pour the mixture onto a counter and spread it evenly to a 1/2-inch depth with a damp knife.
Using a 1 1/2- or 2-inch round cookie cutter, stamp out rounds and layer them, overlapping slightly, in the prepared dish. alternately, you can can cut them into 2-inch squares.
Sprinkle them with some of the remaining cheese and dot with butter. Continue making layers of disks in this way until all the ingredients are used up.
Bake for 15 minutes or until heated through and golden brown.