Chefs' Recipes

Embla's cheddar gnocchi, crushed tomato and olive oil

This Roman-style gnocchi is rich with the sharp flavour of cheddar, making it an ideal side dish for robust stews, braises and roasted meats.

  • 30 mins preparation plus cooling, chilling
  • 45 mins cooking
  • Serves 10
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"Pyengana cheddar is my favourite cheese from Tasmania," says Embla's Dave Verheul. Start this recipe a day ahead to chill the semolina mixture.


  • 2 ripe tomatoes, halved
  • 1 tbsp olive oil, for drizzling
Semolina gnocchi
  • 1.25 litres milk (5 cups)
  • 60 gm butter, diced
  • 1 garlic clove, bruised
  • 375 gm fine semolina
  • 5 egg yolks
  • 200 gm pyengana cheddar (see note), grated


  • 1
    For gnocchi, butter two 22cm x 30cm baking trays and line with baking paper. Place milk, butter and garlic in a large saucepan over low heat until just simmering and infused (15-20 minutes). Remove garlic and rain in semolina, whisking until thickened (1 minute), then stir continuously until very thick (4-5 minutes). Cool until just warm (1½ hours; this is so the egg won't scramble). Gradually stir in yolks and 175gm cheddar, season to taste and divide between trays, spreading to 1cm thick. Refrigerate to chill and set (at least 2 hours, or preferably overnight). Cut into rounds with a 6cm-diameter cutter.
  • 2
    Preheat oven to 220°C. Arrange gnocchi overlapping in two 1.5-litre baking dishes, top with remaining cheddar and bake until golden (15-20 minutes).
  • 3
    Crush tomatoes in a bowl, discarding most of the solids (you want the juice and not too much pulp), season to taste, add olive oil and spoon over the top of the warm gnocchi to serve.


Pyengana cheddar is available from select delicatessens. If it's unavailable, substitute another good cloth-bound cheddar.