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One Pot Gnocchi Alla Sorrentina (Cheesy Tomato Gnocchi Bake)

Apr 12, 2023 | 0 comments

This incredibly easy one-pot, baked gnocchi alla sorrentina is a wonderful quick weeknight meal. No need to cook the gnocchi separately – just add to the garlicky, rich tomato sauce, top with cheese and throw in the oven until golden and bubbling.

Mozzarella topped gnocchi alla sorrentina in a small frying pan, topped with basil leaves.

I am all about super easy, one-pot recipes with minimal hands-on time, and this gorgeous baked gnocchi dish ticks all those boxes.

Gnocchi alla sorrentina is a traditional Italian comfort food dish, originating in beautiful Sorrento. This is my version of the classic. It’s cheap, filling, hearty and packed with so much delicious flavour. It’s also a great one for kids (just leave out the red pepper flakes).

Lots of gnocchi recipes require you to cook the gnocchi before adding it to the sauce. This just creates an unnecessary step and more dishes to wash, because the gnocchi will cook in the sauce in the oven here, like magic.

Ingredients

The beauty of this recipe is its simplicity – nothing is hard to find, but using high-quality ingredients will give you the best results.

Ingredients for gnocchi alla sorrentina laid out on a white marble background and labelled.
  • Gnocchi. I’m using regular store-bought, shelf-stable gnocchi here because it’s cheap and easy to find. You could use fresh gnocchi or even try making your own if you like.
  • Tomato passata. Often called ‘tomato puree’ in the US, this is finely sieved raw tomatoes and you can find it with the tinned tomatoes in your grocery store. You can also use any other tinned tomato (crushed, cherry or plum). The sauce will be a little chunkier, but you can always crush the tomatoes up with your hands before adding them to the pan, or use a stick blender to blitz up the sauce before adding the gnocchi if you’d like a smooth texture.
  • Cheeses. I’m using a combination of fresh mozzarella, parmesan and a little ricotta for added creaminess. The ricotta isn’t traditional, so you can leave it out if you prefer. You could swap the parmesan for gruyere, Havarti, manchego or even cheddar, and you can use pre-grated mozzarella if you like.
  • Red pepper flakes. I love the subtle heat this brings to the sauce but leave it out if you’re cooking for kids, or if you’re not a fan of spice.

OPTIONAL ADDITIONS: Topping the gnocchi with fresh basil pesto, or wild garlic (ramp) pesto as it comes out of the oven is always a good idea. You can also stir spinach into the sauce when you add the gnocchi, to add some extra greens. Or, if you like things spicy, add in some chopped red chilli when you add the garlic.

How to make it

Start by cooking your diced onion in olive oil until it softens up nicely, then go in with the garlic and red pepper flakes. Add the tomato passata and half the basil, then simmer for about 15 minutes until it thickens up. Add your gnocchi, ricotta and half the mozzarella and give it a stir through the sauce. Top with the rest of the mozzarella and the parmesan.

Bake the gnocchi for 20 minutes, or until the cheese is golden, gooey and glorious and the sauce is bubbling. Remove from the oven and scatter over the rest of the basil leaves, and I love to dollop over fresh basil pesto to finish things off.

Got a question?

What is tomato passata?

It’s very finely sieved tomatoes, commonly referred to as tomato puree in the US.

Can I use tinned tomatoes?

You can replace the passata with regular tinned tomatoes in this recipe – crushed, plum or cherry tomatoes are great.

Can I use fresh tomatoes?

Yes! Your sauce might take a little longer to cook and thicken up as the tomatoes break down, but it will be delicious.

Can I make this in advance?

You can make the sauce up to 5 days in advance, then just mix in the gnocchi and add the cheese when you’re ready to cook it. It will keep well for 5 days after baking, stored in a covered container in the fridge. You can also freeze it after cooking – defrost it in the microwave or overnight in the fridge.

