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.
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.
The beauty of this recipe is its simplicity – nothing is hard to find, but using high-quality ingredients will give you the best results.
- 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?
It’s very finely sieved tomatoes, commonly referred to as tomato puree in the US.
You can replace the passata with regular tinned tomatoes in this recipe – crushed, plum or cherry tomatoes are great.
Yes! Your sauce might take a little longer to cook and thicken up as the tomatoes break down, but it will be delicious.
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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If you make this recipe, I’d love to hear from you! You can leave me a comment below.Print