Gnocchi Alla Romana

Gnocchi made with semolina, cut into fun shapes and baked in the oven with parmesan and butter.

Belula December 15, 2016
45° shot of the baked gnocchi alla ramona on a white squared baking dish

A few weeks back Eileen contacted me because she was working on a food photography documentary and was wondering if I’d like to participate. I was intrigued. I proposed that we meet for coffee so that she could tell me a little more about her project and get to know her a little.

A few days later we met up for breakfast at a cool little café called Mokonuts. She told me she was making a documentary about how people connect through food. She was contacting strangers that were in some way or another related to food, via social networks. Eileen asked if I would be open to cook for her at my home and tell her my story of how I came to be in the food world and in Paris. She would be taking photos of the whole thing, me cooking, talking, plating, eating.

45° shot of 2 hands pouring semolina onto a bowl
Overhead shot of the gnocchi on the baking dish
Sprinkling parmesan cheese over the gnocchi alla romana
Mise en place ready to make the gnocchi alla romana

I thought it was an interesting idea, but mostly I admired her courage to ask, and put herself out there. I said yes off course. And on top of it all I got to keep the beautiful photos Eileen took of me that day. The ones featured in these post were all captured by her, off course!

Overhead shot of 2 hands putting dollops of butter on top of the gnocchi
Overhead shot of the baked gnocchi alla romana
Overhead shot of 2 hands putting dollops of butter on top of the gnocchi
Belén serving the gnocchi alla romana
Belén serving the gnocchi alla romana
Belén cutting the gnocchi alla romana and transferring to the baking dish

I planned a menu based on things I love to eat, ingredients that inspired me that day at the market and things that would photograph well :) I made scallops with leeks as an entrée, gnocchi alla romana as the main dish and caramel crème brulée as a dessert! I am happy to report that she loved the food! And I was one very happy cook :).

A note on the gnocchi: they remind me of my childhood. We loved them at home, and every time we had them for dinner I remember being very very happy. Later on when I was allowed to take my lunch from home to school, at least twice a week I was lucky enough to have "ñoquis de sémola". I vividly remember my friends wanted to steal my food!

I thought I would share this dish that's close to my heart with Eileen. And with all of you. I hope you like them as much as I do!

The ingredients used in all recipes on this site are measured using the metric system. I use a scale to be precise with my measurements and ensure good results. If you would also like to use a scale, here are some: USA, Canada, UK, Australia, France.
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes

Servings: 6 servings
Nutrition: 467 cal
Cuisine: Italian


  • Butter 100 g
  • Milk (whole or not) 1 l
  • Parmesan 150 g
  • Semolina 250 g
  • Egg Yolks 2
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Nutmeg
  • Parmesan (for baking)
  • Butter (for baking)


  • 1. Butter a baking dish. Line a baking tray with a greased piece of parchment paper and set aside. You'll need a rolling pin, and a dough cutter.
  • 2. Bring the milk, the butter, salt, pepper and nutmeg to a boil. Add the semolina mixing energetically at the same time. Cook for 5 minutes.
  • 3. Remove the pan from the heat and add the egg yolks and the parmesan and mix until combined. Taste and adjust the seasoning to taste.
  • 4. Transfer to the previously lined baking tray, cover with another piece of parchment paper and roll out the gnocchi dough to about ½ a cm in thickness. Wrap in plastic wrap and chill in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes or until it is firm enough to handle. It doesn’t necessarily have to be cold.
  • 5. Pre-heat the oven to 200 degrees Celsius.
  • 6. Remove the gnocchi from the fridge and using a cookie dough cutter cut out the gnocchi and place them on the previously buttered baking dish. Place them as shown on the photo below.
  • 7. Top with parmesan and a piece of butter over each gnocchi.
  • 8. Bake until golden.
If you made this recipe I would really appreciate it if you leave a rating or comment below! Also, if you share on social media please use #cookwithbelula, I would love to see what you create!
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Alejandra Ferrari Jaso December 15, 2016

I enjoy so much your delicious recipes, Belén! Thanks for your generosity in sharing them! Alejandra, ON '78. Cheers.

Belén Gowland
Belula December 16, 2016

Hi Alejandra! Ohhh thank you for your kind words :) I will go to sleep smiling now! Cheers :)

Clari December 15, 2016

Belu do you think I can replace the semolin for polenta for a gluten free version? Or what do you suggest? Thank you!! They look amazing and surelly tastes even better!!!

Belén Gowland
Belula December 16, 2016

Hola Clari! You can definitely try! I love polenta too! Use half water or broth and half milk for polenta. Also, no need the egg yolk! But do keep the parmesan! Check for consistency: if you find that it's to hard try with 200 G of polenta next time! Let me know how it works out :) Besos

El gordo December 17, 2016

Hi Belu! Loved your gnoccis! So easy, ill send a pic with mines! ??

Belén Gowland
Belula December 19, 2016

Hola!! Yes please do send a picture of your gnocchi! :)

PAULA YOUNG March 06, 2017

Gracias!!! Acabo de hacer los gnocchis y me quedaron espectaculares!!! Los comía y cocinaba de chica y me encantaban, pero hace un par de años, intenté varias recetas y nunca logré que me salieran bien.. Fue volver a la niñez, divino. Gracias!

Belén Gowland
Belula March 11, 2017

Hola. Paula!! Que alegría que te hayan salido ricos! Para mi también es una comida que me. Have acordar a cuando era chica :)

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