Gnocchi alla Romana Recipe from Ferrari’s Italian Villa

A Michelin-starred chef who got his start in North Texas just picked up a big prize in Italy. Stefano Secchi's New York City restaurant Rezdora earned the No. 9 spot on the global "Top 50 Italy" list.

Stefano learned a lot from his dad, Francesco Secchi, who owns Ferrari's Italian Villa in Grapevine.

The Secchi's shared the recipe for a New Year's Day favorite from their home kitchen.

Gnocchi alla Romana 

So this is a classic "pasta", that although the name implies from "Roma," many people believe probably came from Piemonte because of the fair amount of butter used. Traditionally there are no herbs but I’ve always found brown butter and sage to be an incredible way to bring the gnocchi together…again, tanta tanta roba! 


  • 400g organic whole milk (best available please)
  • 1 tbsp coarse sea salt
  • 1 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
  • 100g semolina flour
  • 2 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 50g grated Parmigiano Reggiano
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 4 tbsp unsalted butter (to finish the gnocchi)
  • 8 ea sage leaves
  • Parmigiano Reggiano to finish (or Pecorino Romano, which is more traditional)


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Prepare a half sheet tray by spraying non-stick spray or spreading butter on to create a non-stick surface. 

In a heavy medium sauce pot under medium heat, add the milk, coarse sea salt and nutmeg. Slowly whisk until the milk is just about simmering, then slowly pour in the semolina, while continuing to whisk. Turn the heat to low, cook the semolina and milk together with a wooden spoon for 5-7 minutes or until mixture is pretty thick. 

Remove the semolina from the heat and stir in the Parmigiano, 2 tbsp butter and egg yolks until smooth, then pour the mixture onto the buttered sheet tray. 

Place the sheet tray in the fridge to cool and set for 30 minutes. 

When the gnocchi has cooled, use a 2" round cutter (or glass cup around the house) to cut round pieces of gnocchi and lay them on an earthenware dish or another half sheet tray. 

Brown the additional 4 tbsp butter until golden, then add the sage leaves and drizzle on top of the gnocchi on the half sheet tray. Top the gnocchi with another good dusting or Parmigiano and bake in the oven until golden brown, about 15-20 minutes. 

Reserve and serve with more Parmigiano and nice drizzle of extra-virgin olive oil, right in the middle of the table, something different and delicious. 

Yield: Serves 4 
Inactive/Active Prep: 80 min 
Ease: Medium