Delicious and tender gnocchi served sorrentina style: baked in a deep dish with homemade tomato sauce and flavored with lots of mozzarella and basil.
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About Gnocchi alla Sorrentina
I have a confession to make:
I’ve made this recipe four times before sharing it with you.
And I feel pretty bad about it.
You see, whenever I post a recipe, you can almost guarantee it’s the first time I’ve ever successfully cooked it (or, sometimes, finally perfected the taste) – and I do this because my goal with this website was to not only learn how to cook but to make it so you can learn to cook right along with me. I write instructions that make sense to me, as a noobie chef, in the hopes that that perspective will make it all the more easier for you to follow along.
And let’s be honest here: we’ve all seen enough “Pinterest fail” pictures to know that not everything we see on the internet is as easy as some would try to make you believe.
For me, I like to think that if I’m able to do all of this, so can you. I showcase what I was able to make on my first try, so you can see that it can be done and done well, even if you’re still learning. It’s just like the tagline for my site reads: “All the hype, made easy.”
And I’m pretty good at sticking to this rule.
Very good at it, actually.
That is, until a fateful night a few weeks ago where my willpower completely failed me and I found myself hunkered over my little food photography studio, my camera discarded off to the side, delicate food props pushed out of the way, and eating gnocchi alla sorrentina straight out of the serving bowl.
Not my proudest moment.
But so worth it.
I only discovered gnocchi about five years ago, but since then it has become my all time favorite indulgence. Even more than pasta, which is the highest compliment I can give just about anything. And when I discovered I can buy packaged gnocchi? And that gnocchi only takes 2-4 minutes to cook in boiling water? It makes me wonder why I’ve been wasting all this time with pasta.
Pasta, I love you, I really do, but I don’t have to try when it comes to gnocchi.
It just comes naturally.
So as I already confessed, I’ve made this dish four times since I discovered it. And since that first failed photo shoot, I’ve whipped it together as both dinner and a mid-day comfort food, knowing full well I really should take a moment to snap a few photos but then ultimately deciding not to because my hunger simply could not wait.
And the only reason I managed to get away with it this time?
I happen to be suffering from a small cold, making me a little more sluggish and not so ravenous as usual. That is the only reason this dish survived more than 5 minutes in front of me. But when it was finally time to eat, I still loved every bite of it, even with the muted taste buds. If it’s not a positive endorsement, I don’t know what is!
Notes & tips for Gnocchi alla Sorrentina
- Whenever I make this dish, I like to bake it in large ramekin or soufflé dishes. If you’d like to do the same, just make sure your chosen baking dish can hold about six cups (1 1/2 quarts or 48 oz).
More delicious pasta recipes
This post was originally published on February 15, 2015. It was updated with new pictures and revised recipe instructions on March 16th, 2017.
Gnocchi alla Sorrentina
- 16 ounce gnocchi, (1 pkg - typically has 16-18 oz in it)
- 1 clove fresh garlic, minced
- 2 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 14.5 ounce italian tomatoes, (1 can) crushed or pureed
- 1 pinch salt, to taste
- 1 pinch black pepper, to taste
- 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese, separated
- 8 ounce mozzarella, cut into small cubes (or 1 cup shredded)
- basil, fresh and chopped
- In a large saucepan, warm extra virgin olive oil over medium heat. Add garlic and cook until garlic is golden brown, about 2-3 minutes.
- Pour crushed (or pureed) italian tomatoes into saucepan, season with salt and pepper, then stir with oil and garlic. Bring sauce to a simmer, then reduce heat. Cover and let cook for 15 minutes.
- While sauce simmers, Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Prepare gnocchi per package instructions; drain, transfer to a bowl, then cover with foil to keep warm.
- When tomato sauce is ready, pour the sauce into the bowl with the gnocchi. Add 1/4 cup Parmesan and gently toss gnocchi with a spoon.
- Pour coated gnocchi into an oven safe bowl. Sprinkle the top with cut mozzarella and the remaining 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese.
- Bake, uncovered, for 15 minutes or until the mozzarella has melted and the tomato sauce is bubbling around the sides.
- Serve immediately with fresh chopped basil as garnish.
I do my best to provide nutrition information, but please keep in mind that I'm not a certified nutritionist. Any nutritional information discussed or disclosed in this post should only be seen as my best amateur estimates of the correct values.