/// Gnocchi alla Romana /// Italian Simplicity

  
“Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.” Leonardo da Vinci

Sophisticated food is not always difficult and expensive; on the contrary there are a lot of beautiful dishes out there that could be made with a few simple ingredients and a few simple techniques.
Yes, it could be a little time consuming and yes it would require a little bit of patience –just a little bit! :) But isn’t a wonderful feeling what can be achieved at the end of the process?...  smiles, compliments and of course a lot of satisfied palates! 
As I said before and I repeat to me; simple ingredients could make an extraordinary dish. Among many good examples,here it is another one; Gnocchi alla Romana also known as Semolina Gnocchi, which unlike the potato gnocchi does not require potato and is not cooked in water is the perfect example to translate what I'm trying to explain here. This dish is not only pleasant to the eye but also incredibly delicious! You'll see... ingredients involved: Semolina flour, milk and ground nutmeg (only 3 ingredients!!!! isn't that amazing) Now let's talk a little bit about the Semolina flour...


Semolina is a hard wheat (durum/kernel/grain) high in gluten and it is primarily used to make pasta and bread.Also used for cereals and some desserts.  

 

Where to purchased Semolina flour? Most of the time Semolina flour could be found at bulk food stores. But if for any reason is not available to you, try asking at any Italian store that makes fresh pasta or buy it via amazon.com.


Making Gnocchi alla Romana is a lot of fun. Really! The best part about this dish is that it doesn’t require a pasta machine and even the mixture preparation can be made a day ahead! (Please insert happy dancing + clapping) So for those of you who wants to make the gnocchi alla romana in advance: just cut the mixture into circles, put them in a tray, wrap them completely in plastic wrap and refrigerate until the next day. And TA-DA! That’s it, really. It is not hard at all and the results will amaze you! I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as I did! Have you tried Gnocchi alla Romana before? I'd love to hear your thoughts!


GNOCCHI alla ROMANA 

makes 28 units

500 ml/ 2 Cups Full fat milk
100 gr/ 1Cup Fine Semolina
1 egg *See bellow
1 bay leaf
Salt to taste
1 tsp. (or to taste) fresh ground nutmeg
Unsalted butter, for greasing and frying

Preparation:
In a saucepan add the milk, salt and the bay leaf. Bring to the boil. Remove the bay leaf and then slowly –like rain—add in the semolina, whisking energetically to prevent any lumps. Immediately lower the heat and cook –uncovered—for about 5-6 minutes or until the mixture is thick and starts to pull away from the sides of the pan.Remove from the heat and add the egg, nutmeg and a little more salt if necessary. 
 
Grease a tray with unsalted butter and add the semolina mixture into it. Spread the mixture using a wet palette—about 1-2 cm thick. Take the tray to the fridge and leave it for 1 hour. –If you double the ingredients remember to double the time when leaving in the fridge.
When ready, cut mixture into circles using 4 cm/ 1 in cookie cutter. Reshape scraps with your hands and cut out more semolina circles. Melt butter –about 50 gr—and start frying the gnocchi until golden and crisp from each side. Serve immediately.
Cooking Variations:
Gnoochi alla Romana can be also bake. Just grease a baking tray/dish topped with grated parmesan cheese and bake in a 200C/400F oven until golden brown. 

*Egg-Free option: This recipe for Gnocchi alla Romana can be easily made without using eggs. The eggs are not necessarily essential in this recipe. It is only used to give the gnocchi a richer color and a slightly firmer texture.

Serving Variations: Gnocchi alla Romana could be served as a main dish or side dish/entree. Topped with a generous amount of parmesan cheese and any fresh herbs of your choice such as; sage, thyme, oregano, etc. Other options are: Tomato, pesto or cheese sauce.