Nothing says I love you like a home-cooked meal, especially a labor-intensive one. Making homemade pasta – especially gnocchi – isn’t quick, but it’s totally worth it. Not only will it be clear that it was made with love, but it’s also the only way to get the proper texture.
This baked version of gnocchi is crispy on the top and pillowy on the inside – not to mention covered in cheese – just the way nonna intended.
- Vegetable oil
- 3 cups milk
- 1/8 teaspoon dried nutmeg
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/8 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 1/4 cups semolina
- 2 egg yolks, beaten
- 2 cups Asiago cheese or Pecorino Romano, grated or shredded
- 6 tablespoons butter
- 1/4 cup pancetta, minced
- 1/4 cup Mozzarella cheese, shredded
- 1 Line the bottom of a 15 x 10-inch square baking pan (or equivalent) with tin foil and generously oil. Heat the milk, salt, nutmeg and pepper in a large saucepan over medium heat to a simmer; do not let boil!
- 2 Immediately reduce heat to medium-low and begin whisking or stirring in the semolina in a slow, thin and steady stream. Keep whisking diligently to prevent lumps from forming.
- 3 Cook, stirring frequently, until it is thick enough for a spoon to stand up in it. This will take anywhere between 5 and 10 minutes.
- 4 Reduce heat to low and continue cooking, stirring constantly, until very thick, about 45 minutes longer.
- 5 Remove from heat and add the egg yolks, 1 cup of the cheese and 2 tablespoons butter until butter is melted throughout. Transfer mixture to prepared pan and smooth out the top.
- 6 Refrigerate, uncovered, until cold, about an hour. Preheat oven to 425 F. Flip the cooled mixture onto a cutting board or surface, peel off the foil and cut out the gnocchi with a 2-inch round cookie cutter.
- 7 Arrange in a shallow baking dish. Melt the remaining butter and drizzle over gnocchi, sprinkle with remaining cheese and minced pancetta.
- 8 Toss Mozzarella cheese over the top and bake until the tops of gnocchi are crisp and golden, about 20 minutes. Serve immediately.