These Roman-style gnocchi aren't the usual potato, ricotta, or squash kind. These flat semolina gnocchi make for a great vegetarian main. See the recipe for Gnocchi alla Romana ». André Baranowski

These Roman-style gnocchi aren’t the usual potato, ricotta, or squash kind. The recipe for these flat semolina gnocchi is an adaptation of one in David Downie’s Cooking the Roman Way (HarperCollins, 2002). We featured this dish as part of Anya von Bremzen’s feature about Rome’s classic dishes, “Eternal Pleasures,” in our April 2010 issue.

Gnocchi alla Romana Gnocchi alla Romana
More like polenta than potato gnocchi, this Roman-style dish is made from semolina, covered with plenty of parmesan and baked to a delicious golden brown.
Yield: serves 4


  • 4 cups milk
  • 1 12 cups semolina (about 8 oz.)
  • 1 12 cups finely grated Parmesan
  • 8 tbsp. unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 egg yolks, beaten
  • Kosher salt, to taste


  1. In a 5-qt. pot over medium-high heat, bring milk to a simmer while stirring. Reduce heat to low; slowly whisk in semolina. Cook, whisking, until tender, 8-10 minutes. Whisk in 12 cup Parmesan, 4 tbsp. butter, and yolks; season with salt. Remove from heat.
  2. Wet a 15″ x 10″ rimmed baking sheet with a soaked paper towel. Pour semolina mixture onto baking sheet; smooth surface with spatula to 12” thickness. Let cool until firm, about 40 minutes.
  3. Heat oven to 450˚. Using a knife, cut gnocchi dough in 2″ squares; transfer half of the squares to a buttered 9″ x 13″ baking pan. Sprinkle gnocchi with 14 cup Parmesan and dot with 2 tbsp. butter. Layer remaining gnocchi on top and sprinkle with 14 cup cheese and remaining butter. Bake until golden, about 15 minutes. Serve with remaining cheese.