When we came across an email from Williams-Sonoma touting some of the Roman recipes acquired during their recent Italian food discovery extravaganza, we were all ears (and eyes). Although I was familiar with many of the dishes described, neither Gourmaniac had ever heard of Roman-style Gnocchi. These large, round disks made with semolina flour and Parmigiano Reggiano cheese resembled polenta and looked very inviting. Naturally that meant that we had to make them immediately. Happy to report that we did and highly recommend you do as well. Who knew? Thanks to W-S for the great find!
- 5 ½ cups milk
- 2 cups semolina
- 2 tsp. kosher salt
- 1 ¼ cups grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese
- 2 egg yolks
- 6 Tbs (¾ stick) unsalted butter, cut into small cubes, plus 3 Tbs melted butter
In a 4-quart saucepan over medium-high heat, bring the milk to a simmer. Add the semolina in a thin, steady stream, whisking constantly until incorporated. Reduce the heat to medium-low, add the salt and continue whisking to prevent lumps from forming. Cook, stirring and scraping the bottom and sides of the pan, until the semolina is thick and starts to pull away from the sides of the pan, about 10 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in 3/4 cup of the cheese, the egg yolks and the 6 Tbs. (3/4 stick) butter until incorporated.
Spray a 9-by-13-inch pan with nonstick cooking spray, line the bottom with parchment paper and spray again. Pour the semolina mixture into the pan, spreading it evenly and smoothing the top with a rubber spatula. Cover and refrigerate until firm, about 2 hours.
Preheat an oven to 425°F. Butter a 9-inch French skillet.
Using a 2 1/2-inch biscuit cutter, cut the gnocchi into rounds. Arrange the gnocchi in the pan so they are overlapping, resembling shingles. Brush the top of the gnocchi with the 3 Tbs. melted butter and sprinkle with the remaining 1/2 cup cheese. Transfer the pan to the oven and bake until the top is golden brown, 30 to 35 minutes. Let rest for 10 minutes, then serve with your favorite meatballs and tomato sauce, or a creamy cheese sauce, or seafood and a white wine sauce, or anything you like. Serves 6-8.
Of course we know that pairing bread with gnocchi or pasta dishes is redundant, but we couldn’t resist a taste of Amy’s Bread. If you are not familiar with this outstanding Chelsea Market bakery and its bread products, I strongly suggest you give it a try, but beware: there is no going back.