In our household, breakfast is the most important meal of the day. On weekdays, it’s often the only meal J and I eat together due to evening commitments and the whole day-jobs-in-different-boroughs thing. We always sit down to something warm, with fruit and a variety of beverages.
Lately, we’ve been in a bit of a breakfast rut. Every morning, we boil 4 eggs (2 each), and then eat with 6 kalamata olives each. It’s a delicious and healthy way to start the day, but sometimes you really just don’t want to eat eggs. And of course, J is anti-some of the best easy-breakfast options out there, such as oatmeal and yogurt.
I was explaining this to one of my co-workers and he began to describe how he grew up with his parents making Roman gnocchi. They’d just keep the dough prepared in the fridge, and then in the morning, cut out pieces and fry it up. Then serve with extra parmesan cheese on top.
I was so intrigued that I decided to do this. I looked at a lot of recipes online and combined aspects that I liked from each. Unfortunately, there weren’t many recipes that called for frying the gnocchi, but rather suggested that you bake them. We ended up baking the scraps, and it was actually a lot tastier. I think this is primarily because you add extra butter and extra cheese before putting them into the oven.
Gnocchi alla Romana (Roman Gnocchi)
3 cups milk
1 garlic clove, smashed
2 teaspoons kosher salt
6 tablespoons butter, plus 2-4 tablespoons for greasing or baking
1 cup semolina
3/4 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese, plus extra to taste
4 egg yolks
Olive oil (if frying)
Combine milk, butter, and smashed garlic clover in saucepan over medium-heat high. Whisk. Don’t stop. When the milk comes to a simmer, scoop out that smashed garlic clove with a slotted spoon, and slowly add the semolina, constantly whisking until it gets thick (switch to a wooden spoon at this time). Remove from heat. Mix in the 3/4 cup grated cheese, and then mix in the egg yolks.
Spread the batter out on 13”x9” baking sheet or pan. Wet your hands (so that the dough doesn’t stick to you) and use them to spread the batter out and make sure it’s even.
Cover with plastic wrap and place in fridge until ready to use!
If frying, heat up oil on a cast iron skillet over medium-high heat. Use a wet glass to cut out 3” circles, place on cast iron skillet. My stovetop took about 5 minutes on each side to cook these kids through. Top with parmesan cheese when browned and beautiful!
If baking, preheat oven to 425F. Use a wet glass to cut out 3” circles. Have them layered/leaned up against each other in a baking dish. scattered chunks of butter on top and grate some extra parmesan cheese on top. Bake for 15-20 minutes, until golden brown.