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General information

Something which is not  yet entirely proven for serious students of linguistics, but is readily apparent to Italophile Austrian gastronomes: the similarity, which is not just a linguistic one, between Austrian dumplings (“Nockerln”) and Italian gnocchi (pronounced: gnoki). In both countries, these small doughy treats are readily given a spicy twist. You would look for these semolina dumplings, the “Grieß-Gnocchi”, in the soup-bowls on the far side of the Brenner Pass, whereas in the world of Austrian soups you will come across them fairly frequently.

Method

  1. Allow butter to come to room temperature before beating in a bowl until creamed. Season with salt and a small, delicate pinch of nutmeg.
  2. Add in the egg, stirring vigorously. Sprinkle the semolina over this, mix it in well until the surface is smooth. Cover with film and leave to rest for 15 – 20 minutes.
  3. Using two tbsp, dipped regularly into hot water throughout, press or shape dumplings from the paste. If preferred, place these on a lightly-oiled board or plate and again leave to stand for a short while (this allows the dumplings to rise even more).
  4. Heat up a generous quantity of salted water in a large pan. Place the dumplings into the water and bring back to the boil before turning down the heat and leaving to simmer gently for 10 – 15 minutes (n.b. simmering, not boiling, water!). Carefully turn the dumplings occasionally during this time.
  5. Remove the semolina dumplings carefully and arrange in the prepared and heated soup. Serve promptly, with a garnish of sprinkled parsley or chives.

The semolina dumplings can also be cooked in the beef broth, but this causes the soup to take on a slightly dull appearance. The cooked dumplings should never be left standing in the soup for too long, as they will “soak up” the soup and become softened.

Cooking time: 10 – 15 minutes

 

Source: Austrian National Tourist Office