Pumpkin 'Gnocchi alla Romana'

Pumpkin 'Gnocchi alla Romana'

The Spruce / Cara Cormack

Prep: 5 mins
Cook: 60 mins
Total: 65 mins
Servings: 6 servings
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
516 Calories
26g Fat
50g Carbs
22g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 6
Amount per serving
Calories 516
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 26g 33%
Saturated Fat 15g 74%
Cholesterol 134mg 45%
Sodium 879mg 38%
Total Carbohydrate 50g 18%
Dietary Fiber 3g 11%
Protein 22g
Calcium 434mg 33%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

"Gnocchi alla romana," or Roman-style gnocchi, are made with semolina flour (a durum wheat flour often used in making pasta) instead of potatoes, and rather than being small, round dumplings cooked in boiling water, they are flat, round discs that are arranged in a baking dish and baked. This variation adds in pumpkin, for a toothsome autumn version, with a savory Gorgonzola topping. Because Gorgonzola is essentially the Italian version of blue cheese, and you can substitute it with blue cheese if you can't find it at your grocery.

Ingredients

  • 4 cups (about 1 liter) whole milk
  • 5 1/2 tablespoons (80 grams) unsalted butter, divided
  • 1 teaspoon fine sea salt or kosher salt
  • pinch of freshly ground nutmeg
  • 1 3/4 cups (10.3 ounces/292 grams) semolina flour
  • 1 (15-ounce) can pumpkin puree
  • 2 egg yolks, lightly beaten
  • 1 cup (about 106 grams) freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
  • 1/2 cup (2 ounces/57 grams) Gorgonzola or blue cheese, crumbled

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients. Preheat oven to 375 F (approximately 200 C).

    Pumpkin 'Gnocchi alla Romana'

    The Spruce / Cara Cormack

  2. Place the milk and 2 tablespoons of the butter in a sufficiently large, heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium heat. Add salt and nutmeg.

    milk and butter in a saucepan

    The Spruce / Cara Cormack

  3. As soon as the milk begins to bubble, slowly sprinkle in the semolina flour while whisking vigorously to avoid forming clumps. 

    semolina mixed into the milk and butter

    The Spruce / Cara Cormack

  4. Lower the heat to low and continue to cook, whisking continuously until the mixture is even and starts to thicken about 10 minutes.

    semolina mixture cooking in a saucepan

    The Spruce / Cara Cormack

  5. Remove from heat and add the pumpkin puree, egg yolks, and the grated Parmigiano, mixing with a whisk until well blended. 

    pumpkin puree, egg yolks, and the grated Parmigiano added to the semolina mixture

    The Spruce / Cara Cormack

  6. Transfer the mixture to a shallow baking sheet or tray that has been lightly greased with butter and spread it evenly with a rubber spatula (moistened with water to avoid sticking) to a thickness of about 1/2 inch (about 1 cm). Let sit to cool and firm up, 5 to 10 minutes.

    semolina and pumpkin mixture spread out on a baking pan

    The Spruce / Cara Cormack

  7. With a 2 inch (about 5 cm)-diameter biscuit- or cookie--cutter (or you can use a floured drinking glass of about the same diameter), stamp out circular gnocchi. Arrange the gnocchi in overlapping rows in a buttered baking dish.

    gnocchi cut out with a cookie stamp and placed in baking dish

    The Spruce / Cara Cormack

  8. Melt the remaining 3 1/2 tablespoons of butter.

    melted butter in a small bowl

    The Spruce / Cara Cormack

  9. Sprinkle melted butter over the top of the gnocchi and top with grated Parmigiano-Reggiano and crumbled blue cheese.

    Pumpkin 'Gnocchi alla Romana' with Parmigiano-Reggiano and blue cheese on top

    The Spruce / Cara Cormack

  10. Bake for about 20 to 30 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and the top is lightly browned. 

    Pumpkin 'Gnocchi alla Romana'

    The Spruce / Cara Cormack

Glass Bakeware Warning

Do not use glass bakeware when broiling or when a recipe calls to add liquid to a hot pan, as glass may explode. Even if it states oven-safe or heat resistant, tempered glass products can, and do, break occasionally.


Do not put glass bakeware that has been refrigerated directly into a hot oven as the glass can shatter. Instead, place any cold glass bakeware into a cold oven to warm up while it preheats. Or, allow the bakeware to rest outside of the fridge for 30 minutes to reach room temperature while the oven preheats.

Recipe Variations

  • Add a few chopped walnuts and/or fresh sage leaves on top of the arranged gnocchi together with the cubes of gorgonzola before baking.
  • For a more golden-brown top, sprinkle the top of the dish with additional grated Parmigiano-Reggiano before baking, and/or transfer the dish to under a broiler for a minute or two before serving.

Storage and Make-Ahead

Store leftovers in a refrigerator for up to 2 days or you can prepare the dish ahead of time just up to the point of sprinkling it with the Gorgonzola and freeze it, to be baked later (no need to defrost it first).