In this week’s dish, we serve freshly made gluten free gnocchi. Regardless of whether you are able to consume gluten, this is pasta eccezionale, made in the artisan tradition and carefully cut into beautiful gnocchi pieces.
Napoli, in the sun-drenched region of Campania, is renowned throughout the gastronomic world. Less renowned, but no less important in the culinary story of Campania, are the many small towns and villages dotted along the region’s iconic Amalfi Coast. Sorrento, for example, perched across cliffs overlooking the Bay of Naples, gives its name to Gnocchi alla Sorrentina. This wholesome dish dates back to the 16th century, when the first potatoes from the New World were delivered into the town’s irresistibly pretty marinas. Local cooks used rustic, wooden tools to shape their gnocchi, giving them a distinctive shape and form that we, to this day, draw inspiration from.
The sauce for this classic Sorrentine dish is based on another botanical curiosity from the Americas: the tomato, which, like its fellow nightshade, the potato, did not arrive in Europe until the 16th century. Thereafter, farmers living on the banks of the nearby Mount Vesuvius realised the nutrient-rich, volcanic soil yielded fine tomatoes, now known, and distinguished, as the San Marzano variety, which form the base of this week’s sauce. Aside from gnocchi and tomato sauce, a third item completes the Gnocchi alla Sorrentina trinity: dreamy, snow-white mozzarella, also native to Campania. In this version, we use the fior di latte variety (literally, and rather poetically, “flower of the milk” in Italian), whose wonderfully fresh, subtly milky flavour complements the tomato sauce perfectly.
And so, in uniting three simple ingredients, Sorrento’s most famous dish was born. When enjoying this dish, imagine you’re dining on one of the town’s many balconies, overlooking the costiera, with Sorrento’s fragrance of orange blossoms heady in the air around you.
Fresh Gluten Free Gnocchi (200g):
Potato Flakes, Rice Flour, Water, Guar Gum, Salt
Tomato Sauce (125g):
Tomatoes (77%), Water, Onion, Carrot, Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Basil, Salt, Garlic, Sugar, Black Pepper
MILK, Salt, Rennet