This Roman Gnocchi Recipe Is Delicious And Different

This Roman Gnocchi recipe is a bit different because instead of potatoes it uses semolina flour but this Gnocchi all Romana is a delicious option to try.

roman gnocchi - Ready To Eat

Gnocchi alla Romana Browned and Ready

Kitchen Tools And Cookware

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Pasta MakerGnocchi BoardPasta BoardRavioli Maker
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Silpat Baking MatSantoku KnifeMeasuring Cups and SpoonsStainless Mixing Bowls
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This recipe is great because there are only a few ingredients, the difficulty in preparation isn’t too high and this hearty dish can be served year round. There are variations that you can try, and even something you can do with your leftovers. Making fresh Gnocchi alla Romana will easily become your favorite dish.

To put it a bit more eloquently by quoting the great Pellegino Artusi:

“ I hope these gnocchi will please you as much as they have delighted those for whom I have prepared them. Should that happen, toast to my health if I am still alive or say a requiescat (rest in peace) in my name, if I have gone on to feed the cabbages.”

Roman Gnocchi Recipe Ingredient Description

Measuring Cups and Spoons

Don’t buy cheap plastic cups and spoons because this stainless steel set will last a really long time!

Semolina Flour

As you might imagine, given that this ingredient is in the name of the recipe, Semolina flour is important and can not be substituted. In other words, if you can’t find it at the grocery store, make something else.

Semolina flour is made from durum wheat, it is golden in color, it has a high protein content and it is a delicious addition to most breads, pizza, and pasta. When durum wheat is milled, its most nourishing parts are ground into semolina. This is NOT gluten-free, but it is loaded with folic acid, iron and protein.

roman gnocchi - Ingredients

Semolina Flour, Cheese, Eggs and Milk

Is Adding A Pinch Of Nutmeg Required?

Nutmeg is not necessarily a requirement, but if you have some on hand and want to use it, you definitely should. I’ve seen Nutmeg included in some semolina gnocchi recipes, and omitted from other versions. I probably wouldn’t buy it just for this recipe, and you will notice I didn’t include it in the recipe below.

Is This Recipe “Sheet Pan Gnocchi”?

No, this is not a popular Gnocchi recipe called “Sheet Pan Gnocchi”, but I can see why you might be wondering. Sheet Pan Gnocchi uses potato gnocchi and bakes them on a sheet pan instead of boiling in the traditional way.

This semolina gnocchi recipe can make use of a sheet pan, both for spreading out the dough for cooling and cutting, as well as when you are baking the gnocchi in the oven. My opinion is that the recipes I’ve read for Sheet Pan Gnocchi wouldn’t be nearly as traditional as this recipe and I’m not even sure it is Italian, but rather American with an Italian influence.

If you would like a free copy of this recipe in PDF format, please sign up for access to our Recipe Box which contains a growing list of amazing Italian recipes discussed on this blog, including this delicious recipe.

Tricks With Roman Gnocchi

The most important cooking technique with this gnocchi recipe is that you need to make sure the dough comes together, otherwise you will just get a big mess when you try to roll out and cut this dough. The problem some people have with this semolina gnocchi recipe is when it has not been cooked long enough with the milk. The batter needs at least 15 minutes of cooking and stirring for the right consistency.

roman gnocchi -Chilling

After Letting It Chill

What Cheese Can I Use With This Roman Gnocchi Recipe?

Most of the versions of this gnocchi recipe I’ve read used varying amounts of Parmigiano Reggiano cheese, so if you want to remain as traditional as possible, stitch with this cheese. I was surprised by the version I read from Pellegrino Artusi in his amazing book: Science in the Kitchen and the Art of Eating Well where he recommended a mix of  Parmigiano Reggiano and Gruyère cheeses as a viable option.

Mixing Bowls

Only recently have a realized how great mixing bowls with lids are and these stainless steel beauties are amazing!

Does This Roman Gnocchi Need To Be Vegetarian?

This recipe is a great vegetarian dish as it is, albeit not vegan, so I’m not sure why you would want to add meat to this delicate gnocchi recipe. This is one of those times that simpler is better, in my opinion, so I would avoid overpowering the flavors of the dish by adding meat.

All that being said, the great Marcella Hazan, in her famous book: Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking, did include the option of adding prosciutto, bacon or boiled ham to the dish. The meat isn’t added to the dough, but placed on top of the layers and then baked. Since Marcella gave the go-ahead, follow your tastes on this one.

roman gnocchi - Vegetarian

Vegetarian, but not Vegan

Gnocchi alla Romana Recipe

  • Difficulty: Medium
  • Prep Time: 20 mins
  • Cook: 25 mins
  • Servings: 4

Ingredients For Homemade Roman Gnocchi

  • 8 ounces (250 g) of semolina flour
  • 1 quart (1 liter) of whole milk
  • 2 large egg yolks
  • 3 ounces (90 g ) of grated Parmigiano Reggiano Cheese
  • 1 ounce (30 g) of salted butter
  • Salt to taste

Roman Gnocchi Cooking Instructions

  1. Heavily butter the baking dish and set aside.
  2. Pour the milk into a saucepan and heat it to “almost” boiling.
  3. Add a pinch of salt to the milk.
  4. Pour in the semolina flour, stirring continuously with a whisk.
  5. Cook for 15 minutes over low heat, stirring continuously with a wooden spoon or non-metal spatula.
  6. Pour the mixture into a bowl to cool. 
  7. Add 2 ounces of the cheese and the egg yolks and mix carefully. 
  8. Pour the mixture onto a baking sheet or parchment paper and spread it out with a slightly wet spatula, until it is about 1/2 inch thick.
  9. Let it cool.
  10. Cut the gnocchi with a 2 inch diameter round pastry cutter.
  11. Knead the scraps together and cut out more discs until the ingredients are finished.
  12. Arrange the gnocchi in a buttered baking dish, laying them flat and overlapping each row slightly.
  13. Sprinkle the top with the remaining ounce of cheese.
  14. Place the baking dish in a preheated oven at 400° F for about 20 minutes or until they are well browned. After 20 minutes, if you want the gnocchi more browned, turn on your broiler and watch closely for 5 minutes making sure it doesn’t burn.

Gnocchi alla Romana Serving Suggestions

Some English language recipes call for the addition of a simple tomato sauce to top it when serving, but Italians, both online and in Roman restaurants where I’ve enjoyed this dish, don’t use an additional sauce because it covers up the flavors. Simply serve them ripping hot straight from the oven!

roman gnocchi - plated

Best Without Sauce

If you are looking for a wine that marries well with this dish, keep it local. In other words, try your favorite white wine from the Lazio region like a Frascati. If, like me, you want to enjoy this dish during the colder winter months and don’t want white wine, try a Sangiovese grape from Lazio as well.

Previous Recipes That Might Interest You

If you enjoyed this Roman gnocchi recipe, known as Gnocchi alla Romana, here are some other recipes that you might want to try:

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