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gnocchi alla Romana
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5 from 30 votes

Gnocchi alla Romana

These easy to make semolina gnocchi from Rome are rich but light and a real melt in your mouth treat! Kids love them and they're perfect for entertaining too!
Prep Time45 mins
Cook Time35 mins
Total Time1 hr 20 mins
Course: Appetizer, Main Course
Cuisine: Central Italy, Italian, Mediterranean, Rome & Lazio
Keyword: authentic Italian pasta recipe, gnocchi, homemade gnocchi, Italian recipe, Roman gnocchi, semolina gnocchi
Servings: 4
Calories: 599kcal
Author: Jacqueline DeBono


  • 1 Lt milk (2 pints)
  • 250 g semolina (9 oz)
  • 100 g butter (3.5 oz)
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 75 g Parmigiano Reggiano ( 2.5oz) grated
  • 50 g Pecorino Romano (2oz) grated
  • salt a pinch
  • nutmeg grated, a pinch


  • Begin by pouring the milk into a saucepan and adding half the butter cut into pieces and a pinch of grated nutmeg and salt.
  • Bring the milk to a simmer and when the butter has melted, shower the semolina into the milk (in Italian they say a poggia or ‘like rain’), whisking as you go to avoid lumps. 
  • The mixture will quickly thicken and become increasingly difficult to whisk. At this point, lower the heat and swap the whisk for a wooden spoon. Continue to stir vigorously to prevent lumps forming.
  • Keep cooking the semolina until the mixture becomes quite stiff and elastic and begins to pull cleanly away from the sides of the pan (stirring all the time, of course)
  • Remove the mixture from the heat. Add in the parmigiano and mix well. Add the egg yolks and mix them in well too.
  • Turn the hot dough out onto a buttered or oiled baking sheet or into a large rectangular pyrex dish and spread it out in an even 1cm thick layer. Wetting whatever tool you are using, will make this easier (clean hands, a spatula, the flat side of a large spoon) 
  • Cover and allow the dough to cool at room temperature or in the fridge, which takes about 30 to 40 minutes. You can also do this a day ahead and keep the baking sheet in the refrigerator overnight.
  • Use a round 5-6cm cutter to cut out circles of the semolina dough (a glass or even a cookie cutter with another shape will work). I used a wine glass!! Once again, it helps to wet the tool you use to prevent the dough sticking to it. 
  • Place the dough circles in slightly overlapping lines in a buttered or oiled baking or gratin dish. (see the photos on the post)
  • Melt the rest of the butter in a saucepan. Allow it to cool slightly and then pour it over the dough circles.
  • Sprinkle generously with grated pecorino (or more parmigiano) and bake in a preheated oven 200° or under the grill until the gnocchi are nicely browned. 
  • Let the gnocchi rest for a few minutes and then serve in the baking dish.
  • These gnocchi are delicious as a starter or eaten as a main course along with a green salad!
    Buon appetito!


Preparation time includes allowing the dough to cool in the fridge.
Some Italians shape the hot dough into a roll and roll it up in baking paper. When the dough is cooled they cut the roll into 1cm slices. This method produces no scraps but I think is harder to do!
You can save the scraps of dough and deep fry them for a snack or to make a mini version of this dish. The scraps aren't uniform like the circles, but they can be rolled into croquettes and taste just as good as the gnocchi.