Unsure what to cook for dinner tonight? Here is a scrumptious Italian recipe for you. Soft, delicate and cheesy semolina gnocchi alla Romana served with an artichoke and crispy bacon sauce.
I know what you’re making for dinner tonight. Or sometime this weekend… Or as soon as you have a little bit of time to bake this mouthwatering, easy and very Italian dish.
Today’s recipe is not for your traditional gnocchi, made with a mixture of mashed potatoes and flour and cooked just like pasta in boiling water. Not these!
Gnocchi alla Romana are just as tender and as delicate. But they are made with semolina flour, milk, egg yolks, a touch of nutmeg and lots of cheese. And they are baked with butter and MORE cheese, until golden and bubbly.
Gnocchi alla Romana are perfect for any occasion. Fancy enough for a special dinner. Easy and comforting enough for a weeknight family meal.
It’s traditionally an Italian primo piatto (just like pasta, risotto or soup) that you can serve before a light meat or fish entree’ (secondo piatto). But it’s also filling enough to serve as a main dish, maybe next to a big salad.
You can serve the gnocchi by themselves, with a little extra cheese on top. Or covered with your favorite sauce.
Today’s sauce is a combination of savory and wholesome artichoke hearts, together with crispy bacon pieces. A necessary touch of indulgence. Easy and delicious.
Wait for the first bite to hit your tastebuds and I’m sure this will be your favorite sauce too.
Buon Appetito :)
Gnocchi alla Romana with Bacon and ArtichokesManuela Mazzocco
- 4 cups 950 ml of milk
- 1 and 1/2 cups 270 gr of semolina flour
- 1/2 teaspoon of nutmeg powder or grated
- 2 egg yolks
- 1 cup 80 gr of freshly grated Parmesan cheese (divided)
- 1 cup 100 gr of shredded cave-aged Gruyere cheese, or other savory cheese
- 2 tablespoons of unsalted butter
- three thick slices of bacon about 3.5 oz, 100 gr
- 8 oz 225 gr of artichoke hearts (I use Trader Joe's frozen)
- 2 tablespoons of white wine
- 2 tablespoons of olive oil
- salt to taste
- In a large saucepan, bring the milk to a light boil, over medium heat. Add the semolina flour to the milk, whisking without stopping to avoid lumps from forming. Add salt (about one teaspoon) and nutmeg.
- Cook over low-medium heat, mixing continuously and carefully scraping the semolina from the sides and bottom of the pan, for about 5 minutes, until the mixture is thick enough to pull away from the sides of pan.
- Remove from heat and incorporate the egg yolks,1 cup of Gruyere and 1/2 cup of Parmesan cheese. Save the rest of the Parmesan cheese for the end.
- Line an 11x15 inch (28x38 cm) baking sheet with parchment paper (or grease with butter). Pour the mixture, and flat it out as even as you can, using a wooden spoon, stir stick or the flat blade of a large knife, to about 1/4 of an inch in thickness.
- Cover with plastic wrap and let cool down for a minimum of an hour. Note: You can also prepare this the day before and store in the refrigerator for a day!
- Pre-heat the oven to 450° F (230° C). Butter the bottom of a oven dish, rectangular or round. I use a 12 inches (30 cm) round tart pan.
- Cut the semolina mixture in as many round shapes as you can. You can use a cookie cutter or a round glass, large or small. Mine has a diameter of 2.75 inches.
- Note: If you don't want to throw away the left over mixture, place all of these piece to the bottom of the dish, where nobody will see, and place all the round gnocchi on top. Sprinkle the top with the remaining Parmesan cheese and slivers of butter.
- Bake for 20 minutes, or until nicely golden on top.
- Now let's prepare the sauce. In a large skillet, saute' the bacon cut in pieces.
- Add the artichoke hearts cut in wedges, and saute'.
- If you use frozen artichoke, like I did, run them under water until a mostly thawed.
- Drizzle with some white wine, and cook until tender. Salt lightly, to taste. And add some Parmesan cheese and a drizzle of olive oil if desired.
- Serve hot on top of the gnocchi. Buon appetito!
Born and raised in Venice, Italy, Manuela now lives with her husband and two children in Los Angeles, California. In her blog, Cooking with Manuela, she strives to share her passion for Italian food. As a mom of two young boys, most of her dinner preparations are done while checking homework, quizzing for science tests, and looking for Lego pieces. Her step-by-step recipes help readers create delicious food while on a busy schedule. There is nothing as special as ending your day with your family or friends sharing a good conversation and a tasty homemade meal.