Best Gnocchi alla Sorrentina is a really easy to make Italian comfort dish. Soft and fluffy potato gnocchi are baked in a delicious homemade tomato sauce and baked with mozzarella cheese and fresh basil. Serve with a side salad and some really great crusty Italian bread.
Why you'll love pasta alla Sorrentina:
- Handful of ingredients: This delicious dish comes together with just gnocchi, homemade sauce, mozzarella and basil.
- Really easy homemade sauce: Making a homemade sauce is so easy, and this cherry tomato sauce is fast and flavorful!
- Make your own gnocchi: If you have the time, you could make your own gnocchi, but go ahead and use a really good brand of store-bought gnocchi.
- Super cheesy: Did I mention that is oozing in mozzarella! Every bite is cheesy and wonderful. In Italy, this is also known as “gnocchi filante” which means stringy gnocchi. That gives you an indication of just how oozy and cheesy this recipe really is.
- Kid friendly: This baked dish is not only loved by adults but kids too! They will be asking for seconds!
- Why you'll love pasta alla Sorrentina:
- What ingredients are in gnocchi alla Sorrentina recipe?
- How to make best pasta Sorrento?
- Expert tips for gnocchi alla sorrentina recipe:
- Variations for Sorrentina gnocchi:
- What to serve with gnocchi alla Sorrentina:
- How to store gnocchi tomate mozzarella:
- Some other pasta ideas to enjoy:
- Best Gnocchi alla Sorrentina
This baked gnocchi recipe is one of those recipes you will be adding to your recipe collection of classic Italian comfort food. It is a recipe from the Campania region of Italy where you'll find an abundance of incredible basil, fresh homemade mozzarella, and tomatoes that are juicy and vine ripened sweet!
The recipe is vegetarian and you could make it vegan, if you want, using your favorite vegan mozzarella type cheese!
If you want to see the very first gnocchi I made here, check out these gnocchi with potato and butternut squash and also another delicious one that I shared is beet and porato gnocchi ...they are beautiful and so tasty!
It is an Italian comfort food dish that is simple to make, with incredible results! The gnocchi can be hand made or store-bought. Really, no judgement here. IF you have the time and want to do a little gnocchi making project with your kids, they are no-fuss to make! The gnocchi are combined with a really delicious and basic tomato sauce.
But it's the mozzarella that takes this to next level Italian food dreams! The mozzarella gets baked up to where it melts and is bubbling with some crispy pieces.
You probably have all you need in your pantry the sauce going. Just be sure to get a very good quality mozzarella. It will all be ready in about 45 minutes.
Gnocchi alla Sorrentina has become famous in recent years, but it has long been a favorite in southern Italy where it originated.
Yes, it does take some time to make your own gnocchi from scratch, but that extra work will pay off in the flavor and texture of gnocchi that is just incredible! You could even make it a gnocchi making weekend project. Make the gnocchi and freeze them. During the week when you are ready to make this, you'll have your homemade gnocchi waiting for you!
If you find yourself short on time on a busy weeknight, use a really good quality store-bought gnocchi. You may be lucky to have a pasta shop near you where they make gnocchi. I was just in Aosta in Italy at Christmas time and there were a couple of pasta shops filled with homemade gnocchi, ravioli, tortellini...it was amazing!
Every bite of this gnocchi recipe is delectable with creamy and bubbly mozzarella cheese! Let's get onto this amazing gnocchi recipe!
What ingredients are in gnocchi alla Sorrentina recipe?
Here is all you need to make this delicious gnocchi recipe. Full printable recipe is below.
- Gnocchi - if you have time, it's truly worth it to make your gnocchi fresh. If you do not have time, you could buy a good-quality brand.
- Extra-virgin olive oil -always choose a very good quality olive oil. It will give such a better flavor to the sauce.
- Tomatoes - I used canned pomodorini (cherry tomatoes) because I love their sweetness and they look beautiful. You can also use crushed tomatoes or passata (crushed strained tomatoes) as long as they are high-quality. During the summer this dish is a great way to use up fresh ripe tomatoes.
