The number of dishes from the italian tradition is nearly infinite. Today one of us is playing at home, and from Rome we present you a quite simple, yet impressive and incredibly delicious main dish which we are sure is new to many of you: gnocchi alla romana (or gnocchi di semolino). On thursdays you will find it as the “plat du jour” in the typical “trattorie”, on Christmas eve is the first dish in many households in Rome and the course that everyone in Camilla’s family loves. But don’t think of it as too special or complicated: is the perfect meal for any schoolday lunch and dinner.
The base of this is just semolina cooked in boiling milk, which will be then mixed with couple of egg yolks and baked in the oven with some parmigiano and a knob of butter. Real easy.
You need to trust us and believe that this is a crowd pleaser. Everyone loves it. It’s the dish that your grandma prepares and makes everyone happy, that cuddles you on a warm winter night and surprises your friend because “how good is this! I never eat something like that!”.
It’s surprising because is SO simple.
You can add some extra ingredients before you put it in the oven (some steamed broccoli, extra cheese, mushrooms…), as you like it, but please try the “traditional” way. You can play around with the shape to give to your gnocchi: the classic rounded ones, easy and squared, or use a cookie cutter to be more imaginative (the story goes one of our mums was making them heart-shaped for Valentine’s day as they were dad’s favorite dish!).
Hey, tomorrow is thursday! Let’s prepare our gnocchi!
Serves 4 -Easy– Prep time: 2 hours
You will need:
- 1lt milk;
- 250 gr semolina;
- 2 egg yolks;
- 2 tbsp of butter;
- about 100 gr of grated parmigiano;
- some grated emmental (optional);
- pinch of salt.
- Bring the milk to boil with a pinch of salt, then add the semolina while whisking;
- continue turning the mixture on a low fire with a wooden spoon, let cook for couple of minutes until it thickens;
- beat the egg yolks, and add them to the semolina together with half of the parmigiano;
- line some baking paper on a wooden surface or a baking tin, and transfer your mix;
- spread the semolina with a big spatula/knife, with a rollin tin or with your own hands to a even thickness of about 1 cm. Let cool well;
- after about 1 hour, cut your semolina with the shape you prefer (round is the classic, you can use the leftovers to prepare another less pretty but still yummy tray);
- butter an oven pan and lie the gnocchi in a way they will only partially overlap;
- melt the butter and brush it over the gnocchi;
- finish off with the grated parmigiano and the emmental if you want to;
- bake in the pre-heated oven at 180 C for about 20 minutes, until the edges become crispy and brownish.
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