Simple Italian Cookery was one of the first vintage cookbooks I ever cooked from, and it was this recipe. Published in 1912 by Antonia Isola, Simple Italian Cookery is considered one of the first Italian cookbooks published in America. Except, "Antonia Isola" was a pseudonym for Mabel Earl McGinnis, a New Yorker who had spent several years living in Rome before turning her hand to cookbook authoring. Simple Italian Cookery was her only known published cookbook and little else is known about her. Despite a fairly thorough search, I was able to turn up little more than references to her pseudonym. She apparently married a Norvell Richardson at some point, and a Mr. & Mrs. Norvell Richardson show up in 1956 in a Virginia newspaper, but simply in a list of guests.
Gnocchi di Semolina
1 pint of milk (2 cups)
pinch of salt
1/2 cup farina/semolina flour/cream of wheat
In a 2 quart saucepan over medium heat, bring the milk to a boil (watch it - it boils over easily!). Add the semolina gradually and whisk while you're at it. Keep whisking as it thickens up, otherwise it will bubble and spit hot semolina at you. You don't have to cook and stir constantly for ten minutes - but cook it for longer than you think, to get as much of the moisture absorbed as possible - the semolina should be quite thick.
Pour out onto parchment paper, aluminum foil, or a wooden cutting board, pat into a rectangle a little more than an inch thick and let cool. Preheat the oven to 375 F. Once cool, cut into squares and layer in a buttered baking dish. Dot with butter and sprinkle with shredded cheese between layers (you'll get about 2 layers). Bake about 20 minutes, or until hot and bubbly.
Serve hot with your favorite "gravy" or tomato sauce, or any other kind of sauce you like, or none at all. The gnocchi will be meltingly tender and delicious.
This takes a bit of preparation, but if you've been craving something hot and comforting but are out of pasta at home, gnocchi di semolina makes a great substitute.
What comfort foods are you cooking while on stay at home orders?