GNOCCHI DI SEMOLA (Semolina Flour Gnocchi)
Yield: 4 as main course; 6-8 as starter
Comment: I was shocked to watch Irene make these ancient gnocchi on my first Sunday in Bra; until that moment I had only known gnocchi to be a potato-based dish. In keeping with the dish’s Roman roots, Irene makes her from coarsely ground semolina flour, hot milk, and eggs. To form the gnocchi, a rich polenta-like pasta is prepared, cooled, and then cut into disks using the wet rim of a small glass. The disks are then sprinkled with Parmesan and breadcrumbs, and baked in a hot oven to puff them up.
Process: Heat the milk and salt in a medium saucepan set over medium heat. When the milk starts to simmer, slowly sprinkle in the semolina flour, whisking consistently to make sure that lumps do not form. Once all the flour has been added, reduce the heat to medium-low. Continue to whisk for 7 to 10 more minutes, until the batter has become thick and velvety.
This recipe is provided with the permission of Jessica Theroux from her cookbook, Cooking with Italian Grandmothers.
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