Easy Gnocchi Alla Sorrentina


Gnocchi alla Sorrentina

Gnocchi alla Sorrentina is a delicious Italian dish made with gnocchi covered in tomato sauce and topped with mozzarella. It is also seasoned with basil and garlic. If you’re looking for a delicious yet easy Italian recipe to try, this is definitely one you should make. 

Gnocchi alla Sorrentina close up

When making this recipe there are a few different ways you can enjoy it. You can make your own homemade tomato sauce and gnocchi, or you can enjoy the convenience of picking up a jar of tomato sauce and premade gnocchi from your grocery store. Either way allows you to have an easy and fabulous tasting Italian recipe. 

Let’s jump in to how you can make this delicious dish, and what ingredients do you need. Below we will walk you through the ingredients you need, any substitutions you might desire, and step-by-step instructions on how to make this dish. 

Gnocchi alla Sorrentina – gnocchi with tomato sauce, mozzarella and basil

Ingredients You Need

Potato Gnocchi. Potato gnocchi is a key ingredient for your gnocchi alla sorrentina. You can make your own homemade potato gnocchi, or you can pick up a package of premade gnocchi from your local grocery store. Either way is up to you.

We are going to make this recipe with a package of premade gnocchi, but later on they will tell you how to make homemade gnocchi if you would like. 

Tomato Passata (Tomato Puree). Tomato Passata is another key ingredient for this recipe. Essentially, in the United States this is known as tomato purée.

You can make your own homemade, or you can pick up a jar of store-bought tomato purée and simply add it to your recipe. If you would like to make homemade tomato purée, you will need just tomatoes that have been cut and cooked down. 

Please note, if you would prefer your tomatoes to be chunky, then you can substitute tomato purée for roasted cherry tomatoes, or you can simply use a can of diced or even crushed tomatoes, depending upon how chunky want it to be.

Or if you’re looking for an easy way out, you can simply open a can of pre-seasoned pasta sauce such as traditional or marinara. 

Olive Oil. In any Italian dish, olive oil as an essential ingredient. You will need olive oil when making best recipe as well. We strongly recommend that you use olive oil, but it may be substituted for another type of oil if needed. 

Garlic. Garlic is another favorite ingredient that is used to give amazing flavor to this dish. We recommend using cloves of garlic that have been cut into fine pieces, however you can also use minced garlic if you prefer. 

Basil. Fresh basil is king to giving your recipe amazing flavors. If needed you can use dried basil, but fresh basil will definitely produce the best overall flavor. 

Mozzarella. Mozzarella is ideal to use as your cheese when making this recipe. If you’re able to find mozzarella balls, this works best and will give you the greatest appearance and flavor.

However, some other alternatives include freshly grated mozzarella cheese, or another type of freshly shredded melty cheese like mozzarella. 

Seasonings. To season this dish, we recommend using salt, pepper, and perhaps a little bit of garlic salt. You can add the seasonings as desired, so that they suit your taste preferences. 

gnocci in tomato sauce

How to Make Gnocchi alla Sorrentina

Make Tomato Sauce

Begin by making your tomato sauce. Place a deep skillet over medium heat, and drizzle the bottom of the pan with olive oil. Add your garlic, and sauté for one to three minutes or until you begin to smell your garlic cloves, but they are not brown yet. 

Add your tomato purée along with the basil leaves. Season with salt, pepper, and garlic salt as desired. Stir to combine, then bring to a gentle simmer stirring continually for approximately 8 to 10 minutes. 

How to Cook Gnocchi

While your tomato sauce is warming, fill a pot with water, add a bit of salt, and bring the water to a boil. Once it’s at a rolling boil, add the gnocchi and boil them until they float. 

Use a spoon with holes in it to scoop the floating gnocchi from the water. Place the boiled gnocchi into the tomato sauce. 

Remove any large basil leaves from the tomato sauce and transfer your gnocchi and sauce mixture to an oven safe dish. You can use an oven safe baking dish, or we also enjoy using a cast iron skillet to both cook it on the stovetop and bake in the oven. 

Season and Bake Gnocchi alla Sorrentina

Now, your tomato sauce is combined with your boiled gnocchi, so all that’s left is to top your gnocchi with sliced or shredded mozzarella cheese. 

Place the prepared gnocchi to bake into the oven at 425°F, for approximately 15 to 20 minutes or until the cheese is melted, lightly browned, and the sauce around the edge of the pan is bubbling. 

Once it has been baked, remove it from the oven and allow it to rest for a few minutes. Then serve and enjoy! 

Make-Ahead and Storage

Make Ahead

Gnocchi alla Sorrentina can be made in advance if desired. You can make each individual section in advance and freeze them individually, or you can combine the whole dish, and freeze it together.

This will allow you to have a ready-made meal that you can enjoy anytime. This is similar to the Trader Joe’s gnocchi alla sorrentina that you can pick up in their freezer section. 

To make this dish ahead of time, you will want to assemble the dish, but skip the final baking. Let the dish cool, then either transfer the recipe to a freezer safe container, or cover it with plastic wrap, and store in the fridge.

Once prepared, this dish can be kept in the fridge for up to 3 to 4 days, or in the freezer sealed securely, for up to three months. 

Gnocchi alla Sorrentina potato gnoccies

Storing, Freezing & Reheating

Room temperature. Gnocchi alla Sorrentina should not be kept at room temperature for more than two hours before it is unsafe to eat. For longer storage, transfer it to the fridge or freezer. 

