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Roman Gnocchi

These are little fingers made with cheese and semolina, then baked in the oven with butter. Simple, inexpensive but really good. They _can_ be served with a fresh tomato sauce, but I don't think they need it. I would serve these as a lunch dish with salad and good bread. Vegetarians might like to know that a vegetarian parmesan-style cheese is available from www.bookhamcheese.co.uk

 
 
 Roman Gnocchi

  Serves 3-4

Ingredients
 10 fl oz (275 ml) milk
 5 oz (150 g) semolina (the coarse type is best)
 freshly grated nutmeg
 4 oz (110 g) butter
 5 oz (150 g) Parmesan (Parmigiano Reggiano), freshly grated (see recipe introduction)
 2 eggs, beaten
 salt and freshly milled black pepper
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Equipment
You will also need a small Swiss roll tin or something similar, about 11 x 7 inches (28 x 18 cm), lined with oiled silicone paper (baking parchment), and an 11½ inch (29 cm) shallow gratin dish, buttered.

This recipe is taken from Delia Smith’s Complete Cookery Course and Delia Smith’s Complete Illustrated Cookery Course.

Method

Put into a saucepan the milk, semolina and 10 fl oz (275 ml) water, together with a good grating of nutmeg and a little salt and pepper and bring it all to the boil, stirring all the time. Let the mixture boil for about 4 minutes (still stirring) until it is thick enough to stand a spoon up in. Then remove the pan from the heat and beat in 1 oz (25 g) of the butter, 3 oz (75 g) of the Parmesan and both the beaten eggs. Check the seasoning, then spread the mixture in the prepared tin. Leave to cool or refrigerate – overnight if possible. When you're ready to cook the gnocchi, pre-heat the oven to gas mark 6, 400°F (200°C). Then cut the cheese and semolina into 'fingers' (you should get about 24 to 27) or use a 2 inch (5 cm) pastry cutter for round shapes, and peel away the oiled silicone paper. Place them, slightly overlapping, in an 11½ inch (29 cm) shallow buttered gratin dish, then dot the top of the gnocchi with the remaining 2 oz (50 g) of butter and bake for 10 minutes. Then baste the gnocchi with the melted butter and sprinkle the remaining 2 oz (50 g) of Parmesan over them. Replace the dish on an upper shelf of the oven and bake for a further 30 minutes or until the whole thing is golden brown and bubbling nicely. You might think this seems too much butter, but when serving it should be soaked in melted butter. Not for slimmers or the health-conscious, but wonderful.

 

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