Gnocchi Alla Sorrentina
Gnocchi Alla Sorrentina

Gnocchi Alla Sorrentina

This comforting combination of soft potato gnocchi, rich tomato sauce, mozzarella and aromatic basil is now served all over the Amalfi Coast and often baked in the oven to melt the cheese. Potatoes that are neither too floury nor too waxy are best used to make gnocchi and they freeze really well, uncooked. This can sometimes give a lighter result, so consider doubling the quantities and freezing half. To freeze, spread them out on a well-floured tray so that they are not touching. When frozen, shake off the excess flour and transfer to freezer bags, seal and freeze. Use within three months. Cook from frozen, allowing 1-2 minutes of extra cooking time.

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Total Time
1 Hour 45 Minutes
1kg of floury potatoes, such as King Edward, Maris Piper or Desirée
1 heaped tsp of salt
Generous twist of black pepper
300g of ‘00’ flour
1 egg
For The Tomato Sauce
6 tbsp of extra-virgin olive oil
1 red or white onion, finely chopped
1 large garlic clove, lightly crushed
2 x 400g cans of whole Italian plum tomatoes
1 large sprig of basil
1-2 tsp of caster sugar
1 level tsp of salt
A good pinch of freshly ground black pepper
12 ripe & flavourful cherry tomatoes, diced
To Serve
Our favourite or winter tomato sauce (see pages 97–98 and above)
125g of ball mozzarella
Fresh basil leaves
Step 1

Boil the potatoes in their skins in plenty of salted water until tender. Although this takes about an hour the flavour is far superior than boiling chopped potatoes and they are less watery. Peel them while they are still hot: hold on a fork in one hand and peel the skin away with a sharp knife. Pass the potatoes through a passatutto (food mill) or ricer onto a wooden board.

Step 2

Add the seasoning and the flour, then the egg, and knead together to form a soft, pliable dough. Bring a large pan of well-salted water to the boil.

Step 3

Lightly flour your work surface. Roll an apple-sized piece of dough into a 2cm-thick length. Cut into 2cm-long pieces with a cook’s knife, flicking the gnocchi to one side as you cut them. Repeat until all the dough is used.

Step 4

For the sauce, heat half the oil in a frying pan and fry the onion and garlic slowly over a medium to low heat for 7-10 minutes, until soft. Add the canned tomatoes, then wash out the can with a few tablespoons of water and add this to the sauce. Add the basil, sugar, salt and black pepper, and continue to cook over a medium heat for about 15 minutes. Use a potato masher or fork to break up the tomatoes. Next add the cherry tomatoes. Cook the sauce for a further 15 minutes, then taste and adjust the salt and sugar if necessary. Stir in the remaining olive oil and your sauce is ready to mix in with your chosen pasta.

Step 5

Cook the gnocchi in two batches. Drop them into the boiling water and cook for about 2 minutes. They will float to the surface when cooked. Lift them out gently, using a slotted spoon, and toss them into the tomato sauce. Serve with the mozzarella torn into pieces and the basil leaves.

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