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We continue our tour of Italy and authentic Italian cooking, courtesy Tonia's Kitchen guest Jack Bishop. He wrote the foreword for the new cookbook from National Geographic: Tasting Italy. This time, Jack takes us south to the Rome region and talks with Tonia about Gnocchi. But here's a twist, instead of using potato flour, Jack says he uses semolina. That's gives the dish a consistency that's almost like polenta. Serve as a side dish, or maybe as part of a casserole.
- 6 cups milk
- Kosher salt
- 1 1/2 cups semolina flour
- 8 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided, plus more for greasing
- 1 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano, plus more for grating
- 3 egg yolks, lightly beaten
- In a large saucepan, heat milkover medium-high heat, whisking occasionally to prevent scorching, until steaming. Season well with salt. While whisking constantly, sprinkle in semolina in a fine shower to prevent lumps; the mixture will thicken and become difficult to whisk. Once all semolina is added, lower heat to medium-low, switch to a stiff rubber spatula or wooden spoon and cook over medium-low heat, stirring constantly, until a sticky, dough-like mass forms and begins to pull away from sides of saucepan, 10 to 15 minutes; make sure to stir deep into corners and all over bottom of saucepan to prevent scorching. Remove from heat.
- 2.Stir in 4 tablespoons of butter until melted and thoroughly incorporated. Stir in cheese until melted and thoroughly incorporated. Scrape in egg yolks and stir until thoroughly incorporated.
- 3.Scrape semolina dough into a buttered rimmed baking sheet. Using a wet rubber spatula or wet clean hands, and re-wetting frequently to prevent sticking, press and smooth semolina dough into an even layer about 1/2 inch thick. It's okay if the dough does not fully reach all edges of the baking sheet, as long as it's even throughout. Press plastic wrap against the surface and refrigerate until set, at least 40 minutes and up to overnight.
- 4.Preheat oven to 450°F. Using a 3-inch round cookie cutter or similarly sized glass, cut semolina into rounds (scraps can be saved and refrigerated for up to 4 days: deep fry in oil for a snack, or assemble in a smaller baking dish to make a mini version of this dish). Grease a large baking dish or ovenproof skillet with butter. Using a thin metal spatula, scrape each semolina round from the baking sheet and arrange in an overlapping pattern in the prepared dish or skillet.
- 5.Melt the remaining 4 tablespoons butter and drizzle all over semolina gnocchi. Grate Parmigiano-Reggiano generously all over. Bake until gnocchi are sizzling hot and browned on top, about 15 minutes. Serve, passing more grated cheese at the table.