Grain and legume soup with small gnocchi of Pecorino Romano, herbs and crunchy pancetta

Ingredients (for 4 people)

  • 50 g of lard
  • 200 g mixed grains, soaked overnight
  • 100 g Pecorino Romano DOP
  • 4 slices of pancetta
  • 1 tblspn of milk
  • 1 small bunch of mixed herbs
  • 1 shallot
  • 1 celery stalk
  • 1 sprig of rosemary
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • 1 small bunch of wild fennel
  • extra virgin olive oil to taste
  • salt and pepper to taste


To prepare crunchy pancetta: place one slice of pancetta then seal between two sheets of oven paper, then sealed between two baking trays of equal size, and cook in the oven for 30 minutes at 120°C.
Place the grains and pulses in salted water and boil for 30 minutes. Meantime, pound together the shallot, celery and rosemary, sauté it all gently together with the grated lard, a few drops of oil, the bay leaf and garlic.
Add the grains and pulses to the sautéd ingredients and simmer until cooked, adding salt and pepper to taste. Take out the garlic and bay leaf and let the soup sit for 15 minutes. In the meantime, mix the Pecorino Romano DOP with the milk and herbs to obtain a soft and smooth dough to make small gnocchi-shaped balls.
Place the soup in a terrine and garnish with 3 gnocchi, the crunchy pancetta and a tuft of wild fennel leaves.
As a finishing touch, add a few drops of extra virgin olive oil and a sprinkle of freshly-ground pepper.

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