Semolina Gnocchi

Semolina Gnocchi

Details

Different than potato gnocchi, this gnocchi is made with semolina flour and is enriched with milk and egg yolks. This gnocchi is easy to make and goes very well with tomato sauce or a braised ragu.
  • Serves: 6 to 8
  • Active Time: 30 mins
  • Total Time: 2 hrs 30 mins
  • Views: 22,432
  • Success: 100%

Steps

Step 1: Cooking the Semolina

• 3 cups whole milk
• 1/2 cup (120 g) unsalted butter
• 2 tsp kosher salt
• 1 cup semolina flour*
• 1 to 2 tbsp unsalted butter, room temp.

Method

To start, first butter a 13″ × 9″ × 2″ -inch glass casserole dish.

Using a large, heavy pot, bring the milk, butter and salt to a simmer over medium-high heat. Gradually whisk in the semolina in a steady stream. Continue to whisk until it starts to thicken and bubble, about 3 minutes or so (you may need to switch to a wooden spoon).

Note: Semolina, which is sometimes referred to as pasta flour, is available in many supermarkets, specialty stores and Italian markets.

Step 2: Enriching the Semolina

• 4 large egg yolks
• 1 to 1 1/2 cups Parmigiano-Reggiano

Method

Once the semolina is ready, remove it from the heat and whisk in the egg yolks, one at a time. Fold in about 1/2 of the Parmigiano-Reggiano and then taste for seasoning.

Add a bit more salt and/or cheese, if needed. Note: the gnocchi will be topped with the remaining Parmigiano-Reggiano prior to being baked.

Step 3: Finishing the Semolina

Method

To finish cooking the semolina, place the pot back onto the stove top and cook over low heat for about 2 minutes. This is to cook the egg yolks and also to warm up the semolina so it’s easier to pour.

Step 4: Setting the Semolina

Method

Pour the semolina into the greased casserole dish and then quickly flatten the surface using a rubber or an off-set spatula.

Gently cover the surface of the semolina with plastic wrap and place it into the refrigerator. Let chill at least 2 hours or until firm. This can be made up to 2 days in advance. If making ahead, it is best to cover the semolina a bit tighter once it has cooled to prevent the surface from drying out.

Note: you can also pour the semolina into individual oven-proof dishes, if you prefer.

Step 5: Shaping and Baking the Gnocchi

Method

Preheat the oven to 475° (or 250°C.

Using a ring, about 1 3/4" -inches in diameter, cut out as many rounds of gnocchi as possible. Place onto a tray lined with parchment paper.

If you don’t have a ring, you can also cut the gnocchi with a knife. Cut into any shape, such as squares or diamonds.

Once done, you can top the gnocchi with a bit of the remaining Parmigiano-Reggiano and bake for about 10 to 15 minutes to heat through. Serve with your favorite sauce.

Alternatively, you can top the gnocchi with the sauce followed by the cheese and then bake until heated through. Just keep an eye on the cheese so it doesn’t get too brown.

Step 6: Serving Ideas for the Gnocchi

Method

This gnocchi can be served with a nice hearty ragu or stew. It also goes particularly well with tomato sauce.

Chef's Notes

Here are a couple more recipe ideas to go with this dish:
Braised Short Rib Ragu
Beef Bourguignon

