Gnocchi is a very old recipe and was prepared long before the arrival of the sweet potato. They were prepared using all types of wheat flour or with rice or semolina flour.
In the Sforza court, for important banquets, the 'zanzarelli' were prepared, a kind of dumpling made with almond flour, breadcrumbs and milk. At the end of the 19th century, potato gnocchi took over and all other types fell into disuse.
Semolina dumplings are a product that is prepared quickly, the only drawback is that you burn your hands. I prepared this recipe using seasonal products: asparagus, fresh spring onion and the first sweet peppers.
Recipe of durum wheat semolina gnocchi with asparagus, bacon and red pepper
I cleaned the asparagus by removing the most fibrous part of the stem. If you use green and fine asparagus, wild ones, you don't need to boil them. I cut the stems into thin rounds and left the tip whole, then I chopped the spring onion and set it aside.
In the pan I put the bacon to brown, when it is crunchy I removed it and in the pan I sautéed the asparagus with the onion. I helped myself with a little water to finish cooking.
Apart I cleaned the red croissant pepper and cut it into small brunois type cubes. I cooked it in a pan with oil and a crushed clove of garlic.
For the gnocchi you have to weigh the semolina and the water which must be of the same quantity. Then put the water on the fire with a little salt and, when it starts to boil, turn off the heat.
Pour in the semolina and turn everything with a spatula to create an irregular mass which we will transfer onto a pastry board. At this point there is the risk of burning your hands, in fact it must be kneaded without adding flour: but we will help ourselves with a tarot card so as not to burn ourselves.
When the dough is smooth and homogeneous, we begin to make the gnocchi and we will put them on the semolina to prevent them from sticking.
Cook the gnocchi in boiling salted water and when they float to the surface, they are ready. I pour them into the pan with the asparagus and sauté them for a few seconds with a grind of black pepper.
I prepare the dish by putting the peppers on the bottom (I help myself with a pasta cup) and slowly top the gnocchi with the asparagus and finally the crispy bacon.
In the glass, I choose a sauvignon, fragrant and dry wine suitable for this dish of late spring perfumes.