Roman-Style Gnocchi


Gnocchi alla Romana are delicious baked dumplings made with semolina flour, milk, butter, and Parmesan. I feel like I've eaten a fair amount of Italian food, and I've been to Rome, but it wasn't until late in life that I discovered these virtually unknown semolina gnocchi. This would make a world-class side dish but can also be paired with your favorite pasta sauce and served as an appetizer or entrée.

Prep Time:
25 mins
Cook Time:
35 mins
Additional Time:
30 mins
Total Time:
1 hrs 30 mins
16 gnocchi


  • 3 cups milk

  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt, or to taste

  • 1 ¼ cups semolina flour

  • 1 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese

  • 2 large egg yolks

  • 3 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into small cubes

  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

  • 1 pinch cayenne pepper

  • 2 tablespoons freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, or more to cover


  1. Line a rimmed baking sheet pan with plastic wrap.

  2. Combine milk and salt in a saucepan over medium-high heat; bring to almost a simmer. As soon as bubbles start to break the surface, gradually whisk in semolina until mixture thickens, about 20 seconds. Reduce the heat to medium-low and continue stirring with a wooden spoon until very thick, 7 to 10 minutes.

  3. Remove from the heat. Add 1 cup Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, egg yolks, and cold butter; stir quickly to prevent yolks from cooking.

  4. Transfer mixture to the prepared pan and spread out evenly. Cover with another piece of plastic wrap. Refrigerate until firm enough to cut, about 30 minutes.

  5. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F (220 degrees C). Grease a round, shallow baking dish.

  6. Cut out circles of semolina dough with a 2 3/4-inch diameter cookie cutter. Use damp hands to gather and flatten any dough scraps. Press scraps between plastic wrap and cut as many more circles as possible.

  7. Arrange gnocchi in a circular, overlapping pattern in the prepared baking dish. Drizzle melted butter over top and spread evenly with a brush. Sprinkle with cayenne pepper and cover with remaining Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese.

  8. Bake in the preheated oven until golden brown, about 25 minutes.

    close up view of Roman-Style Gnocchi in a white baking dish
    Matt Wencl

Chef's Notes:

I used a 2 3/4-inch cutter but use whatever size you have that's close.

To get 1 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano, grate a 1 3/4-ounce piece on a Microplane grater.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

335 Calories
27g Fat
10g Carbs
13g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings Per Recipe 4
Calories 335
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 27g 35%
Saturated Fat 17g 83%
Cholesterol 176mg 59%
Sodium 789mg 34%
Total Carbohydrate 10g 3%
Total Sugars 9g
Protein 13g
Vitamin C 0mg 2%
Calcium 395mg 30%
Iron 0mg 2%
Potassium 308mg 7%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

** Nutrient information is not available for all ingredients. Amount is based on available nutrient data.

(-) Information is not currently available for this nutrient. If you are following a medically restrictive diet, please consult your doctor or registered dietitian before preparing this recipe for personal consumption.

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