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X Italian Pasta Dishes
Gnocchi of Farina (with butter and cheese, with gravy)
Originated from: Italy
Occasion: Any time
Contributed by: Taken from "Simple Italian Cookery," by Antonia Isola (Harper and Brothers, 1912)

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1 pint of milk
1/2 cup of farina
1 egg
Butter and cheese (Parmesan cheese or Gruyere)


"Put the milk on, and when it boils add salt. Take a wooden spoon and, stirring constantly, add the farina little by little. Cook for ten minutes, stirring constantly. Take off the fire and break into the farina one egg; mix very quickly, so that the egg will not have time to set.

Spread the farina onto the breadboard about the height of a finger. Allow it to cool, then cut it into squares or diamonds about two or three inches across.

Butter well a baking-dish and put in the bottom a layer of the squares of farina; sprinkle over a little grated Parmesan cheese (or Gruyere), and put here and there a small dab of butter.

Then put in another layer of the squares of farina; add cheese and butter as before. Continue in this way until your baking-dish is full, having on the top layer."


This recipe was taken from "Simple Italian Cookery" written by Antonia Isola (pen name for Mabel Earl McGinnis) and published in English in the United States by Harper and Brothers in 1912. It is believed to be the first American cookbook that contains Italian recipes. P.S. The title of the recipe in the book is described as: "Gnocchi of Farina" and then it is translated as "Gnocchi di Semolina". Nowadays, the Italian word, "farina," is often translated as white flour, but perhaps this was not the case in 1912. 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 and notes: Mary Melfi.

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