Baked Gnocchi alla Romana (Gnocchi alla Joanie)

By • December 16, 2013 • 0 Comments

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Author Notes: This is my mother’s version of Gnocchi alla Romana, which she served as a side dish.There’s something festive about it, with its scalloped bubbling golden crust. I love that her original handwritten recipe calls for “Farina." Most supermarkets carry semolina these days, but back then Farina (or Cream of Wheat) was what was commonly available. That's actually still what I use to make it, even when there's a bag of semolina in my pantry. Maybe it's just nostalgia, but I think it tastes best that way.amysarah

Serves 6-8

  • 3 cups whole milk
  • 4 ounces butter (1 stick)
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 3/4 cup farina
  • 1.5 cups freshly grated Parmesan cheese (Parmigiano-Reggiano)
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • pinch nutmeg
  1. Combine 2 cups of milk, 2 oz (1/2 stick) butter, salt and a tiny pinch nutmeg in a medium-large saucepan. Bring to a boil.
  2. Meanwhile, mix the farina with 1 cup cold milk in a bowl, until well blended. Add this cold mixture into the simmering milk, whisking continually to avoid lumps. Cook over medium-low flame, stirring often, until it is very thick (if too loose, the cut out shapes will 'melt' when baked.) Remove from heat and let cool 5 -10 minutes.
  3. Stir 3/4 cup of the grated Parmesan and the egg into the farina mixture until well combined.
  4. Pour mixture onto a rimmed baking sheet or shallow pan, so it's about 1/2 inch deep. Smooth top to make an even thickness and cool briefly. Cover and chill in fridge for at least 4 hours, or better overnight, until very firm.
  5. Preheat oven to 425 degrees, and butter a shallow baking dish.
  6. Using a round cookie cutter or juice glass, cut the chilled batter into rounds. Arrange them in the baking dish, overlapping slightly so they form a scalloped pattern. (I use the leftover scraps to fill in any gaps at the sides of the pan or bake them in a small separate dish - chef's reward.) At this point, you can cover the pan and hold it several hours in the fridge before baking.
  7. Melt the remaining butter and drizzle it evenly over the gnocchi rounds. Sprinkle the remaining Parmesan evenly over the top.
  8. Bake about 20-25 minutes, until the top is golden brown and the edges bubble. Serve directly from the baking dish.
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