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World Pasta Day

Best Gnocchi Alla Romana Recipe

Gnocchi Recipe

For world pasta day 2021 we are showcasing our Italian recipe, Gnocchi alla Romana, created by our very own Chef, Dario Tomaselli paired with wine and homemade juice as chosen by Anita Heidema. Here at O’Live Your Life, we love to show you how to live the Mediterranean Lifestyle from anywhere through our blogs, adventures and recipes.

Pasta makes the world go around.

Dario being an Italian chef born and raised in Italy, and us enjoying fine food, pasta is near and dear to our hearts.

We enjoy eating pasta in so many ways with flour, vegetables, ricotta, bread and even with wine. Pasta can be a healthy choice when it’s enjoyed in moderation and made properly. Pasta is also one of the simplest and most versatile dishes we can cook.
Stay tuned for our newest recipe, and video below and you’ll see just how delicious it can be.

Anita & Dario Adventures Video

Pasta, Pasta and More Pasta

This year world pasta day falls on October 25th. While some only celebrate a day for pasta, we’ve also heard October referred to as world pasta month!

Of course, that speaks true to our hearts because we love pasta. Over the years, since we’ve started O’Live Your Life, we’ve done so many incredible pasta classes. And let me tell you, oh my gosh, this man, Dario, he knows how to make his pasta, that’s for sure.

We wish it could be pasta day every day with so many types and options in how to make and eat these delicious morsels.

Many times, people will stay away from pasta because they think, oh, it’s unhealthy. Oh, I’m gluten-free. But I know when I go to Italy, I can eat any kind of pasta there without any health issues arising. It’s fine. Pasta is just made differently in Italy and the ingredients have been created differently. This allows for is to be easier to digest. Making your own pasta or buying the correct pasta is so important.

There are just so many ways you can make pasta. Just last month, Dario created a Gnudi recipe, which I’ve never had before. But it was such a delicious meal, made with ricotta and just the right flavours seeping in. And today, we are sharing our brand new recipe, Gnocchi alla Romana. There are so many ways to be able to make pasta, and make it delicious, and make it to fit your specific tastes.

“Celebrate it. Celebrate Pasta this month.”
Anita Heidema

Homage to the Region of Lazio

In Italy, we say we can pasta-fi ourselves in 1,000 ways. And it’s true.

A lot of people say, well, I can’t eat pasta because it’s not good for me, or I’m gluten-free. I get it. No problem. Everything in proportion is good. But there is an opportunity to actually have pasta in a different way.

So, this month, for example, on pasta month, we give an homage to the region of Lazio. This classical, Gnocchi alla Romana, was inspired by this region. It offers interesting, different gnocchi that you might never have seen or tried before.

We can’t wait for you to try it for yourself. It’s a super simple and flavorful dish, easy for a casual weeknight meal or serving to guests. It’s not complicated at all, and it gives you an opportunity to tour Italy and its many regions in different ways, right in your own kitchen. We love to share different healthier options with you.

This gnocchi is not your classical pasta. It is made with semolina, milk and eggs. Making the pasta this way creates an opportunity for you to really enjoy how versatile pasta can be.

Gnocchi alla Romana

Gnocchi or Gnocchetti?

You’re going to love this recipe. It’s really, really delicious. And you say, gnocchi and some say Gnocchetti.

Let me explain the difference.

Gnocchi is one and bigger size, like that of a small dumpling and Gnocchetti is many and usually made smaller.

In Italy, there are many ways of making gnocchi. We all know the classic gnocchi, which is the potato gnocchi or ricotta gnocchi, which they’re these beautiful little dumplings, but this one is a different type of shape. This type of Gnocchi alla Romana, it’s on the larger side of regular gnocchi and cooked in a different way. Try it, you’ll see.

We did modify it a little bit but kept close to the traditional way of the region of Lazio. Increase something here, decrease something there to make it a little bit healthier and enjoyable. And a little bit more Mediterranean, because this pasta can be quite heavy, and we want to make it lighter for you to enjoy. The greatest thing about pasta in this way is you can have it every day, and it’s very quick to do it.

