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X Italian Pasta Dishes
Gnocchi alla Romana
Gnocchi alla Romana (with semolina, Parmesan and nutmeg)
Originated from: Rome, Lazio
Occasion: Any time
Contributed by: Taken from "The Cook's Decameron" by W.G. Waters (William Heineman, 1920)

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For dough
Half a pint of milk
Two ounces of butter
Four ounces of semolina
Two tablespoonful of grated Parmesan
Yolks of three eggs
A tiny pinch of nutmeg

For the sauce
A little butter and grated Parmesan
Two tablespoonful of cream

For dusting


"Boil half a pint of milk in a saucepan, then add two ounces of butter, four ounces of semolina, two tablespoonful of grated Parmesan, the yolks of three eggs, and a tiny pinch of nutmeg. Mix all well together, then let it cool, and spread out the paste so that it is about the thickness of a finger.

Put a little butter and grated Parmesan and two tablespoonful of cream in a fire-proof dish, cut out the semolina paste with a small dariole mould and put it in the dish.

Dust a little more Parmesan over it, put it in the oven for five minutes and serve in the dish."


This recipe was first published in "The Cook's Decameron: a study in taste, containing over two hundred recipes for Italian dishes," written by Mrs. W.G. Waters and published by William Heineman (1920). For the entire copyright-free cookbook see www.archive.org..... P.S. I (Mary Melfi) tried this recipe and found it a bit unappetizing, but that could be because I used coarse semolina flour (what I had on hand), and that was mistake. If one were to try it one obviously has to use refined semolina flour. Nowadays most cooks mix semolina flour with regular white flour, but then that would be a variation of this very old recipe.There is a very similar (if not the same) recipe in the cookbook, "Leaves from our Tuscan Kitchen by Ann Janet Ross (1900)." The ingredients and proportions are better described in this text....... Photo: Mary Melfi.

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