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Mozzarella topped gnocchi alla sorrentina in a small frying pan, topped with basil leaves.

One Pot Gnocchi Alla Sorrentina (Cheesy Tomato Gnocchi Bake)


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  • Author: Kate Alexandra
  • Total Time: 45 minutes
  • Yield: 4 servings 1x
  • Diet: Vegetarian

Description

This incredibly easy one-pot, baked gnocchi alla sorrentina is a wonderful quick weeknight meal. No need to cook the gnocchi separately – just add to the garlicky, rich tomato sauce, top with cheese and throw in the oven until golden and bubbling.


Ingredients

Units Scale
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • Half an onion, very finely diced
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 5 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 500g/17oz tomato passata (or tinned crushed or plum tomatoes)
  • Black pepper
  • Parmesan rind (optional)
  • 500g/17oz gnocchi
  • 1/2 cup parmesan cheese, grated
  • 1/2 cup ricotta
  • 125g/4.5oz ball of mozzarella, chopped into cubes
  • A handful of fresh basil leaves

Instructions

  1. Make the tomato sauce. Heat your oven to 220C/430F fan. Add 1/4 cup of olive oil to a large ovenproof skillet over medium heat. Add the diced onion and 1/2 teaspoon of salt and cook, stirring for about 5 minutes or until softened. Add 5 crushed garlic cloves, and 1 teaspoon of red pepper flakes, stir, and cook for another minute. Pour in the passata, then add the parmesan rind (if you’re using it) and a good grind of black pepper. Stir through the onion and garlic, then bring to a simmer. Reduce the heat to low, and simmer for 15 minutes, until the sauce has thickened up nicely. Taste, and season with more salt if needed.
  2. Add the gnocchi and cheese. Pour in the gnocchi, 1/2 cup of ricotta and half the cubed mozzarella. Give it all a stir through the sauce, making sure the gnocchi is coated well. Scatter the remaining mozzarella, and the grated parmesan, then transfer to the oven.
  3. Bake. Bake the gnocchi for 20 minutes, or until the cheese is melted, gooey and golden and the sauce is bubbling. Remove from the oven, then scatter with the fresh basil leaves. I like to add dollops of basil pesto too, for another pop of freshness. Eat while the gnocchi is hot and the cheese is oozy.

Notes

INGREDIENT NOTES: I’m using regular store-bought, shelf-stable gnocchi here. You don’t need to cook it before adding it to the sauce because it will cook in the oven.

SUBSTITUTIONS: You could use tinned crushed or plum tomatoes in place of the passata, or you could use fresh tomatoes. If you’re using fresh tomatoes, the sauce will take a little longer to come together and thicken up as you’ll need to wait for the tomatoes to break down. Use any cheese that melts well here – gruyere, Havarti, gouda, comte or manchego are all good options. Skip the ricotta if you like – I love the subtle creaminess it adds, but it’s just as great without it.

PREP AHEAD: You can make the sauce up to 5 days in advance, then add the gnocchi and cheese when you’re ready to bake it. It’s also an easy one to reheat. Add a couple of tablespoons of water to the sauce, then cover the pan and reheat in the oven at 180C/360F fan for 20 minutes.

STORAGE INSTRUCTIONS: The gnocchi will keep well for 5 days in the fridge, stored in a covered container. You can also freeze it and defrost it in the microwave or overnight in the fridge.

SERVING SUGGESTIONS: For a proper comforting meal, I love serving the gnocchi with fresh no knead focaccia, or you could add a fresh green salad (arugula/rocket dressed simply with a drizzle of olive oil and balsamic vinegar is great). A dollop of fresh basil pesto, or wild garlic (ramp) pesto is delicious too.

  • Prep Time: 5
  • Cook Time: 40
  • Category: pasta
  • Method: oven
  • Cuisine: italian

Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 125g

Welcome!

I’m Kate, the creator behind Dished. I love creating flavour packed, simple (ish) recipes for you, designed for every day and special occasions.

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