Gnocchi alla Romana/Recipes

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Recipes associated with the article Gnocchi alla Romana.
Gnocchi alla Romana

Yields

6-8

servings

Ingredients
 
  • 3 cups whole milk
  • 1½ teaspoons table salt
  • ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • ¾ cup (12 tablespoons) Bob’s Red Mill semolina flour
  • 2 extra-large eggs
  • 4 ounces (114 grams) Parmesan grated in food processor to make 1 cup (16 tablespoons)
  • ¼ cup (4 tablespoons) melted butter
  • 3 ounces chopped pancetta, bacon, prosciutto, or boiled ham – optional
Preparation:
  1. Butter a 10" x 12" piece of parchment paper, put it on a small cutting board, and set aside.
  2. In a medium-sized but heavy saucepan, bring the milk, salt, nutmeg, and pepper to a low boil over medium heat.
  3. Gradually add the semolina, whisking with a wooden spatula and a whisk, never letting the mixture go below a medium simmer. Continue until all the semolina has been incorporated, and then stir until it has thickened considerably and is very stiff – a wooden spoon should be able to stand upright in the mixture. All this will probably take about 8 minutes. Remove from heat.
  4. In a small bowl, beat the eggs lightly with a fork, then whisk in ¾ cup (12 tablespoons) of the Parmesan.
  5. Mix the egg-cheese into the semolina until well blended.
  6. Spoon the mixture onto the buttered parchment paper and, using a frosting blade run under hot water from time to time, spread it out as evenly as possible into a sheet ½ inch thick
  7. Put the cutting board and gnocchi into the refrigerator for 1 to 2 hours to firm the dough.
  8. Melt the butter and set it aside; butter a medium to large baking dish, either oval or rectangular.
  9. Use a 1½-inch biscuit cutter to cut the dough into circles – dip it frequently into very hot water before cutting.
  10. When the sheet has been entirely cut, carefully pry the circles away (using your fingers and the frosting blade) and arrange them neatly in rows in the baking dish, starting at one end and working to the other – put them in, not flat, but at about a 45-degree angle, with each new row overlapping the previous one.
  11. Smooth out the remaining dough on the cutting board and cut out as many as additional circles as you can; use your fingers, if necessary, to make a final circle to finish up the dough.
  12. Drizzle the melted butter over the gnocchi, then sprinkle the remaining ¾ cup (4 tablespoons) of cheese over them.
  13. If using the chopped meat, scatter them over the top at this point.
  14. The gnocchi may now be covered with foil or plastic and refrigerated.
  15. 20 or 25 minutes before eating, preheat the oven to 400 degrees and set the rack about ⅔ of the way up.
  16. Remove the covering from the gnocchi and bake for 10 minutes.
  17. Turn on the broiler and broil for about 5 minutes, until the top is a rich, golden brown.
  18. Serve immediately.
Notes:
  1. This would serve 6 to 8 people as a first course, or 3 to 4 people as a main course; to serve fewer people, the ingredients listed above may be cut exactly in half.
  2. It is important that you measure your cheese by weight: depending on which grater or food processor you use, it can take as little as 1 ounce to make 1 of cup grated cheese or as much as 4 ounces.
  3. This recipe is precisely the one that appears in the 1968 Time-Life book about Italian cooking. All the major proportions, however, are almost identical to recipes that are in Marcella Hazan's book and in Italy: The Beautiful Cookbook, by Lorenza de' Medici, Collins Publishers, San Francisco, 1988, ISBN 0-00-215446-3, page 94
  4. Hazan's recipe seems to be unique in that it calls for meat to be added to the top.
Categories: Italian cuisine, Pasta
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