Most people would have tried potato or spinach gnocchi at some stage, but this scrumptious variation bears only a slight resemblance to those dumplings.
Semolina gnocchi is known in Italian as gnocchi alla Romana, which is based on durum wheat (basically semolina, with a higher protein content) and cut into squares, then grilled and dressed with a simple sauce, such as burnt butter. It is also delicious baked, topped with butter, herbs and a good Parmigiano Regiano (otherwise known as A grade Parmesan cheese).
Either way it is a delicious variation. Here is a recipe, so get cracking.
1 litre (4 cups) Full cream milk
220gm (7oz) semolina (coarse or fine, makes no difference)
60gm (2oz) butter
60gm (2oz) Freshly grated Parmesan cheese
Freshly ground pepper
Bring the milk gently to the simmer then take off heat. Whisk the semolina into the milk in a fine stream to avoid lumps. Place back on a low heat and stir until the mixture begins to thicken, this will take 5 minutes or so. Add the remaining ingredients and continue to stir for a further 10 minutes. Have ready a greased shallow cooking tray and pour in the hot semolina mixture, smoothing down with an oiled spatula. Cover and place in the refigerator until set, about 1 hour, or leave overnight, in which case cover with plastic wrap.
To serve, cut the semolina into 5 cm squares and grill until golden brown. Alternatively, top with more Parmesan and good quality olive oil and bake at 200°C (390°F) for about 10 minutes.
This gnocchi goes particularly well with lamb. Vegetarians can serve them with sauteed mushrooms and burnt butter or with a nice tomato sauce and a green salad.