At Pasta Evangelists we celebrate fresh pasta in all of its forms. However, we must confess that there are certain dishes which are close to our heart - and gnocchi alla Sorrentina is one of them. The fluffy gnocchi dumplings are light yet satisfyingly filling, and the tomato sauce represents simplicity at its finest. Finished with fresh mozzarella, this dish strikes that perfect balance between quality cuisine and comfort food. Unfamiliar with gnocchi alla Sorrentina? Let us tell you what you need to know. If you want to try making gnocchi alla Sorrentina for yourself, our expert Italian chefs have provided their very own recipe.
What is gnocchi alla Sorrentina?
To prepare this classic Italian dish, start by covering gnocchi in a tantalising tomato sauce, followed with some fresh cubed mozzarella. The gnocchi is then baked in the oven until the cheese becomes delightfully gooey. The final flourish is a sprinkling of chopped basil, a perfect pairing for that rich tomato sauce.
In Italian, ‘Alla Sorrentina’ means ‘Sorrento style’, referring to the city where this dish originates from. Sitting above the Southern Amalfi coast just shy of Naples, this city is certainly not lacking in style. Sorrento is celebrated for both its stunning seaside vistas and its delicious food - gnocchi alla Sorrentina being its signature dish.
Located in the Campania region, Sorrento’s warm climate and rich volcanic soil is perfect for growing tomatoes. In Sorrento, Italians will often serve gnocchi alla sorrentina as a first-course meal - raising the bar for the dishes to follow!
Our gnocchi alla Sorrentina recipe
Serves: 3 - 4
Prep time: 60 minutes
Cook time: 15 minutes
Total time: 75 minutes
Calories: 313 per serving
- 500g (approx. 2 ½ cups) gnocchi - If you want to try making your own gnocchi, we recommend you take a look at our guide to making homemade gnocchi.
- 1 ½ cups tomato sauce, recipe below
- 125g fresh mozzarella, drained and cut into 1cm cubes
- ¼ cup Parmigiano Reggiano, grated
Fresh basil leaves, chopped
Ingredients for tomato sauce
- 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 2 cloves garlic, peeled and lightly crushed
- 1 kg cherry tomatoes, washed and halved
- Salt to taste
- Black pepper to taste
- 5-6 basil leaves, washed and chopped
Check out our step-by-step recipe, or follow along with Chef Roberta in the video below.
Method - to make the tomato sauce
- Heat the olive oil in a frying pan over medium heat
- Add crushed garlic cloves and brown until oil is fragrant; be careful not to burn the garlic
- Add the tomatoes, salt, and pepper
- Cover and simmer on low to medium heat for 40 minutes until thickened. The sauce should be thick and shiny
- Mix in the chopped basil and remove from heat
Use the sauce right away or cover and keep it in the fridge for up to 3 to 4 days. Alternatively, the sauce can be frozen for up to a month. Check out our recent guide to storing pasta sauce for further information.
Method - to complete your gnocchi alla Sorrentina
- Preheat the oven to 250ºC
- Cook the gnocchi in salted, boiling water until they float (generally around 2-3 minutes)
- Once cooked, drain the gnocchi and toss with the tomato sauce then gently mix in the fresh mozzarella
- Spoon into several individual-sized oven dishes, such as ramekins, or a single large baking dish
- Top each with the grated Parmigiano Reggiano
- Place in the oven for 5-7 minutes, or until heated through and mozzarella and Parmigiano Reggiano have melted
- Sprinkle with fresh basil. Buon appetito!