ROMAN-STYLE BAKED GNOCCHI

 Adapted from a recipe in The New York Times Dining section: "Roman Style Baked Semolina Gnocchi." Serve this as a side dish with a meat ragu OR by itself with tomato sauce or caramelized onions.

- butter or olive oil for greasing casserole dish
- 4 cups whole milk
- 1/4 teaspoon grated nutmeg
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 1/4 cups semolina flour
- 1 cup grated parmesan cheese, divided in half
- 3 eggs yolks, lightly beaten
- 1/2 cup bread crumbs

Grease a large casserole dish (about 9x12 inches for thick gnocchi or even bigger for thin) with olive oil or butter. In a large saucepan, combine milk, nutmeg, salt, and butter. Bring just to the boil and then lower heat. Slowly whisk in semolina flour. Cook, stirring continuously with a wooden spoon, until it gets so thick that it's hard to stir (2-5 minutes). Remove from heat and mix in 1/2 a cup of the cheese. Then quickly whisk in the egg yolks. Pour mixture into prepared casserole dish and even out the surface with a spatula. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for a few hours or overnight.
 
Preheat oven to 425°F. Grease a large casserole dish (about 9x12 inches) with olive oil or butter.  Use a cookie cutter or the rim of a glass to cut out the gnocchi. Dip cutter in cold water if the gnocchi start to stick. Place cut out gnocchi into the greased casserole dish. You can overlap them or just press them up close to each other. (Freeze scraps and bake another time with bread crumbs and cheese.) Mix bread crumbs and remaining 1/2 cup parmesan in a bowl. Generously sprinkle mixture over the gnocchi. Bake for 15-20 minutes until lightly browned. Serve immediately.

Comments