Gnocchi alla Romana

Baked Semolina Gnocchi

Preparation info

  • 6

    • Difficulty


Appears in

Alastair Little's Italian Kitchen

Alastair Little's Italian Kitchen

By Alastair Little

Published 1996

  • About

This is unavoidably a two-day process. Fortunately, it only involves half an hour’s work on day one, and less on day two. It is a winter antipasto, heavy, rich and hideously fattening, but quite addictive.


Day One

  • 1 litre milk
  • 400 g coarse semola dura (the semolina must be Italian)
  • 200 g Parmesan, freshly grated
  • 6 egg yolks
  • 50 g butter


Day One

Heat the milk in a trustworthy pan until warm then add the semolina. Pour it in slowly, steadily stirring all the time (it’s best for two people, if possible, to do this -one to pour, one to stir). Continue to stir over a medium heat for 15–20 minutes until the semolina forms a mass coming away from the side of the pan.

Allow this mixture to cool a little, then add the Parmesan, egg yolks and butter. Mix very well. Lightly oil a Swiss roll tin or roasting dish and pour the mixture into it. It should not be deeper than 2 cm. Allow to cool completely, then clingfilm and refrigerate overnight.

Day Two

An hour before serving, preheat the oven to 200°C/400°F/Gas 6. You will need a large shallow ovenproof dish (an oval Le Creuset would be ideal), and a 4 cm circular (cookie) cutter.

Butter the ovenproof dish. Cut the semolina into 4 cm circles and arrange them overlapping like roof tiles around the circumference of the dish. Start another oval within this and continue until you have either filled the dish or run out of semolina to cut. If you have run out before the dish is full, use the off cuts from between the circles to fill the gaps. The gnocchi discs should overlap so much they are standing nearly vertically. Dot the completed dish with butter and scatter the Parmesan over. Bake until very hot and golden brown on all the raised edges, 15–20 minutes approximately.

Serve directly from the dish, still very hot. Serve your guests yourself, otherwise they will inevitably burn themselves on the hot dish.