In the fridge. Your recipe can be stored in the fridge for later enjoyment, or for leftover storage if you want. Transfer the leftovers to an airtight container, a plastic zipped bag, or make sure your baking dish is covered securely with plastic wrap.

Let the food cool to room temperature, then store in the fridge for up to 3 to 4 days.

In the freezer. First you want to allow the dish to cool, and make sure that it has not gone through its final baking if you wish to save the entire dish for later.

Or you can freeze the leftovers after they have gone through the final baking. Once the dish has cooled, you can transfer it to an airtight container or seal in a plastic freezer bag, then be sure to label and date it.

Place it into the freezer for up to three months. 


Choosing canned tomatoes: When it comes to choosing canned tomatoes, there are many different options. Most any type of canned tomato can be used to be made into your sauce. You can also use fresh tomatoes if you prefer. 

The most authentic type of canned tomato to use is tomato passata (tomato purée), but, you can also use tomato pomodorini (crushed tomatoes), stewed tomatoes, or even traditional pasta sauce, or marinara sauce.

You could also use roasted cherry tomatoes as the base for your tomato sauce. 

Store-bought vs. homemade gnocchi: you can choose to use store-bought gnocchi, or make your own homemade gnocchi. Both ways taste delicious.

Store-bought gnocchi is very convenient, because all you have to do is pick up a package, bring it home and boil it in a pot of salted water.

You can make your own homemade gnocchi using the following recipe. 

Gnocchi alla Sorrentina with wooden spoon

How to Make Homemade Gnocchi

To make homemade gnocchi you will need approximately 3 pounds of russet potatoes, three eggs, one cup of all-purpose flour, and 1 ½ teaspoon salt. 

Begin by baking potatoes at 400°F for approximately one hour or until you can insert a fork into the center and feel that the potato is soft all the way through. 

Remove the potatoes from the oven and allow them to cool. Once they are cool, cut the potatoes in half, and scoop the inside of the potatoes into a mixing bowl. 

Along with the potato fillings, add three egg yolks, one cup of all-purpose flour, and 1½ teaspoon salt into the mixing bowl. Stir until combined. Please know that you may need to use your hands to mix this together, as it has a Play-Doh like texture. 

Once your gnocchi dough is made, lately flour a clean surface, and roll the dough into a long snake like shape. Use a knife and cut the gnocchi every 1 inch. At this point your gnocchi can be frozen for later use if desired. 

Then, place a pot filled with water, and 1 teaspoon of salt onto the stove top and bring it to a boil. When the water has reached a rolling boil, add your gnocchi, and boil them until they float. Use a spoon with holes in it to remove the gnocchi from the water as they begin to float. 

At this point, you can add your homemade gnocchi into your recipe, or you can skip the boiling part, and freeze them for later use. 

How to Freeze Homemade Gnocchi

To freeze your homemade gnocchi, you will want to toss the gnocchi in flour that has not been boiled so that they are coated in a light dusting of flour.

Place them onto a cookie sheet and set them in the freezer for one hour. 

When the hour has passed, transfer the individual gnocchi into a plastic freezer bag, or steal them in an airtight container.

Label and date, and then place them back into the freezer for up to three months.  

How to Make Homemade Tomato Passata

To make a homemade tomato passata, begin by selecting very ripe tomatoes. Then rinse each tomato, and cut them in half. Next, scoop the inside of the tomato from each half of tomato. You’ll want to remove the seeds and any innards, so that the sauce does not turn out to have too much liquid. 

Discard the seeds, and place the remaining tomato portions into a saucepan. Placed the saucepan over medium heat, and cover. Cook the tomatoes for approximately 10 to 15 minutes over medium heat. Then remove them from the burner and allow them to cool. 

Next, take your cooked tomatoes and place them into a blender, or food processor. Pulse the tomatoes until they are smooth. Now your tomatoes are ready to use as a sauce.  


When it comes to the type of tomato sauce to use for making your gnocchi alla Sorrentina, there are many different types of tomato sauces you can use.

You can make your own homemade tomato sauce, use a jar of tomato purée from the grocery store, use a jar of traditional or marinara pasta sauce, or even use roasted fresh tomatoes.

However you want to do it, will still turnout tasting great, and add a bit of your own twist to this recipe. 

Gnocchi alla Sorrentina in cast iron


What Kind of Mozzarella is Best for Gnocchi alla Sorrentina?

If you are able to find mozzarella balls, this is the most authentic, and best type of mozzarella to use. However, a great alternative to mozzarella balls is to use freshly shredded mozzarella cheese instead. 

Can I use fresh tomatoes?

Absolutely, you can use fresh tomatoes to make your own tomato sauce, or simply roast tomatoes and allow the tomatoes to remain a bit chunky. It’s entirely up to you. 

What to Serve with Gnocchi alla Sorrentina

There are many delicious side dishes you can enjoy with your gnocchi alla Sorrentina. Some of our favorites include serving this dish along with salad, or bread. We have linked a few of our favorite recipes below that you can enjoy with this dish. 

Baked Gnocchi alla Sorrentina

Baked gnocchi alla Sorrentino is an easy and delicious Italian comfort food. It’s so good, and just hit the spot. If you’re looking for easy and delicious dish to fill your Italian craving, then give this recipe a try. 

When you have tried this recipe, be sure to comment below and let us know what you think about it! We love to hear from you. 

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Faith is the resident baking expert of this sister duo, and first started baking at age ten when she learned to make chocolate chip cookies on her own. From there she went on to have her own night of the week to make dinner for the whole family. She is excited to share amazing recipes and a love of food, and help you become kitchen smart!

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