Gnocchi alla Sorrentina is a comforting, delicious, and rich traditional Italian dish that is perfect for every occasion. It is made with gnocchi drenched in a simple, yet scrumptious tomato sauce. This specific recipe has its roots in the beautiful Italian town of Sorrento.
The dish is mixed and topped with mozzarella cheese and basil. The final product is something that melts your heart right away! You can’t keep your hands off this dish, for sure.
What does Sorrentina mean?
Sorrento is a city that is located in the Campania region, Southern Italy. This dish is called Gnocchi alla Sorrentina which means Sorrentina style Gnocchi.
The dish originated in the early 19th century and soon became the most loved dish all across the country. Today, it is served as primo piatto (the first course) at every Italian restaurant and home. Gnocchi Alla Sorrentina is among those Italian dishes that will make you addicted to it.
What is more heartwarming than a plate of homemade, fresh gnocchi tossed in tomato sauce and topped with melted stringy mozzarella cheese and basil?
The simple tomato sauce
The reason behind its unique, comforting, and mouthwatering flavor is its simplicity. The sauce is made with simple ingredients like cherry tomatoes, tomato passata, garlic, and olive oil. Those are the ingredients for the sauce:
As for the gnocchi is concerned, you can make it from scratch or opt for store-bought. Related recipe: Whole wheat gnocchi.
Either way, the flavors will be just right. Lastly, as you take the dish out from the oven, the smell of the freshly baked sauce and mozzarella cheese bubbling away is an otherworldly experience. Try this dish once, and you will keep coming back for it again and again!
Can you Make it ahead of time?
Yes, the best thing about this dish is that you can prepare it ahead of time. You can prepare the sauce early on and store it in the refrigerator. So, when you want to complete the dish, you just have to cook gnocchi, toss it in the prepared sauce, add mozzarella, and bake.
Moreover, you can assemble the dish and place it in the refrigerator for a few hours as well.
Also, you can cook the gnocchi, toss it in olive oil and store it in the refrigerator. This way, you can make all the components of the dish ahead of time and then assemble at the last minute. Then you just have to bake the dish and serve it hot.
The step by step recipe
Heat the olive oil on a oven-proof pan over medium heat. Add garlic and sauté until fragrant. Add cherry tomatoes and sauté for about 5 minutes, using the back of the spoon, crush a bit the tomatoes so they burst open and release their juices.
Add tomato passata and season with salt and pepper to taste. Add basil leaves tearing them with your hands and mix everything. Low the heat and simmer for about 5 minutes stirring from time to time until the sauce thickens. Set aside.
Cook gnocchi as indicated in the package. Meanwhile, turn on your oven broil.
Once gnocchi are cooked, strain them and then add them to the pan with the tomato sauce. Toss to coat well.
Add 2/3 of mozzarella cheese and gently mix. Top with the remaining mozzarella, and a few basil leaves.
Place the pan under the broil until the mozzarella on top is bubbly and lightly golden.
How to store Gnocchi Alla Sorrentina?
You can store leftover Gnocchi Alla Sorrentina in an air-tight container and store it in the refrigerator. It is good to go for 2 to 3 days. However, make sure that the dish is at room temperature before refrigerating it.
Furthermore, you can also freeze the dish. All you have to do is place it in an air-tight container or a zip-lock plastic bag and store it in the freezer. When you wish to reheat it, take it out of the freezer, wait until it is thawed at room temperature, and reheat in the oven for 3 to 5 minutes.
Gnocchi Alla Sorrentina
- 1 ½ lb (680 g) gnocchi (homemade or store-bought)
- 1 lb (450 g) cherry tomatoes (halved)
- 1 cup (200 g) tomato passata
- 2 cups (225 g) mozzarella cheese (shredded or cut into cubes)
- 1 garlic clove (minced)
- a bunch fresh basil leaves
- 3 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- salt and pepper (as needed)
- Heat the olive oil on a oven-proof pan over medium heat. Add garlic and sauté until fragrant.
- Add cherry tomatoes and sauté for about 5 minutes, using the back of the spoon, crush a bit the tomatoes so they burst open and release their juices.
- Add tomato passata and season with salt and pepper to taste. Add basil leaves tearing them with your hands and mix everything.
- Low the heat and simmer for about 5 minutes stirring from time to time until the sauce thickens a bit. Set aside.
- Cook gnocchi as indicated in the package. Meanwhile, turn on your oven broil.
- Once gnocchi are cooked, strain them and then add them to the pan with the tomato sauce. Toss to coat well.
- Add ⅔ of mozzarella cheese and gently mix. Top with the remaining mozzarella, and a few basil leaves.
- Place the pan under the broil until the mozzarella on top is bubbly and lightly golden.
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