Prepping Ahead for Pasta

In our home, what we do is make a different type of pasta every two weeks on a Sunday and put them into Ziploc bags or food savers and freeze them. We always have our simple sauces on hand or make the pasta with some fresh tomato, some olive oil, and a little bit of Parmigiano or Pecorino. Sometimes, infused with vegetables. And that’s it, dinner is ready.

“Pasta is always good to create it in a simple way.”
Chef Dario

We’ve got tons of great recipes, healthy recipe creations at www.oliveyourlife.org/recipes for you to try. We’d love to see you over there as part of our community. (and don’t forget to send us a picture of your creation or tag us on social – links below.)

Gnocchi Alla Romana Recipe

Gnocchi alla Romana with Zucchini, Pomodorini & Pecorino

Prep Time: 45 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Italian
Servings: 4 people


For the Gnocchi

  • 1 Litre milk
  • 250 grams semolina
  • 100 grams unsalted butter
  • 2 egg yolks, beaten
  • 100 grams grated Parmigiano Reggiano

For the Sauce

  • 1 medium zucchini cut into thin slices
  • 50 grams guanciale or smoked bacon cut into small dice size pieces
  • 400 grams small cherry tomatoes cut in half
  • 1 clove of garlic cut in thin slices, not chopped
  • 1/2 small white onion finely sliced
  • 120 grams Pecorino Romano, grated
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • 5 leaves fresh basil
  • Salt & Pepper to taste


For the Gnocchi

  • Bring the milk to a boil with salt and 30 gr of butter.
  • As soon as he milk comes to a boil, add the semolina, little bit at the time (almost likemaking polenta,) keep stirring in order to avoid lumps.
  • Cook the mixture for 10 minutes or until the mix has become thicker.
  • Remove from the stove, allow to cool for few minutes and add the beaten egg yolks, make sure you continuouslly mix with a wooden spoon while you areadding the eggs and the Parmigiano.
  • Finish mixing and transfer the mix into a try lined with parchment paper. Grease with some olive oil, cover with another sheet of parchment paper andmake sure you evenly spread it (not thicker that 2 cm).
  • Cover with plastic wrap and set in a fridge to cool.
  • Once cool, using a cookie cutter, cut them into small disks and set them aside in an ovenproof Pyrex dish, greased with butter.
  • Line them properly in the Pyrex dish, don't put them on top of the other one, but place them like a fish scale.
  • Sprinkle with Parmigiano grated and little knobs of the remaining butter. Bake in a preheated 400 degrees F oven until they are golden brown (make sure not to cook them for too long or have them too dark.)

For the Sauce

  • Marinate the tomato in a glass bowl with half of the finely sliced garlic cloves, 3 leaves of basil (tear by hand), olive oil, and a pinch of salt. Marinate for 10 minutes.
  • In a medium skillet render the guanciale or smoked bacon, add the sliced onions and the garlic; cook until translucent.
  • Add the sliced zucchini and season with salt and pepper. Cook until zucchini is golden brown but not burned or overcooked.
  • Add some olive oil if you find you don't have sufficient fat from the guanciale.
  • Add the marinated tomatoes and cook for 3 to 4 minutes or until the tomatoes are lightly cooked.
  • Remove the sauce from the heat and finish with the remaining basil.
  • Serve the baked gnocchi on 4 warm plates, add a small amount of sauce on top and sprink with some Percorino Romano.


This classical Roman dish is your classical Sunday lunch item that everyone loves, you can also simply serve the gnocchi with a different sauce or just as it is. My recommendation is not to serve with any heavy sauces.  
Wine Pairing: Vermentino Colli di Luni
Juice Pairing: Cucumber
Tried this recipe?Mention @oliveyourlife.now or tag ##oliveyourlife!
Thanks for reading & watching!
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Meet Anita & Dario

As a a Rich Life Strategist & Health Advocate (Anita) and World-Renowned, Multilingual Italian Chef (Dario), we have so much to share with you! Our healthy and passionate Mediterranean lifestyle and mindset initiatives will inspire you to create a lifestyle focused on simple changes that brings you joy and lead to health, happiness, and longevity.

We’ve integrated our skills with global culinary techniques, recipes, nutrition, and mindset adjustments to show you exactly how to do this. It’s time to feel more confident and have more fun in the kitchen again, while re-discovering the world and re-connecting with the ones you love. Best of all, this creates a ripple effect and re-ignites other facets in your life.

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