20 Comments

  • Adam C
    Adam C
    I'm having a problem trying to view the full video. It just keeps bringing me back to the summary page of this recipe. I can view the preview video though. I'm a lifetime member too so I shouldn't have any problems viewing anything.
  • Dawn T Rouxbe Staff
    Dawn T
    You cannot view the video as there is no video for this recipe. This recipe, as well as many others, is just a text recipe. Cheers!
  • Adam C
    Adam C
    lol that makes sense. i feel silly now
  • Sonya K
    Sonya K
    I made this tonight. It was EXCELLENT and so easy too. I made it with the basic tomato sauce and it was sooooo good. Thank you so much for this one. One question..there is 1 to 2 tbsp unsalted butter, room temp that I didn't see what to do with in the instructions. Where was this supposed to go?
  • Kimberley S Rouxbe Staff
    Kimberley S
    The butter is used to grease the baking dish (first sentence of Step 1). Glad you liked the dish. Cheers!
  • Sonya K
    Sonya K
    Thanks Kimberly! Another question for you; to reduce the total prep time I was considering freezing instead of refrigerating for 2 hrs. Can you let me know if there is any reason I should not do it this way? If it's ok, how long would you suggest freezing instead?
  • Kimberley S Rouxbe Staff
    Kimberley S
    Refrigerating helps the starch to gel and set. It may not take 2 hours but I think it is better than putting the mixture in the freezer. The mixture can be made up to 2 days in advance so you can prep this well ahead of time. If you freeze it, the mixture may be harder to cut and the ice crystals that form will have to thaw out in the oven...making the baking time longer. The rounds might also be a bit soggy. Best to prep ahead of time and skip the freezer. Cheers!
  • Faye C
    Faye C
    What is the difference between semolina and "cream of wheat"?
  • Dawn T Rouxbe Staff
    Dawn T
    Here is a link to semolina on wikipedia that you may find helpful. In short, here is what they say: "Semolina is coarsely ground grain, usually wheat, with particles mostly between 0.25 and 0.75 mm in diameter. The same milling grade is sometimes called farina, or grits if made from maize. It refers to two very different products: semolina for porridge is usually steel-cut soft common wheat whereas "durum semolina" used for pasta or gnocchi is coarsely ground from either durum wheat or other hard wheat, usually the latter because it costs less to grow. Non-durum semolina porridge or farina has come to be known in the United States by the trade name Cream of Wheat. They are the same basically just depends on where you are.".
  • Faye C
    Faye C
    Thank you Dawn. i find this a bit confusing (obviously). So it seems to me that semolina gnocchi are quite similar to rounds of polenta, except that polenta is corn, rather than wheat. "Cream of wheat" or "wheatlets" wouldn't work in this recipe because it is not made from hard wheat. I ask because I have these in my pantry and was wondering if I could substitute it for the semolina. I hope I have this right!
  • James P
    James P
    Once made does it freeze well? If so how would you reheat it? I am always looking for items I can freeze for easy week night dinner I cook when I get home from work.
  • Terry R
    Terry R
    James, the answer is yes! Simply place the fresh gnocchi on cookie sheets and freeze them individually. Then you can package them in individual portions or family meal bags. A great quick meal during the week. When your ready to cook them, right to the boiling water with no thawing. When the float, they are ready. Test to see if you may need additional time. Brown butter and sage sauce is great as is tomato based sauces. Cooked polenta can be spread, on a tray, into any shape you desire and allowed to firm-up on the counter. Thickness is normally not more than 1/2 inch. Once firm, cut into pices, freeze individually, place in containers and to the freezer. When desired, bring down from the freezer. Polenta takes very little time to thaw. Classically, a little olive oil or butter in a pan, a quick fry, add cooked sauage, tomato sauce and a meal is ready. Hope this is a help, best regards from North Carolina.
  • Dawn T Rouxbe Staff
    Dawn T
    Good answer Terry, I will just add that one can also reheat them by steaming them. In this case it would be best to place a piece of parchment or something on the bottom of the steamer so that they don't stick (see the Steaming lessons for more information on that). Cheers!
  • Merna B
    Merna B
    I was wondering how firm this gnocchi should be when finished? I expected slightly firm to the tooth and it was very soft and fell apart when served with a sauce. There was an almost over powering taste of butter and when cooled separated slightly. My thoughts are: 1. I know my butter and milk quantities were correct, I weighed the butter and carefully measured the milk 2. I opened a new bag of semolina and poured into a measuring scoop rather than the "scoop and level" method. I may have been off by 2-4 tbs. of semolina 3. I didn't measure the cheese - it is possible that the fat that is separating is from too much cheese. 4. I divided the recipe in 1/2 so I may need to adjust for this dish Then there is the possibility that this is the way it should be - I've only had gnocchi a few times and never without potatoes. I liked it very much (spouse man didn't, but as long as he gets his beef meals for Sunday supper he doesn't care, and he really thanks you for the improvement in steaks and roasts since I've started with Rouxbe). I want to try again with both this recipe and the one with potatoes.
  • Ken R Rouxbe Staff
    Ken R
    Hi Merna- Thank you for detailed description of the process you followed. The semolina gnocchi is a bit softer and can be more tender than potato gnocchi, so the dish itself does reflect these qualities. However, you can make this firmer by cooking the semolina a bit longer up-front or making sure you get the mixture nice and thick after you incorporate the egg. Make sure you stir to keep it from scorching or sticking. A bit more semolina may also tighten this up considerably- so 2-4 Tbsp may actually make a big difference in consistency. So, if it seems loose, just add a bit more to thicken it. The cheese in this case mostly acts as a binder, so I don't think it contributed negatively to the outcome. I hope this helps, good luck next time!
  • Tom D
    Tom D
    Can Corn Semolina, or another gluten free flour, be used in substitution for the regular semolina flour?
  • Ken R Rouxbe Staff
    Ken R
    Yes, it should work just fine, but you may need to fiddle with the ratios a bit. Depending on how fine it is, you may need to use a bit more or a bit less volume of corn flour. Adjust as needed... I think you'll be able to get it close. ~Ken
  • Tom D
    Tom D
    What size grain should I be looking for? Fine, Med or Coarse?
  • Tom D
    Tom D
    Ken - Did you mean corn flour, or corn semolina? I guess corn semolina doesn't exist ? If I were to substitute for the grain version, it would be more gritty and tate and look like grits. I'm trying to get the texture the same as the original recipe without sacrificing any taste.
  • Ken R Rouxbe Staff
    Ken R
    You can buy corn in any number of degrees of coarseness- from fine like flour to very coarse like polenta. I'd find a fine or medium fine grind- maybe not 'flour'- but not like polenta. I hope this helps!

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