Pasta, Pizza, Risotto

Gnocchi alla Romana (Roman-style Semolina Gnocchi)

Nicoletta April 3, 2017

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Gnocchi alla Romana (Roman-style Semolina Gnocchi), a traditional Roman dish made with semolina flour, milk, butter, eggs and Parmigiano. Light, fragrant, and tasty, this simple dish is beautiful to look at with its distinct round-shaped gnocchi baked in the oven until brown and crispy. Perfect for your Easter Sunday meal.

Song of the day: “Rome wasn’t built in a day” – Morcheeba.

Gnocchi alla Romana

[This post is sponsored by The Italian Centre Shop, but the content and opinions expressed are our own.]

Gnocchi alla Romana (Roman-Style Semolina Gnocchi) a delicious baked semolina gnocchi with amazing flavors and so light that two just won’t do.



Even though many people think gnocchi are traditionally always made with potatoes, they didn’t actually arrive in Italy from the Americas until the 15th Century. Up to that point, gnocchi were made with semolina flour. The Gnocchi alla Romana, therefore,  an old, classic, and traditional Italian dish, are not the classic potato gnocchi, but round disks made of semolina, milk, butter, eggs, and Parmigiano, one centimeter thick and with the diameter of five centimeters that are arranged in a pan, sprinkled with melted butter and cheese and baked in the oven until bubbly and golden brown. The fact that this dish utilizes a rather substantial quantity of butter in the recipe, was able to create a dispute whether it is a true Roman dish or rather, a dish from the North of Italy, “transplanted” to Rome at a certain point. While the debate still remains, one thing is certain, true Roman or not, this dish is absolutely delicious and one that you will find in the old “trattorie” of downtown Rome or grace any Italian family tables.

Gnocchi alla RomanaGnocchi alla Romana

Although gnocchi is a dish that is traditionally served on Thursday in Rome, this baked version is also preferred for Sunday meals or special occasions like Sunday Easter lunch or dinner. It is a pleasure for the eye and the nose, first, when the Gnocchi alla Romana are brought to the table still hot and bubbly. The aroma of the butter, Parmigiano, and Gruyère enlivens the air, the crispy, pretty round discs entice the eyes, then it’s a feast for the palate. The light and melt-in-your-mouth texture are well balanced with those crusty edges and top, in a beautifully rich and luxurious butter sauce infused with the wonderfully aromatic and flavorful sage leaves.

Gnocchi alla Romana

A dish so simple that yet exudes such luxuriousness, a great dish for those family get together, and one that will definitely be remembered and also asked for an encore performance.

From my Rome to you, with love.

gnocchi alla romana

Song of the day: “Rome wasn’t built in a day” – Morcheeba.

Gnocchi alla Romana

Gnocchi alla Romana (Roman-style Semolina Gnocchi)

  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Total Time: 45 minutes


  • 1 liter whole milk
  • pinch of nutmeg
  • 250 g semolina flour
  • 100 g unsalted butter, divided
  • 100 g Parmigiano Reggiano, grated
  • 2 egg yolks
  • salt and pepper
  • 40 g Gruyere, grated
  • few sage leaves (fresh or dried)


  1. In a sauce pan bring milk, 40 g of butter, nutmeg, and salt to a low simmer.
  2. When butter is melted start slowly sprinkling in the semolina flour a little bit at a time stirring the mixture with a whisk in a clockwise manner.
  3. Continue this until the semolina is all in and the mixture starts to thicken, about 15 minutes start to finish.
  4. Take off heat and fold in egg yolks with a wooden spoon.
  5. Keep blending gently and add in Parmigiano.
  6. Line a large baking sheet 30cmx40cm with parchment paper.
  7. Scoop mixture out of pan with a spatula onto parchment.
  8. Level and smooth to edges of pan to a 1.5 cm thickness and place in the fridge for 15-20 minutes or until cool and set.
  9. Butter a 23 cmx26cm baking dish.
  10. Using a 5cm cookie cutter, cut out disks of gnocchi, and place in baking dish, overlapping disks onto one another a bit.
  11. In a sauté pan melt remaining butter with the sage leaves and sauté till butter begins to brown.
  12. Pour butter over gnocchi and sprinkle with grated Parmigiano and gruyere.
  13. Place in a 400 degree F oven and bake for 10 minutes.
  14. Turn oven to low broil and cook for an additional 10 minutes.
  15. Take out of oven and serve immediately.
  16. Enjoy!


