Gnocchi alla Romana con Besciamella - Roman-Style Gnocchi with Besciamella

Roman-style gnocchi are not made from potato, ricotta, or squash but from semolina flour, which is manipulated into a thick dough, cut into disks, and baked. In this recipe, we've paired the satisfying gnocchi with a creamy besciamella sauce.

COURSE: Primo piatto



Yield: 4 servings

For the Gnocchi: 
½ gallon of whole milk
1 tablespoon salt
½ pound butter, plus 2 tablespoons for cookie sheet and baking dish
2 ounces of freshly-grated Parmigiano Reggiano
2 ounces of freshly-grated Pecorino romano
1 pound finely-ground semolina flour

For the Besciamella:
¼ pound of butter
½ pound of all-purpose flour
½ gallon of whole milk
½ teaspoon of freshly-grated nutmeg
1 teaspoon of freshly-ground black pepper

To prepare the gnocchi: 

In a 3- to 4-quart saucepan, heat the milk, salt, and butter slowly to avoid over boiling the milk or burning the liquid on the bottom of the saucepan. Using a whisk, add in the Parmigiano Reggiano and Pecorino Romano cheeses. Once the cheeses have melted, slowly add in the semolina flour while vigorously whisking to avoid clumping. Cook for about 3-5 minutes, or until the mixture is very thick and difficult to stir.

Line a 10-by-5-inch baking sheet with parchment paper, and pour the semolina mixture onto the pan evenly, using a spatula to evenly cover the surface area. Allow to cool for a minimum of 2 hours or overnight in the refrigerator.

Once cooked, use a knife or cookie cutter to cut 3-inch pieces out of the semolina mixture.

To prepare the besciamella:

Melt the butter in a medium saucepan. Once the butter has melted, add in the flour, and whisk vigorously to avoid clumping for about 2 minutes. Slowly pour in the milk while continuing to whisk vigorously to avoid the roux to over-thicken. Gently simmer for 5 minutes and add in the pepper and nutmeg to finish.

Spoon the besciamella over the gnocchi, and bake in a pre-heated oven set to 425°F until the top has browned, 10-12 minutes. Serve immediately.

Buon appetito!

This recipe was first published courtesy of Eataly Magazine.

Recipe courtesy of Great Italian Chefs*

Find the original recipe here.