Gnocchi alla Sorrentina is a cheesy, bubbly, and delicious Italian comfort food made with fluffy gnocchi simmered in a homemade tomato basil sauce and lots of gooey melted mozzarella cheese!
Gnocchi alla Sorrentina will forever be the best gnocchi recipe I ever make. 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 gnocchi alla Sorrentina 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, today we’re saving on time by using store-bought potato gnocchi and canned stewed tomatoes to make our own version of homemade tomato sauce.
How to Make Gnocchi alla Sorrentino
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit.
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. Smash the stewed tomatoes with a wooden spoon to break into smaller chunks and pieces. Bring to a simmer, stir in the fresh basil, cover, and cook for about 10-15 minutes.
Puree the sauce using a blender, food processor, or hand blender until no large chunks remain. Return the sauce to the pan or skillet and mix with approximately one-third of the mozzarella cheese.
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. Transfer the gnocchi to the prepared tomato sauce. Mix well.
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.
Recipe Tips and FAQs
- How long will leftovers stay fresh? When stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator, gnocchi alla Sorrentina will stay good for up to 3-4 days.
- Is there a specific type of canned tomato I should use? I like to use canned San Marzano tomatoes whenever I’m using whole stewed tomatoes in a recipe. Canned tomato sauce or tomato purée, tomato passata
- Can I use fresh tomatoes? If you prefer to use fresh 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 to allow the skin to start to wrinkle and peel off. Immediately transfer the tomatoes to an ice-water bath to stop further cooking then peel.
- Can I add other cheese? If you’re hoping to make this recipe even cheesier, try topping with a little grated Parmigiano Reggiano or pecorino or even a dollop of creamy ricotta cheese.
- I like to use canned San Marzano tomatoes whenever I’m using whole stewed tomatoes in a recipe. Feel free to add a cup of fresh cherry tomatoes at the same time as the gnocchi for a burst of sweet summer tomatoes with each bite.
- Can gnocchi alla Sorrentina be frozen? Yes, however, for best results be sure to thaw before reheating.
Check out these other delicious gnocchi recipes,
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Gnocchi alla Sorrentina
For the Tomato Sauce
- 2 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 small onion - diced
- 4 cloves garlic - minced
- 1 (32- ounce) can whole peeled tomatoes
- 1 (15- ounce) can tomato purée - or tomato passata
- ¼ cup fresh basil - packed
- salt and black pepper - to taste
For the Gnocchi alla Sorrentina
- 1 (17.5-ounce) package prepared gnocchi
- Homemade tomato sauce (recipe below) - or 1 jar prepared tomato sauce (at least 32 ounces)
- 8 ounces fresh mozzarella
- 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.
(Nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and specific brands of ingredients used.)