Gnocchi alla Romana

Gnocchi alla Romana (Semolina Gnocchi)

By Roberta Corradin, a Piedmontese friend, food expert, book author, and blogger.


This simple and delicious recipe celebrates semolina flour in another form from the typical dried pasta. It is typical in Piedmont despite its indication of "Romana" (of Rome). The origin remains a bit of a mystery...


A version is mentioned by Pellegrino Artusi in his famous cookbook Science in the Kitchen and the Art of Eating Well published in 1891.


Our friend, Giulio, from Rome confirms that it is typical in Roman cuisine too. His family makes it, he says, but it is hard to find in a restaurant.


Given its simplicity, it may not be exciting enough for chefs to feature in their restaurants, but we invite you to try it, and prove them wrong!


Ingredients for 6 people:

  • 1 liter (33.8 fluid ounces) milk
  • 250 grams (1 cup and 1/2 half) semolina flour
  • 80 grams (12 Tbsp) grated Parmigiano Reggiano
  • 100 grams (7 Tbsp) butter
  • 4 eggs 
  • salt and nutmeg to taste (we used 1/2 tsp of each)


  • Preheat the oven to 400F
  • Pour milk into a pan and bring to a boil
  • Pour semolina flour and whisk for a few minutes until the mixture thickens
  • Remove from the stovetop
  • Add 6 Tbsp grated Parmigiano Reggiano and 4 Tbsp butter, then continue to stir until mixed
  • Beat the eggs and add them to the concoction
  • Add salt and nutmeg to taste, and stir for the last time
  • Pour this concoction onto a wet cutting board and flatten with a spatula to a ~1/2-inch thickness
  • Allow to cool, then cut discs using with drinking glass or with a knife if you prefer square-shaped (**)
  • Grease a tray with butter and lay your gnocchi slightly overlapping each other (like a fan)
  • Sprinkle the remaining Parmigiano Reggiano and add a fleck of butter to the top of each gnocchi
  • Bake in the oven for 15 minutes or so, until you see a nice golden crust

Buon appetito!


(**) Another technique is to roll your concoction in parchment paper to form a log (folding the paper on each end to hold your log together). Then, put it in the fridge for a few hours. When ready to prepare your gnocchi, you can slice it in discs and lay them out--following the final three recipe steps above.



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