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Baked Semolina Gnocchi

ingredients

serves 4
425 ml (3/4 pint) 1 3/4 cups vegetable stock
100 g (3 1/2 oz) semolina
1 tbsp thyme, stalks removed
1 egg, beaten
50 g (1 3/4 oz) Parmesan cheese, grated
50 g (1 3/4 oz) 3 tbsp butter
2 garlic cloves, crushed
salt and pepper

method

1. Place the stock in a large saucepan and bring to the boil. Add the semolina in a steady trickle, stirring continuously. Keep stirring for 3 - 4 minutes until the mixture is thick enough to hold a spoon upright. Set aside and leave to cool slightly.

2. Add the thyme, egg and half of the cheese to the semolina mixture, and season to taste with salt and pepper.

3. Spread the semolina mixture on to a board to about 12 mm (1/2 inch) thick. Set aside to cool and set.

4. When the semolina is cold, cut it into 2.5 cm (1 inch) squares, reserving any offcuts.

5. Grease an ovenproof dish, placing the reserved offcuts in the bottom. Arrange the semolina squares on top and sprinkle with the remaining cheese.

6. Melt the butter in a pan, add the garlic and season with pepper to taste. Pour the butter mixture over the gnocchi. Bake in a preheated oven, at 220°C/425°F/Gas Mark 7, for 15 - 20 minutes until puffed up and golden. Serve hot.

Try adding 1/2 tablespoon of sun-dried tomato paste or 50 g (1 3/4 oz) finely chopped mushrooms, fried in butter, to the semolina mixture in step 2. Follow the same cooking method.

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