Gnocchi alla Sorrentina is a cheesy, bubbly, and delicious Italian comfort food made with pillowy soft potato gnocchi simmered in a homemade tomato sauce with fresh basil and lots of gooey melted mozzarella cheese!
Baked Gnocchi alla Sorrentina
Gnocchi alla Sorrentina is my all-time favorite gnocchi recipe. From the coastal town of Sorrento in the Campania region of Southern Italy, this Sorrento-style gnocchi celebrates the fresh and local ingredients famous to the region – ripe tomatoes, fragrant basil, and creamy mozzarella cheese.
Authentic preparation of this dish is a much more labor-intensive process – one that begins by making fluffy potato gnocchi from scratch, followed by fresh homemade tomato sauce. Worth the effort, I’m sure, but for today we’re saving time by using store-bought potato gnocchi and canned stewed tomatoes to make our own version of homemade tomato sauce.
This incredible recipe is super easy to make and perfect for busy weeknights. A guaranteed favorite for anyone who loves Italian food.
For a full list of ingredients, please see the recipe card at the bottom of this page.
- Canned whole tomatoes: To reduce the overall acidity of the sauce, use high-quality canned tomatoes whenever you make homemade sauce. I like to use canned San Marzano tomatoes.
- Canned tomato sauce: Look for tomato passata (strained tomatoes) or canned tomato sauce. Note that this is not the same as pasta sauce which is already seasoned and salted.
- Cheese: To make this recipe even cheesier, try topping with a little grated Parmigiano Reggiano or pecorino or even a dollop of creamy ricotta cheese.
Can I use fresh tomatoes? Yes. Small cherry tomatoes will give the best flavor as they are the sweetest. If using larger tomatoes, score each tomato with a paring knife and transfer to a large pot filled with boiling water. Allow the tomatoes to boil just long enough that the skin starts to wrinkle and peel off. Immediately transfer the tomatoes to an ice-water bath to stop further cooking, then peel away the skin.
How to Make Gnocchi alla Sorrentino
1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit.
2. Cook the onion in a large oven-safe pan or skillet set over medium heat. Feel free to use less onion if you prefer a less onion-flavored sauce. Once the onion has softened, stir in the garlic and season with salt and black pepper. Add the whole tomatoes and the tomato sauce (or passata). Smash the stewed tomatoes with a wooden spoon, breaking them into smaller chunks and pieces.
3. Bring the sauce to a simmer, stir in the fresh basil, cover, and cook for about 10-15 minutes.
4. Next, puree the sauce using a blender, food processor, or immersion blender until no large chunks remain. Return the sauce to the pan or skillet and add approximately one-third of the mozzarella cheese.
5. Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and add the pre-made potato gnocchi. Cook the gnocchi just until they float to the surface – do not overcook. Use a slotted spoon to transfer the gnocchi to the prepared tomato sauce. Mix well.
6. Finally, top the gnocchi with the remaining mozzarella and fresh basil leaves. Bake for 15-20 minutes, or just until the cheese is melted is bubbly.
Storing, Freezing & Reheating
- Storing: Keep leftovers stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days.
- Freezing: Allow leftovers to cool before transferring them to freezer-safe containers. Freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator before reheating.
- Reheating: Reheat on the stovetop, in the microwave, or in the oven. You may need to add a little water to the tomato sauce as it may have thickened after cooling.
What to Serve with Gnocchi alla Sorrentina
Serve this recipe with a small salad, soup, or fresh bread.
More Gnocchi Recipes
- Creamy Pesto Gnocchi
- Roasted Eggplant and Tomato Gnocchi
- Creamy Chicken and Tomato Gnocchi Recipe
- Creamy Chicken Gnocchi Soup
If you try making this Gnocchi alla Sorrentina Recipe, please leave me a comment and let me know! I always love to hear your thoughts.
Gnocchi alla Sorrentina
- 2 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 small onion - diced
- 4 cloves garlic - minced
- salt and black pepper - to taste
- 1 (32- ounce) can whole peeled tomatoes
- 1 (15- ounce) can tomato purée - or tomato passata
- ¼ cup fresh basil - packed
- 8 ounces fresh mozzarella - divided
- 1 (17.5-ounce) package prepared gnocchi
- fresh basil for topping
- Preheat the oven to 425°F.
- If making your own tomato sauce, heat the olive oil in a large ovenproof pan or skillet set over medium heat. Add the onions and cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and season with a pinch of salt and black pepper. Cook for an additional minute or so.
- Add the whole peeled tomatoes (with the juice) and the tomato purée to the skillet. Mix well to combine. Use a large wooden spoon or metal spatula to carefully break the stewed tomatoes into smaller pieces as the sauce comes to a simmer.
- Add the fresh basil, cover the skillet, and reduce heat to medium-low. Cook for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.
- Transfer the sauce to a high-speed blender, food processor, or use an immersion blender and blend just until smooth. Return the tomato sauce back to the pan or skillet and add about a third of the mozzarella cheese. Season with additional salt and pepper, to taste.
- Cook the gnocchi just until they float to the surface. Use a slotted spoon to gently remove the gnocchi and add directly to the tomato sauce. Toss to coat.
- Top the gnocchi with the remaining mozzarella cheese and fresh basil, if desired. Transfer to the oven and bake for 15-20 minutes, or until the cheese is melted, bubbly, and golden.
- You may also make this recipe using your favorite jarred tomato sauce. You will need at least 32 ounces of sauce.
- Keep leftovers stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days.
(Nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and specific brands of ingredients used.)