Sunday, May 17, 2009

When in Rome - Gnocchi alla Romana

I have found a new food addiction… Seriously, as a cheese lover, how could I not?
Several days ago, Dajana from Baker's Corner.... Somewhere in my Kitchen left a comment in my Chestnut Gnocchi post requesting that break from the familiar and try something new... Gnocchi alla Romana. I am ecstatic that she challenged me with this.

This is one of the “Other” types of gnocchi that I was referring to. You see, Roman Gnocchi is a strange, yet wonderfully delicious thing. It is a baked gnocchi, quite different from its boiled counterparts from other parts of Italy. It contains no Potato, Ricotta, Sweet potato or Squash. It does, however, contain flour, not just any flour though; Roman Gnocchi is made with Semolina, like pasta dough. The method is quite unique, for it seems to be a combination of Polenta as well as the French Pate a Choux. You will see what I am talking about in the directions.

The whole point is that, although Roman gnocchi is very different from what we, as Americans, would consider gnocchi (if we even consider it at all), it is absolutely one of the tastiest dishes I have had in a long time.

Rich Buttery and Cheesy goodness awaits you. Crispy browned crust on the outside, creamy smooth deliciousness on the inside. I urge you to give 'em a try…
The reward is WELL worth the effort.
Gnocchi alla Romana

8 TB Unsalted Butter; Divided
1 cup Chicken Stock
2 cups Whole Milk
1 tsp Kosher Salt
1 Cup Semolina Flour
2 Large Eggs, lightly beaten
1 cup (4 oz) Freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano; Divided
Lightly butter a quarter sheet pan and a casserole dish with 2 TB of the butter.

In a medium saucepan, heat 4 TB butter with Chicken Stock, Milk and salt.

When the mixture just begins to boil, begin pouring semolina in a thin stream (Like making Polenta) whisking vigorously to prevent clumping.

Continue cooking, stirring with a wooden spoon, until the dough mass begins to pull away from the sides of the pan (This is like making Pate a Choux)

Remove pan from heat and stir in 1/2 cup of the Parmigiano-Reggiano

and beaten eggs.

The Dough will “Break” after you add the eggs, just continue stirring

and it will come back together again (Just like Pate a Choux)

Spread mixture to 1/2 inch depth in the buttered quarter sheet pan, cover and refrigerate for 1 hour or until set. (like Polenta, again)

Preheat oven to 425 degrees
Using a 2 1/2 inch diameter round cutter, cut rounds of the set gnocchi batter and place in the buttered baking dish, overlapping slightly, creating even rows.

Sprinkle remaining 1/2 cup Parmigiano-Reggiano and dot with the remaining 2 TB butter.

Bake for 20 minutes, or until golden brown (If you would like to brown it further, place under a broiler for 1 minute)

Mangia!! and Dajana, Grazie Mille !!!!


Dajana said...

I'm so glad you enjoyed them.

Ciao Chow Linda said...

I love gnocchi alla romana. It's ironic that I just ate some today made by a friend of mine. I could have eaten the whole pan.

Unknown said...

Ive never heard of gnocchi alla romana before (well..i've just recently heard of gnocchi! LOL). I'm gonna have to give these a try. The minute I saw cheese...I KNEW i had to!!

Bob said...

I've never heard of this kind of gnocchi before (except for Dajanas previous comment, heh). It looks awesome, I could totally get behind that.

Michele said...

Yum! I saw Giada make this a long time ago. If I remember correctly she made it pargmigiana style and topped it with sauce , cheese and mozzarella. Either way it's a delicious new twist.