Gnocchi Alla Sorrentina

This Gnocchi alla Sorrentina recipe is packed with Mediterranean flavors and is so easy to make! Serve for a quick dinner any day of the week.

What is more heartwarming than a plate of homemade, fresh gnocchi tossed in tomato sauce and topped with melted stringy mozzarella cheese and basil?

Gnocchi alla sorrentina on a skillet.

About This Italian Recipe

Gnocchi alla Sorrentina is a traditional Italian dish that consists of soft gnocchi made of potato dough, boiled, and then tossed with fresh and hearty tomato and basil sauce.

The gnocchi are then mixed and topped with fresh mozzarella and then slightly baked to allow the cheese to melt to perfection.

As the dish is taken out of the oven, the smell of the freshly baked sauce and mozzarella cheese bubbling is an otherworldly experience. Try this gnocchi dish once, and you will keep coming back for it again and again!

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.

This dish originated in the early 19th century and soon became one of the most loved all across the country. It is served as primo piatto (the course served after the appetizer) at every Italian restaurant and home.

Cheesy gnocchi alla Sorrentina being taken with a wooden spoon from the pan.

Ingredients Needed

The reason behind this unique, comforting, and mouthwatering gnocchi dish is its simplicity. The sauce is made with simple but high-quality ingredients.

  • GNOCCHI: You can use store-bought gnocchi or make your own, any type is good. If you want to make your own, try our recipe for whole wheat and potato gnocchi.
  • MOZZARELLA: The traditional recipe call for fresh mozzarella, the one that comes packed in whey. Fior di latte or mozzarella di bufala are both perfect, but if you can’t find it where you live, use the available type.
  • TOMATOES: I like to use some fresh tomatoes to make this Sorrento-style gnocchi, especially in summer when we have our own produce. Feel free to leave them out or use cherry tomatoes or San Marzano tomatoes cut into chunks.
  • TOMATO PASSATA: Use the best quality tomato sauce you can.
  • BASIL: Fresh basil is what you’ll need, this fresh herb adds a particular aroma to this dish. Skip the dried stuff as it won’t taste the same.
  • OIL: Use the best extra virgin olive oil you can.
  • FLAVOR: Salt, pepper, and garlic.
Ingredients for Gnocchi alla Sorrentina sauce displayed on a kitchen countertop.

How To Make Gnocchi Alla Sorrentina

Place a large pot filled with water over medium-high heat and turn on your own broil.

Heat the olive oil on an 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.

Cherry tomatoes cooking on a cast-iron skillet to make gnocchi alla sorrentina.

Add tomato passata and season with salt and pepper to taste. Add basil leaves tearing them with your hands and mix everything.

Set heat to low and simmer for about 5 minutes stirring from time to time until the sauce thickens. Set aside.

Sorrentina tomato sauce with basil on a cast-iron skillet.

Cook gnocchi as instructed in the package. Once the gnocchi are cooked, remove them from the hot water with a slotted spoon and add them to the pan.

Potato gnocchi added to the skillet with sorrentina sauce.

Toss for 1 minute or until gnocchi are nicely coated with the tomato and basil sauce.

Gnocchi alla Sorrentina being tossed in a skillet.

Add 2/3 of mozzarella cheese (read notes) and gently mix. Top with the remaining mozzarella, and a few basil leaves.

Gnocchi alla sorrentina ready to be baked.

Place the pan under the broil until the mozzarella on top is bubbly and lightly golden.

A close-up of gnocchi alla Sorrentina just taken from the oven.

Recipe Notes

  • If you use fresh mozzarella, make sure you cut it into small bites and place it to drain on a colander for 20-30 minutes to get rid of the excess whey.
  • Place the water to boil as the first thing to do in this recipe, so you can cook gnocchi while you preparing the tomato sauce.
  • Make sure the broil is ready on high heat so the mozzarella melts quickly and your gnocchi won’t overcook.
  • If you want to make a large batch of gnocchi Sorrentino, you can make the sauce in a large saucepan and then toss everything in a baking dish and bake.

How To Make Ahead

Even though this gnocchi alla Sorrentina recipe is super easy to make, it also makes an amazing prep dish for those busy days.

You can prepare the sauce early on and store it in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. 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 toss the potato gnocchi with the sauce, allow to cool down, then add mozzarella and place it in the refrigerator for a few hours as well. 

Also, you can cook the gnocchi in salted water, toss it in olive oil and store it in the refrigerator for 1-2 days.

This way, you can make all the components of the dish ahead of time and then assemble it at the last minute. Then you just have to bake the dish and serve it hot. 

Gnocchi alla Sorrentina in a cast-iron skillet.

How To Store Leftovers

You can store Gnocchi Alla Sorrentina leftovers in an air-tight container and place them in the refrigerator. The baked gnocchi will be good 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 for up to 2 months. All you have to do is place it in an air-tight container or a resealable bag and store it in the freezer.

When you are ready to eat, thaw gnocchi and reheat in the oven at 375°F/190°C for 5-8 minutes.

Read also: How To Store Gnocchi To Keep Them Firm & Fluffy.

More Italian Recipes

Gnocchi alla sorrentina on a skillet pan (recipe).

Gnocchi Alla Sorrentina

author Maricruz
Gnocchi alla Sorrentina is a simple Italian dish very easy to make at home. A scrumptious tomato sauce and bubbly mozzarella are the stars of this delicious dish.
prep 5 minutes
cook 20 minutes
total 25 minutes
serving 4

Ingredients 

  • 1 ½ lb potato gnocchi (homemade or store-bought)
  • 1 lb cherry tomatoes
  • 1 ⅓ cup tomato passata
  • 2 cups 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 (to taste)

Instructions
 

  • Place a large pot filled with water and a good pinch of salt over medium-high heat and turn on your own broil.
  • Heat the olive oil on an 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.
  • Add tomato passata and season with salt and pepper to taste.
  • Add basil leaves tearing them with your hands and mix well.
  • Set heat to low and simmer for about 5 minutes stirring from time to time until the sauce thickens a bit.
  • Meanwhile, cook the gnocchi as indicated in the package.
  • Once the 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 add a few basil leaves.
  • Place the pan under the broil until the mozzarella on top is bubbly and lightly golden.

Notes

  • If you use fresh mozzarella, cut it into small bites and place it to drain on a colander for 20-30 minutes before you make the recipe.
  • Make sure the broil is ready on high heat so the mozzarella melts quickly and your gnocchi won’t overcook.
  • If you want to make a large batch of gnocchi alla Sorrentina, you can make the sauce in a large saucepan and then toss everything in a baking dish and bake.
Nutrition Information
Serving: 1portion | Calories: 590kcal | Carbohydrates: 74g | Protein: 22g | Fat: 25g | Saturated Fat: 10g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 11g | Cholesterol: 44mg | Sodium: 1545mg | Potassium: 659mg | Fiber: 6g | Sugar: 7g | Vitamin A: 1358IU | Vitamin C: 35mg | Calcium: 346mg | Iron: 9mg
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