They can be prepared the day before, and left in the refrigerator. Then bake them in the oven and serve hot.
The semolina leftovers can be worked again and used to make more gnocchi (dumplings), perhaps in a different shape, but just as good.


  • Serving Size: 6-8 servings
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Gnocchi alla Romana

[This post is sponsored by The Italian Centre Shop, but the content and opinions expressed are our own.]

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  • Avatar
    Reply Milena | Craft Beering April 3, 2017 at 1:11 pm

    “Rome wasn’t Built in a Day” is one of my favorite Morcheeba songs!!! I can see how you had fun making these semolina beauties and singing along to it:) These will pair beautifully with many traditional German beer styles. Or Prosecco:)

    • Nicoletta
      Reply Nicoletta April 3, 2017 at 4:02 pm

      Oh I love that song, too! 🙂 You’re absolutely right, these gnocchi would pair well either with a cold German beer or Prosecco. Thank you, Milena!

  • Avatar
    Reply Elaine @ Dishes Delish April 4, 2017 at 8:29 am

    Yum. I love gnocchi! I’ve never had it this way but I’m going to fix that real soon! You talk about potato gnocchi, I’ve always preferred ricotta! My hubby is going to love this dish!

    • Nicoletta
      Reply Nicoletta April 5, 2017 at 10:48 am

      Thank you Elaine, me too, I prefer the ricotta gnocchi (that are called gnudi) to the more typical potato gnocchi, but if you give these a try, you will love them even more!

  • Avatar
    Reply annie@ciaochowbambina April 5, 2017 at 7:52 am

    I don’t care where the recipe originated as long as it’s on my plate now! Gnocchi has always been a favorite of mine – but (so far) I’ve only had potato. These semolina gnocchi look amazing, my friend!

    • Nicoletta
      Reply Nicoletta April 5, 2017 at 10:50 am

      Oh Annie, if you already love gnocchi, you will love the semolina ones! I prefer them, they are so light and cheesy and melt in your mouth! Plus, those crispy edges and topping…yum! Thank you so much for your comment!

  • Avatar
    Reply Beyond the Chicken Coop April 7, 2017 at 6:33 am

    I love your pictures! This dish sounds so comforting and I’m glad we don’t just have to wait for Thursdays to eat it! Love the golden, baked cheese on top!

    • Nicoletta
      Reply Nicoletta April 7, 2017 at 10:35 am

      Thank you so much Kathy! It is a comforting dish, but also so light and those crispy edges and top just take it over the top! 🙂

  • Avatar
    Reply adina April 10, 2017 at 8:38 am

    I’ve made these semolina gnocchi years ago and we all loved them. Thank you for the reminder, I think I will make them again soon.

    • Nicoletta
      Reply Nicoletta April 10, 2017 at 8:55 am

      Happy you liked them, Adina, they are really delicious, for me, even tastier than regular gnocchi! Thank you for stopping by!

  • Avatar
    Reply acanadianfoodie April 17, 2017 at 9:31 am

    This would be easy to make and so satisfyingly delicious – and novel for the typical Canadian palate – even with our multicultural tongue! It is on my list for the next potluck! Cannot wait to make it, bake it, and take it! 🙂

    • Nicoletta
      Reply Nicoletta April 17, 2017 at 10:24 am

      I can’t wait for you to make it, bake it, and eat it 🙂 ! It is one of my favorite gnocchi recipe, so Roman and so delicious. The fact that it is also easy, adds a certain charm 😉 . Thank you so much for your lovely comment!

  • Avatar
    Reply Nadia April 5, 2018 at 1:27 pm

    I had no idea how easy this dish is to make. I’m going to suggest that my son make this for me! Thanks for this lovely recipe!

    • Nicoletta
      Reply Nicoletta April 5, 2018 at 10:10 pm

      Yes, Nadia, pretty easy. I’d love to see how it turns out. Your son is good he’ll pull out an amazing dish! Thank you!!

  • Avatar
    Reply Kim May 12, 2020 at 5:23 am

    What makes a good accompaniment for this dish or, vice versa, does a small serve of this complement another dish. Any recommendations?

    • Nicoletta
      Reply Nicoletta May 12, 2020 at 6:28 am

      In Italy, we don’t serve our first course (pasta, risotto, gnocchi) as an accompaniment. It’s always served on its own. That being said, though, if you want to serve it with something, maybe sauteed greens or roasted vegetables and a protein (either meat, fish, or poultry). Let us know how you like them!

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