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This recipe was created for my grandson Adam. Gnocchi are light Italian dumplings that can be made from potatoes, ricotta, or, as in this case, polenta. They make a substantial first course followed by a roast and a side of vegetables.


Yield: 4 to 6 servings as a first course

Butter a large, rimmed baking sheet and set it aside.

Bring the milk, salt and nutmeg to a boil over moderate heat in a heavy 3-quart saucepan. Add the polenta gradually, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon to prevent the formation of lumps. Continue cooking until the polenta thickens, about 5 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the eggs and 1 cup cheese. Spoon the mixture into the buttered baking sheet, using a spatula to spread the polenta about ½-inch thick. Smooth the top with the spatula. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour.

While the polenta is chilling, melt the butter in a small skillet. Add the scallions and sauté until softened, about 3 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 400°F. Butter a shallow baking dish and set it aside. With a 1½-inch biscuit cutter, cut the polenta into small circles. Transfer the circles to the buttered baking dish. Drizzle the butter and scallions into small circles. Sprinkle with the remaining ¼ cup cheese and season with pepper to taste.

Bake until golden, about 15 minutes. Turn the oven to broil and run the gnocchi under the broiler until crisp, 1 to 2 minutes. Serve hot as an appetizer.




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