Gnocchi alla sorrentina (Potato Gnocchi with Tomato Sauce and Mozzarella)

In Campania, gnocchi, primi piatti, summer by Frank40 Comments

Potato gnocchi are pretty filling, the kind of food you may associate with the cooler weather. But, in fact, you can enjoy gnocchi all year ’round. They are delicious with pesto, for example, or with a simple tomato sauce.

In fact, one of the classic Campanian summer dishes is gnocchi alla sorrentina, or potato gnocchi in the manner of Sorrento, mixed with some tomato sauce, a few fresh basil leaves and bits of mozzarella, then topped with pecorino and more mozzarella and baked in a hot oven until bubbly and oozing with cheesy goodness.  If you use your own homemade sauce, preferably with fresh tomatoes in season, mozzarella di bufala and homemade gnocchi, this dish is pure heaven.

Ingredients

Serves 4-6 persons

  • 500g (1 lb.) potato gnocchi, preferably homemade
  • One batch of a simple, Southern Italian-style tomato sauce (see Notes), preferably made with fresh tomatoes
  • One large ball of mozzarella, preferably di bufala, drained and cut into small cubes
  • Grated pecorino romano cheese, to taste

Directions

Cook the gnocchi and transfer them to a large bowl. Add about 3/4 of the tomato sauce, 1/2 the mozzarella and a sprinkling of grated cheese and mix gently with a spatula, taking care not to damage the delicate gnocchi.

Gnocchi alla sorrentina (prep 1)

Pour the gnocchi into a greased gratin dish (or into individual gratin dishes as pictured) and top with a bit more of the tomato sauce, the remaining mozzarella cubes and a good sprinkling of grated cheese.

Gnocchi alla sorrentina (prep 2)

Place in a very hot (220C/450F) oven just until the mozzarella has melted and the gnocchi are bubbling hot. Remove from the oven and let cool for a few minutes before serving.

Notes

As with most Italian recipes, quality counts when making gnocchi alla sorrentina. If you make the gnocchi yourself, use best quality mozzarella di bufala and make your tomato sauce from fresh tomatoes in season, you’ll experience this dish at its very best. But, I must say, it isn’t half bad even using store-bought gnocchi, supermarket mozzarella and sauce made from canned tomatoes. By the way, you can improve store-bought mozzarella considerably by cutting it into large chunks and soaking it for a few hours in a mixture of half water, half milk, well seasoned with salt. No, it won’t have the taste or mouthfeel of the real thing, but it will produce a softer, more flavorful cheese.

Many recipes for gnocchi alla sorrentina call for running the gnocchi under the broiler rather than in a hot oven, but I prefer this method, which ensures more even cooking. But just be sure that the oven is really hot and pre-heated, so that the gnocchi are not over-done after this second cooking.

Gnocchi alla sorrentina (Potato Gnocchi with Tomato Sauce and Mozzarella)

Rating: 51

Prep Time: 1 hour

Cook Time: 15 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour, 15 minutes

Yield: Serves 4-6

Gnocchi alla sorrentina (Potato Gnocchi with Tomato Sauce and Mozzarella)

Ingredients

  • 500g (1 lb.) potato gnocchi, preferably homemade
  • One batch of a simple, Southern Italian-style tomato sauce (see Notes), preferably made with fresh tomatoes
  • One large ball of mozzarella, preferably di bufala, drained and cut into small cubes
  • Grated pecorino romano cheese, to taste

Directions

  1. Cook the gnocchi and transfer them to a large bowl. Add about 3/4 of the tomato sauce, 1/2 the mozzarella and a sprinkling of grated cheese and mix gently with a spatula, taking care not to damage the delicate gnocchi.
  2. Pour the gnocchi into a greased gratin dish (or into individual gratin dishes as pictured) and top with a bit more of the tomato sauce, the remaining mozzarella cubes and a good sprinkling of grated cheese.
  3. Place in a very hot (220C/450F) oven just until the mozzarella has melted and the gnocchi are bubbling hot. Remove from the oven and let cool for a few minutes before serving.