- Garlic - fresh garlic could be pressed or diced. If you like a strong garlic flavor, you could use more. I do not recommend garlic powder.
- Sea salt- just a bit of salt is needed to flavor the sauce.
- Mozzarella - you could use mini balls of mozzarella (ciliegine)or regular. Make sure to drain it out of the brine. I used burrata and it melted really nicely. Pregrated mozzarella is not recommended.
- Basil - I have a little plant of fresh basil that is . Fresh basil is the only way to go with this recipe. I do not recommend dried basil.
How to make best pasta Sorrento?
Full printable recipe can be found below.
First thing to do is gather your ingredients. There aren't that many ingredients, so it's best to have them all ready. I forgot to take a photo of the ciliegine (cherry)mozzarella.
Step 1: Tomato sauce-It all starts out with the tomato sauce! The sauce starts out by heating the olive oil and adding in the garlic. The garlic just needs to get fragrant (not browned or burned)
Step 2: Add in the tomatoes. I used canned cherry tomatoes.
Step 3: Add in some salt and fresh basil, and give it a stir. When sauce is almond ready, cook up the gnocchi. Whether homemade or store-bought, they cook up fast and you do not want to overcook them! Set a timer so you don't forget. Shouldn't take more than 3 minutes for them to float to the top.
Step 4: Slice up the burrata (or buffalo mozzarella).
Step 5: Drain the gnocchi and quickly add directly to the sauce. Combine the gnocchi with the tomato sauce stirring with a wooden spoon.
Additional part of Step 3 that's not in collage: Add in some of the mozzarella. I had found some mozzarella ciliegine (little mozzarella balls) on sale, so they were perfect to add in and melt so nicely. Do not use shredded mozzarella cheese in this recipe.
Step 6: Shred the mozzarella you are adding on top. I used burrata. LOVE the creaminess of burrata. Your baking dish or heat safe skillet gets put in the oven to melt the cheese. It melted quickly and then I broiled it for about less than 2 minutes to give it color. Broiling it gives the mozzarella some crispy and crunchy edges that I love.
Step 7: It only needs 10 minutes maximum in the oven. You could bake for about 8 minutes until the cheese on top melts and then broil to give the cheese a little color and crisp it up (1-2 minutes).
Step 8: Add on some fresh basil. Serve and ENJOY! Buon appetito!
Expert tips for gnocchi alla sorrentina recipe:
- Use your favorite store-bought gnocchi or make your own gnocchi. Look out for sales. You may get lucky like I did and find a good brand of gnocchi with a buy one get one free sale.
- Prep the easy tomato sauce 1-2 days ahead of time and store in the refrigerator until you're ready to make the baked gnocchi. Heat it on a low simmer before assembling with the gnocchi.
- The gnocchi cook up really fast, so be sure to not overcook them. They will cook some more in the oven when it's baking with the sauce.
- Broiling the pan or baking dish for one minute will melt the cheese and give it a good color. If you broil it, keep an eye on it so the cheese doesn't burn.
- Fresh basil should be added on hand at the end for beautiful color and flavor. The basil does also get added to the sauce. I do not recommend dried basil for this recipe.
Variations for Sorrentina gnocchi:
- Mozzarella: I used Buffala mozzarella which is extra creamy as it's filled with stracciatella. But you could use regular mozzarella or even mini mozzarella cheese balls. Even sliced mozzarella would be fine, just cut it into small pieces.
- Sauce: I made a regular sauce without any spice, but you could make this spicy.
What to serve with gnocchi alla Sorrentina:
It is a very filling dish, so a salad on the side would be perfect!
- Cucumber and tomato salad>>> This salad comes together in just minutes. The dressing is really easy to make. You could make it ahead of time and add the dressing on while the gnocchi bake.
- Sicilian Fennel and Orange Salad>>>Fresh and easy to make. Sweet oranges, crunchy fennel, red onions, and pomegranate arils make this salad just delicious!
- Quick and Easy Italian Tomato Salad>>>A really easy side dish. A quick salad made with tomatoes, sweet onions, oregano, basil, and extra-virgin olive oil.
