If there’s one appealing dish outside Italy other than spaghetti and lasagne undoubtedly are baked gnocchi alla sorrentina, a real “ambassador”. You can order gnocchi in many Italian restaurants abroad, or easily find some homemade recipe over the internet like mine. If you’ll give it a try you won't be disappointed.
My wife Mirella is the real fanatic gnocchi eater at home and she taught me how to make her loved sorrentina version too. The cooking method is quite easy depending most if you want to make fresh gnocchi or get them locally-bought. We do both, really depending on the available time we have, but we prefer them of course homemade.
But if there’s something I hate in this recipe are those basil leaves around that I would rather eat raw (like caprese), but instead many Southern Italian families throw it in the sauce and eat cooked.
I ironically say to my wife: “What are all these foliage in my dish?”
She reply ironically too: “Don’t mind, healthy stuff...”.
Nothing, I just have to move them out of my plate between mouthfuls when we go Naples way, that’s it. By the way, when I make baked gnocchi alla sorrentina at home I keep basil leaves out and just use them as a garnish, plus I like to serve with 4 single baking dishes too. Yes, home sweet home.
beginning I had to learn how to make fresh gnocchi, well yes, my first
attempt was a total mess. But sure, I know that the only way was to
simply try and enjoy the time like playing a board game, so time just
flies. That’s the way to learn Italian cooking. Now I have a good grasp
at making gnocchi and it’s just a matter of minutes for me. I’m proud of
it because Mirella now makes real order for baked gnocchi too, but ops,
are we at a restaurant?
A different speech deserves “mozzarella di bufala”, you can’t miss this type of mozzarella cheese made with buffalo milk, it’s a must for baked gnocchi alla sorrentina, I rather don’t make them at all. I know we live in Italy and it’s far easier for us to buy it. But you, try at least to find some good kind of mozzarella, although it isn't buffalo.
Well, you may not find this type of bottled tomato sauce where you live, sorry for that. For us too was our first time we tried this new ready-made sauce from Mutti, the right moment arrived. These small date tomatoes are different from their brother cherry tomatoes, they have their unique lengthened shape with an unmistakable sweet taste and fleshy texture called in Italian “pomodori datterini”. This made superb baked gnocchi alla sorrentina and definitely will make the base for other Italian recipes too. I will keep seasoning pasta with this ready-made sauce when I can’t make fresh tomato sauce.
You see, it doesn't take much time, follow my pictures or jump directly to the written baked gnocchi recipe.