For recipes for making homemade tomato sauce, see our post "Tomato Sauce 101".

http://memoriediangelina.com/2013/08/11/gnocchi-alla-sorrentina-potato-gnocchi-with-tomato-sauce-and-mozzarella/

Comments

  1. I am not an oven person this week. That said – wow! So fresh and I love that it is not in a cream sauce.

  2. What an amazing comfort food! You had us at the Mozzarella AND Pecorino combo:):) We love De Cecco gnocchi but you’re right, we have to try and make some at home as well:)
    We usually enjoy them with a gorgonzola sauce and for some strange reason never had gnocchi with tomato sauce:):):)
    Thanx so much for the fantastic, super-yummy recipe dear Frank!
    xoxo

  3. Frank, I always look forward to your recipes and tips – you epitomize the essence of true Italian cooking. Enhancing the mozzarella in that way is something I was not familiar with but look forward to trying. Often even the so called highest quality mozzarella is so disappointing here.

    1. Author

      Thanks so much, Paula, for the kind words. It is true that a lot of mozzarella sold in the States can be a disappointment, but if I find that this treatment brings out the bes in a mediocre specimen.

    1. Author

      No saffron. I think it’s the thin layer of tomato sauce. Either that or white balance issues… 😉

  4. Frank, that is downright cruel of you to post this on a day when we said we were eating just fish and salad. My, oh, my does that ever look tempting. I think gnocchi are excellent any time of year and your gnocchi look as light as a feather. The tomato sauce with the fresh mozzarella finishes them off perfectly!!

    1. Author

      Ha! Now who told you to check a food blog on a dieting day… 😉 Many thanks for your comment!

  5. Gnocchi are definitely in my top 10 list of foods I die for! However, I never understood why potato gnocchi seem to be the front runner of the gnocchi selection. I (and my family) all prefer gnocchi made with flour and boiling water. I suppose it’s a matter of texture and we like them a bit more chewy and less soft. Not that I turn down potato gnocchi, and we do make them, too!

    Adding mozzarella is like gilding the lily, but in a very good way! LOVE this recipe!!

  6. Thanks for reposting this, Frank. It is never too hot for me to make and eat gnocchi! Love the link to Ada Boni’s sauce – my favorite. My aunt gave me her book – Italian Regional Cooking – which was given to her by her Sicilian mother-in-law, probably as a strong hint! Since I am fairly new to the joys of Memorie di Angelina, I am glad to see these earlier posts that I missed!

    1. Author

      The great thing about a cooking blog is, the posts are never really out of date! 😉

  7. Dear Frank, I only recently stumbled across your excellent website and am enjoying it immensely. I love Italian food, it is my signature nationality although I am the British/Welsh son of an inevitably Escoffier influenced chef. Brought up in kitchens, a starting cooking as a child in the days when it was unfashionable if not unusual for men to cook. I discovered the Italian passion for food from an Italian friend as a teenager. My signature dish is still one of the first I learned, Pollo Alla Romano – Roman style chicken cooked in wine, tomatoes and rosemary which is my wife’s favourite. I love Gnocchi – it embodies what makes Italian food so outstanding – simple ingredients and methods born out of poverty (Cucina Povera) subjected to an alchemy that results in something sublime! For years I have known Gnocchi as “Priest Stranglers” (Strangolapreti) though I know that this is also applied to pasta (Strozzapreti). Many thanks for the recipes and regular updates

    1. Author

      And many thanks to you, Josh for your kind comment! I’m so very glad you’re enjoying the site.

      And yes, Italian food names are really confusing, different names for the same thing depending on region or town, and even the same name for different things, strangolapreti aka strozzapreti being a case in point!

  8. Pingback: Njoke u paradajz sosu sa mocarelom - Testenine

  9. I was browsing your blog and ran across this recipe. I just got back from Rome and was drooling over this dish at Roscioli. I am making it today! Thanks so much.

  10. This looks wonderful! It reminds of my mother’s gnocchi…they were always so good, and I loved watching her make them. Your recipes are wonderful!

  11. Your baked gnocchi look wonderful. Thank you for the tip on how to improve store bought mozzarella.

  12. mi emoziona sempre leggere ricette originarie della zona dove è nato mio padre….sono un piatto succulento e per questi sapori non c’è stagione, anche in estate sono graditi! Un abbraccio e buona settimana !

  13. Mamma mia cosa vedo di prima mattina! Oh che visione sublime! 😀 Ma complimenti… davvero un bell’aspetto e immagino solo il gusto!! 😀

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