Semolina is a coarse flour, usually of wheat or maize, which is left behind when the finer flour has been sifted out. Durum wheat semolina is used in Italy to make commercial pasta. It is too hard to use on its own at home, where it needs to be used in conjunction with either pasta or bread flour, usually in a ratio of one part semolina to three parts pasta flour.
As well as making pasta with it, Italians also use semolina to make gnocchi or small dumplings, which can be made either with potatoes or ricotta cheese.
Another good way to use semolina is to substitute it for some of the flour in cakes and biscuits, where the slightly gritty grains add a crisp texture. Semolina was traditionally used to make a rather bland baked milk pudding, the kind of food that is regarded as suitable for toddlers and invalids.
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