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Gnocchi Romana

ingredients

serves 4
750 ml (1 1/4 pints) 3 cups milk
1/4 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
90 g (3 oz) 6 tbsp butter, plus extra for greasing
250 g (8 oz) 1 1/3 cups semolina
125 g (4 oz) 1 cup Parmesan, grated
2 eggs, beaten
60 g (2 oz) 1/2 cup Gruyere, grated
salt and pepper
basil sprigs, to garnish

method

1. Bring the milk to the boil, remove from the heat and stir in the seasoning, nutmeg and 30 g (1 oz) 2 tablespoons of butter. Gradually add the semolina, whisking to prevent lumps forming, and return to a low heat. Simmer gently for about 10 minutes, stirring constantly, until very thick.

2. Beat 60 g (2 oz) 1/2 cup of Parmesan into the semolina, followed by the eggs. Continue beating until the mixture is quite smooth.

3. Spread out the semolina mixture in an even layer on a sheet of baking parchment or in a large oiled baking tin (pan), smoothing the surface with a wet spatula - it should be about 1 cm (1/2 inch) thick. Leave until cold, then chill for about an hour until firm.

4. Cut the gnocchi into circles about 4 cm (1 1/2 inches) in diameter, using a plain greased pastry cutter.

5. Thoroughly grease a shallow ovenproof dish, or four individual dishes. Lay the gnocchi trimmings in the base of the dish and cover with overlapping circles of gnocchi. Melt the remaining butter and drizzle all over the gnocchi, then sprinkle first with the remaining Parmesan and then with the Gruyere.

6. Cook the gnocchi in a preheated oven, 200°C/400°F/Gas Mark 4, for 25-30 minutes until the top is crisp and golden brown.

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