The gnocchi alla sorrentina are a typical comfort food recipe of Italian cuisine, in particular of the city of Sorrento near Naples, and hence the name alla sorrentina. It is a main course rich in simple, genuine Mediterranean flavors, it is basically potato gnocchi baked in a delicious tomato sauce and mozzarella.
Preparing this gnocchi recipe will take you back in time, to the ancient gestures of the past. Once made some small “nuggets” (made with boiled potatoes, eggs and flour), these are seasoned with a creamy tomato sauce and then enriched with diced mozzarella cheese, grated parmesan cheese and basil. Bake the dish for a final result that will be delightful, stringy dish.
Gnocchi alla sorrentina are traditionally served for Sunday lunch with the whole family, or on holidays, but every occasion is right to enjoy a warm and stringy portion. If you are in summer season, you can also prepare your sauce with fresh cherry tomatoes, add a few basil leaves to flavor everything and the flavor will be truly irresistible. So let’s find out how to make gnocchi alla sorrentina by following our recipe step by step.
You can replace the mozzarella with another stretched curd cheese, such as scamorza or smoked provola, or add some diced eggplants, dried porcini mushrooms or diced salami.
To obtain fluffy and soft gnocchi, choose white or yellow floury potatoes. Be sure they are old, in fact the richness of starch will make you use less flour for the dough.
The original recipe wants the final baking in the oven, but you can also sauté the gnocchi in the pan until the mozzarella is well melted.
Gnocchi alla sorrentina can be stored in the refrigerator, in a special airtight container, for a maximum of 1-2 days. Before serving, transfer them back in the oven or in a pan with a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil. You can also freeze them raw.
Wash the potatoes and steam them in a pressure cooker (1); alternatively, you can boil them in boiling salted water.
Once cooked, drain the potatoes and peel them while still hot (2).
Collect the potatoes in a potato masher (3).
Place the flour on a work surface (4).
Add the potatoes to the center, mashing them with a potato masher (5).
Add the egg (6).
Season with a pinch of salt (7).
Begin to incorporate the egg and flour by beating them with a fork (8).
At this point, continue to knead with your hands (9), until the mixture is soft and compact.
At the end, you will need to obtain a smooth and homogeneous dough (10).
Divide the dough into four parts (11).
With your fingertips, make lots of loaves about 2 cm thick (12).
Cut them into chunks (13).
Then pass them over the tines of a fork, to give them the characteristic shape (14). Meanwhile, cover the rest of the dough with a clean cotton cloth to prevent it from drying out.
Prepare the seasoning; peel the onion and chop it finely (15).
Collect the onion in a saucepan with a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil (16).
Put on the fire and let it dry gently (17).
At this point, pour the tomato puree and mix (18).
Add a pinch of salt (19) and basil, then cook for about 20 minutes, until the sauce has shrunk.
Boil the gnocchi in boiling salted water and, as soon as they rise to the surface (20), drain them with a slotted spoon.
Transfer the gnocchi to a baking dish, veiled with a layer of sauce (21).
Add the diced mozzarella (22).
Sprinkle with more sauce and continue to make the layers until all the ingredients are used up (23).
Complete with the grated parmesan cheese (24) and bake at 390° F for about 10 minutes (with the grill on).
Once well au gratin, take the gnocchi out of the oven and serve them hot (25).