I found a letter written to Elise stuck in the back of Elizabeth David’s Italian Food and it read thus:
What an enchanting box of apples –
Thank ‘ee so much.
On the back is the Gnocchi recipe. Hope you can read my writing!
– Eva Jenna’
Those were the days, when finding new recipes was only as fast as word of mouth could travel – a time before the Internet. I imagine, she swapped the apples one day at a dinner at Eva’s house, which consisted of the gnocchi served as per the recipe she sent back in her thank you note.
Now this summer of our own I decided to recreate the gnocchi. It is in fact, Roman Gnocchi – the difference being that it is made from semolina rather than potato or wheat flour.
1 pt. milk
4 oz. 0.25mm semolina
1 cup stock (chicken cube will do)
1 cup of Parmesan cheese, grated
1 beaten egg
Salt and pepper to season
Start by sieving the semolina to prevent lumps in the gnocchi later. Bring a pan of milk to a gentle simmering and slowly add the semolina – stirring all the while. Turn the heat down to very low and add the stock. Continue to stir as the consistency thickens. Stir in a 3/4 of the Parmesan and the diced butter.
Allow the semolina to cool a little before stirring in the beaten egg – you don’t want the egg to curdle in a mixture that is too hot.
Then turn the thick mix out onto a flat dish and allow it to set over night in the fridge.
When you’re ready to cook it, cut the gnocchi into lengths or squares and place in on a buttered baking tray. Coat your knife blade in a bit of flour first to prevent any sticking. If you like, you can add a little more Parmesan for an extra crispy topping.
Try these in place of your average potato wedges, or serve them with a ragù or stew.