Artusi’s Recipe for Gnocchi alla Romana

Gnocchi alla Romana: Enjoy!

Gnocchi alla Romana: Enjoy!

Pellegrino Artusi only included a few Roman dishes in his classic, La Scienza in Cucina; modern Romans say he doctored what he did include, and some go as far as to imply that he developed this recipe for Gnocchi alla Romana. While it is possible, they are picking a bone with a dish that is good, so good Artusi begins with,
“I hope you will like these as much as my guests have. If you do, toast me if I’m alive, or say a Rest in Peace if I’ve gone to push up cabbages,” and continues with, “They say the number of people at table should never be fewer than the Graces (3), nor more than the Muses (9). If your party’s nearer the number of the Muses, double the recipe.”

Sound advice.

  • 1 1/4 cups (150 g) flour
  • 1/2 cup (50 g) unsalted butter
  • 3/4 cup grated Groviera or Swiss cheese
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmigiano
  • 2 brimming cups (1/2 liter) whole milk
  • 2 eggs

Mix the flour with the eggs in a pot and slowly add the milk. Add the Swiss cheese and heat, stirring constantly, until the flour cooks and the mixture becomes firm. Salt it and add half the butter. Let it cool, cut it into thin slices as you would polenta, and layer them in an ovenproof dish. Put bits of butter and grated Parmesan cheese between the layers, but only butter the top, because heat makes cheese bitter. Brown the gnocchi in the oven and serve them hot. A wine? White, for example Orvieto Bianco, or Est! Est! Est!

You’ll note that Artusi doesn’t call for semolina. You can use his recipe as is, or substitute semolina for flour — many people do.

An Illustrated Gnocchi Alla Romana Recipe
Livio Jannattoni’s Gnocchi alla Romana
A Gnocchi alla Romana variation with leeks and speck

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Categories: Gnocchi, Potato and Otherwise, Recipes from Rome & Lazio, Cucina Romana e Laziale

Author:Cosa Bolle in Pentola

Italy boasts an astonishing number of varietals, denominations, and wines, and tremendous changes are sweeping the land. New wines are being created, new DOCs are being introduced, and the existing denominations are overhauling their regulations both to reflect the practices adopted by their member wineries and to favor improvements in quality. Even the most staid and stolid region can flower seemingly overnight, emerging with exciting new wines and wineries that require rewriting the enological maps and rethinking one's positions. And, of course, recipes too, because cuisine and wine are closely intertwined and it's difficult to imagine one without the other.

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