AUTHENTIC ITALIAN BAKED GNOCCHI

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If there’s one appealing dish outside Italy beyond spaghetti and lasagna undoubtedly are baked gnocchi named "Sorrentina". See how to make them here with this authentic Italian recipe...

A real “ambassador” because you can find gnocchi in many Italian restaurants abroad, or easily make some homemade gnocchi like mine. If you are willing to give a try you won't be disappointed.

Baked Gnocchi

My wife Miry is the real fanatic "gnocchi eater". She taught me how to make her loved "sorrentina" version. The cooking method is quite easy, depending most if you want to make fresh gnocchi at home or get them locally-bought. We do both, really depending on the available time we have, but we prefer them of course, homemade gnocchi.

Recipe:

Authentic Italian Baked Gnocchi Sorrentina Style

  • Preparation Time: 10 mins with store-bought gnocchi
  • Cooking Time: 10 mins in the oven
  • Total Time: 20 mins

Ingredients: serves 4

  • 2 lb (1 kg) homemade or store-bought gnocchi
  • 2 cups (500 ml) fresh or bottled tomato sauce
  • 7 oz (200g) mozzarella cheese (of course buffalo mozzarella is better)
  • about 10 basil leaves for garnish (optional)
  • Parmesan cheese (Parmigiano Reggiano)
Gnocchi Sorrentina

Instructions:

  1. Set about ½ gal. (2 lt.) of water in a pasta pot and bring to a boil. Once boiling add a generous pinch of salt and give it a stir. Carefully without burning, a bit at a time, throw the gnocchi in the pot.
  2. Remind that homemade gnocchi cook rapidly, just a few minutes are enough. So once you see them floating around in the pot move them to a baking dish.
  3. In a baking dish toss all the gnocchi with the tomato sauce and cover with the mozzarella cheese and a sprinkle of Parmesan (Parmigiano Reggiano) cheese.
  4. Bake at 425°F (220C°) for about 10 minutes until the mozzarella and the cheese are nicely melted.
  5. Serve hot and garnish with two or three fresh basil leaves per plate if you like.
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Step-by-step pics

I would rather eat those leaves raw like on an Italian caprese, but many south Italian families have the habit to put basil leaves directly in. When this happens, I ironically say to my wife: “What are all those foliage on my dish?” She replays me ironically as well: “Don’t mind darling, it's healthy stuff...”.

There's nothing to do, between mouthfuls I have to move them out of my plate if we go the "Naples style". When I make baked gnocchi at home, I keep basil leaves out and use them just as a garnish. Plus I like to serve them in 4 single baking dishes. Yes, home sweet home.

Baked Gnocchi

Homemade gnocchi are better than store-bought...

In the 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 thing was to simply try and enjoy the time flying away through trial and error.

The rule is practice, practice, practice until you'll learn Italian cooking. Now I have a good grasp at making gnocchi and it’s just a matter of minutes for me and I have made a bunch of them.

I’m proud, because Miry now makes me a real order for baked gnocchi almost as we were at the restaurant. Ops, but are we at a restaurant?

INGREDIENTS:  serves 4

  • 2 lb (1 kg) homemade potato gnocchi or store-bought
  • 2 cups (500 ml) of fresh tomato sauce or bottled
  • 7 oz (200g) mozzarella cheese, of course buffalo mozzarella is far better
  • 12-16 basil leaves to use as garnish (optional)
  • a sprinkle of Parmigiano Reggiano cheese over each dish
Ingredients

Best mozzarella cheese is bufallo's...

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 this type of mozzarella. Anyway try at least to find some good kind of mozzarella if you can.

Mozzarella

Ready made date tomato sauce

Well, you may not find this type of bottled tomato sauce where you live, sorry for that but try at least to find the best one. For us was our first time we tried this new ready-made sauce from Mutti, the right moment arrived to give it a taste.

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 our baked gnocchi alla sorrentina and definitely will make the base for other Italian recipes as well. I will keep seasoning pasta with this ready-made sauce when I can’t make fresh tomato sauce.

Bottle of Tomato Sauce

Preparation time is about 30 mins:

You see, it doesn't take much time, follow my step-bystep pictures or jump directly to the written recipe.

Mozzarella
Mozzarella
Pasta Pot
Drained Gnocchi
Gnocchi Step 1
Gnocchi Step 2
Gnocchi Step 3

Add mozzarella and extra authentic Parmesan cheese best of all some authentic Parmigiano Reggiano  over the top of gnocchi sorrentina.

Gnocchi Step 4

Heat-up the oven and cook at 425°F (220C°) for about 10 minutes or until a lightly crust has formed on the top.

Gnocchi Step 5

Once the gnocchi are cooked and the mozzarella cheese is melted it means that they are ready to be served.

Gnocchi Step 6
Baked Gnocchi

On each serving dish you can add a few basil leaves, but just if you like.


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