Gnocchi alla sorrentina is a delicious Italian easy comfort food dish! It’s a baked dish made from light gnocchi covered in a rich tomato sauce with bubbling melted mozzarella.
A classic famed Italian dish, Gnocchi alla sorrentina should be at least tried once in your lifetime. However, I’m sure once you try it you will enjoy this dish multiple more times! This dish originates from Sorrento in Campania. Hence the name of this dish. Sorrento is a town close to Naples in the Western coast of Italy. Apart from being famous in Italy, nowadays this dish can be found at multiple restaurants around the globe. With just few good quality ingredients, gnocchi alla sorrentina is a dish filled with flavour and comfort!
Fresh or Store bought Gnocchi
Like anything, made at home from scratch is always best. However, I totally understand that sometimes you need a shortcut and are in a search for a delicious meal that will be ready in a jiffy. If you can make them from scratch, go ahead. However, you can make this dish with store bought gnocchi. In fact, that is what I used here in this recipe! What I recommend when using store bought gnocchi, is that you buy good quality ones and to cook them less than instructed so that they won’t get too rubbery or break apart.
Ingredients needed for Gnocchi alla Sorrentina
Gnocchi: As mentioned above, made from scratch are always the best. However, you can use store bought ones.
Tomato Passata: You can use your favourite passata. Or else canned pomodorini (cherry tomatoes) or tomatoes. We will be cooking the sauce before mixing in the gnocchi.
Garlic: Use fresh garlic. The garlic will be left whole and once the sauce is ready and flavorful it will be removed so that it won’t overpower the taste.
Basil: Plenty of fresh basil leaves are required! I use mine mainly in the cooking of the sauce. However, you can also leave a couple of leaves to decorate and enjoy fresh over the baked gnocchi alla sorrentina.
Mozzarella: Fresh whole mozzarella or mozzarella balls. I would recommend that you don’t use shredded mozzarella for this as the flavours and texture won’t be the same.
Parmesan Cheese: Freshly grated parmesan is used to finish off the dish before it’s baked. I also like to sprinkle some after I plate my gnocchi.
Oregano: A small amount of dried oregano for me is a must in the sauce!
How to make Gnocchi alla Sorrentina
Making these gnocchi alla sorrentina is relatively easy. Start by cooking the sauce. To a large skillet add the olive oil, whole garlic cloves, oregano and tomato passata. Season generously with salt and pepper. After letting it simmer for a few minutes and it’s almost all done and fragrant, add the basil leaves and remove the garlic. In the meantime, cook the gnocchi in a large pot of salted boiling water. As soon as the gnocchi start to float, transfer them to the tomato sauce skillet. Add in half the cubed mozzarella and combine so that the cheese starts to melt. When ready to put in the oven, cover the gnocchi with the mozzarella cheese and the grated parmesan. Bake for about 15 minutes, or until it’s all bubbly and melted.
Gnocchi alla Sorrentina (Baked Gnocchi)
- 800 g gnocchi
- 700 g tomato passata jar
- 2 garlic cloves
- 400 g mozzarella cubed
- handful of fresh basil
- 1 tsp oregano
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp pepper
- 50 g parmesan cheese grated
- If you are making home made gnocchi, you should make them now. However, if you are making this dish with store bought ones you can skip directly to step two.
- Preheat the oven to 450°F or 230°C.
- In a large skillet heat up the olive oil and add the whole garlic cloves. Add the tomato sauce, oregano and season with some salt and pepper. Let the sauce cook for a few minutes until fragrant. If using whole canned tomatoes, this might take longer, and you have to slightly squish the tomatoes to make them burst. When it's almost done, add the basil and remove the whole garlic cloves.
- Boil a large pot of water and season with salt. Add the gnocchi and let them cook until they float to the top. With a slotted spoon transfer them to the tomato sauce.
- To the skillet, add half the cubed mozzarella and mix everything well together.
- If using an oven-proof skillet you can go ahead and bake the gnocchi in there. However, if not, use a baking dish. Cover the gnocchi with the remaining cubed mozzarella and sprinkle over the grated parmesan cheese.
- Bake for about 15 minutes or until the cheese is all melted and starts to slightly brown.
- Before serving, let it cool for a few minutes. Serve with some extra parmesan cheese and fresh basil leaves.
If you have any questions, feedback or comments on this recipe, please leave a comment below. Please also rate this recipe by double clicking on the stars below. If you did make this recipe, tag @apronandwhisk and hashtag #apronandwhisk, as I’m curious to see what you create!
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