How to store gnocchi tomate mozzarella:
- To refrigerate: Keep any leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Reheat in the oven or microwave.
- To freeze: Freeze any leftovers once they've cooled down in a freezer safe container for up to 2 days.
Alla sorrentina' in Italian translates to "Sorrento style". Sorrento is a city in the Campania region on the Amalfi coast, which is near Naples. That's where gnocchi alla sorrentina is served as a primo, or first course.
According to Oxford dictionaires, gnocchi is the plural of gnocco. Gnocchi is most likely derived from the Italian word nocca, which means knuckle, or from nocchio, meaning a knot in wood.
Gnocchi are dumplings that are made out of potatoes, semolina and flour. They are typically oval-shaped, but they do come in variations and different shapes.
Yes, you can. Just make a quick sauce of the tomatoes. Use cherry tomatoes or Roma tomatoes. Even plum tomatoes is fine. Chop up the tomatoes. Add the garlic or some chopped onion to a skillet heated with extra-virgin olive oil. When the garlic is heated (not even one minute ) or the onion is translucent add in the tomatoes. Cook the tomatoes until you get a nice sauce.
I highly recommend making this with an easy homemade tomato sauce. That is the part that will take the longest of the recipe, which is about 20 minutes. Once the sauce is ready, the gnocchi only take 3 minutes to cook up. Then it all gets baked together and a quick broil to give it color, and that takes about 8-10 minutes. So should take total 30-33 minutes max!
Some other pasta ideas to enjoy:
- Easy Pasta Puttanesca Recipe
- Slow Cooked Beef Short Ribs Pasta Sauce
- Sicilian Pasta with Cauliflower
- Sicilian Pasta with Ground Chicken
Did you make this? Please RATE THE RECIPE below:)
Best Gnocchi alla Sorrentina
- 16 oz potato gnocchi
- 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 garlic cloves minced
- 1 can 28 ounces whole peeled San Marzano DOC tomatoes
- 1-2 teaspoons sea salt
- fresh basil to your taste
- 8 oz ciliegine mozzarella
- 4 oz mozzarella roughly chopped or torn if you don't use ciliegine mozzarella, use two balls of mozzarella (I used burrata and ciliegine)
- Preheat the oven to 425F.
For the tomato sauce:
- Heat oil: In a large saute' pan or medium saucepan, heat olive oil over medium-high until it's shimmering.
- Add some garlic: Add garlic and cook until fragrant (no more than a minute, or it will brown).
- Tomatoes: Add in the tomatoes and the juice(I break up the tomatoes with my hands, removing the hard end before adding to the sauce).
- Bring to a boil: Bring the sauce to a boil and use a wooden spoon to stir, breaking up the tomatoes while they’re cooking.
- Lower heat: Once the sauce comes to a boil for a few minutes, lower heat to a simmer.
- Season sauce: Season with the salt, and let the sauce cook and thicken.
- Check the consistency of sauce: If it’s getting too thick, add a little bit of water (start with a ¼ cup).
- Add fresh basil: Finally, stir in the fresh basil and stir to combine (and parsley, if you’re using).
- Simmer sauce: Let sauce simmer for 20 minutes total. Check the salt and add more if needed. Add hot pepper flakes, if you like it spicy. Add in cherry mozzarella or one large torn ball of mozzarella and some fresh basil. Give it a stir and cook up the gnocchi.
Cook the gnocchi:
- Bring a large pot of salted water to boil. Cook the gnocchi until they float to the top.
Combine with the sauce:
- Strain the gnocchi and add immediately to the sauce. Stir to combine and add to a heat proof baking dish or place your oven proof skillet in the heated oven.
Bake the gnocchi:
- Bake in oven: Add on some torn mozzarella on top and place in the oven to melt. About 8 minutes should be enough. Broil it for the last 1-2 minutes to give it a little color. Keep a really good eye on it under the broiler, as it could burn quickly! When the mozzarella is golden, a little crispy, melted and bubbling, remove from the oven.
- Serve: Add on some fresh basil and serve. ENJOY!
Please keep in mind that the nutritional information presented below is an approximation and may vary depending on the exact ingredients used.