Gnocchi alla Sorrentina (Baked Gnocchi with Tomato and Basil)

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This Gnocchi alla Sorrentina recipe will knock your socks off! Made with simple ingredients, this dish packs a surprising, huge flavor punch! Gnocchi is smothered with a delicious tomato sauce, fresh basil and of course, lots of melty cheese! You’ll love how easy it is and it’s sure to please the whole family!

Gnocchi alla Sorrentina in a cast iron skillet with a wooden spoon.

I’m not sure there is anything better than a simple pasta dish with incredible flavors! That is EXACTLY what this Gnocchi alla Sorrentina is! A few simple, fresh ingredients – including a simple homemade tomato sauce – creates this amazing, cheesy, family-friendly meal!

If you need more simple pasta dinner ideas, check out my 10 Minute Creamy Gnocchi with Pesto and Lemon, this Easy Italian Sausage Gnocchi Bake, and this simple Creamy Tahini Pasta with Lemon and Garlic!

And make sure you don’t miss these Stuffed Shells with Beef recipe, this Cast Iron Skillet Lasagna, this Easy Baked Tortellini with Sausage, and this downright decadent Bechamel Pasta Bake–classic, EASY comfort food!

WHY YOU’LL LOVE THIS RECIPE

  • Simple, fresh, and full of flavor!
  • Super easy–just a handful of ingredients are needed!
  • Cheesy deliciousness the whole family will love!

RECIPE INGREDIENTS

You’ll need the following ingredients to make this delicious Gnocchi alla Sorrentina:

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INGREDIENT NOTES

Gnocchi: Store-bought gnocchi is used in this dish to make it quick and easy. Packaged gnocchi can usually be found near the pasta at grocery stores or sometimes you can find it in the refrigerated section.

San Marzano Tomatoes: Don’t skimp on this good quality ingredient! The sweetness and fresh taste of San Marzano tomatoes are unmistakeable and they are the backbone of the simple tomato sauce in this dish! You can find whole, San Marzano tomatoes in the canned tomato section at most chain grocery stores.

Mozzarella Cheese: While fresh mozzarella is traditional in this dish, I like the way regular, low-moisture mozzarella melts in this dish! Either fresh or regular shredded mozzarella is works just fine!

HOW TO MAKE GNOCCHI ALLA SORRENTINA: STEP BY STEP

Here are some quick visual instructions. Remember that full instructions with exact ingredients will be in the recipe card below!

Step 1: Start by sautéing lots of garlic in a large skillet with some olive oil. Add red pepper flakes if you want a little heat!

garlic and red pepper flakes cooked in olive oil in a cast iron skillet.

Step 2: Add in the San Marzano tomatoes and break them up with a spoon or use kitchen shears to cut them! Cook sauce for 15 minutes.

San Marzano tomatoes being added to the skillet with a wooden spoon.

Step 3: Add in gnocchi, lots of fresh basil, half the mozzarella and grated Parmesan cheese. Stir until well combined and until cheese melts.

Gnocchi, basil and cheeses being added to the dish.

Step 4: Transfer pan to the oven and bake about 15 minutes or until bubbly!

Gnocchi alla Sorrentina  in a cast iron pan after being baked.

RECIPE TIPS & TRICKS

  • If you don’t own an oven proof skillet (I LOVE my cast iron skillet--it’s such a workhorse in the kitchen!), simply transfer the gnocchi with sauce into a 9×9 (or similar) a baking dish.
  • Because Parmesan cheese is fairly salty, avoid over-salting the dish. Start with 1/2 teaspoon of salt, then re-season before baking only if necessary.

STORAGE & REHEATING

  • Reheating: Leftovers can easily be reheated in the microwave. You can also reheat the gnocchi in the oven at 350˚F for about 10 minutes. I always like to add some extra cheese on top when reheating!

  • Freezing: You can make this dish ahead and freeze it before baking! Transfer the gnocchi from your skillet to a freezer-friendly baking dish (I like these disposable aluminum ones). Cover tightly with foil and freeze for 3-4 months.

    When you are ready to enjoy, thaw overnight, top with the mozzarella cheese layer and bake until bubbly (cooking time will be longer than the traditional 15 minute baking time in the recipe card since the dish will be cold when it goes into the oven).

ADDITIONS AND SUBSTITUTIONS

Since this dish relies on just a few fresh, quality ingredients, I don’t suggest making too many ingredient substitutions. One addition would be adding protein such as Italian sausage, ground beef or turkey…YUMM!

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

What can I serve with gnocchi dish?

Some of my favorite sides for this dish are just a simple tossed green salad, arugula salad or Caesar salad and lots of garlic bread!

Need more ideas?! Here are 21 Perfect Sides for Gnocchi!

What does the name “alla sorrentina” mean?

“Alla Sorrentina,” translated from Italian simply means “Sorrento Style.” The city of Sorrento is a gorgeous town in the Campania region of Italy on the Amalfi Coast near Naples. Food from Sorrento is known for being simple and super fresh!

How is gnocchi traditionally eaten?

In Italy, pastas and this Gnocchi alla Sorrentina are typically eaten as a first course, followed by a protein of some sort (typically chicken or fish). In the U.S., we love to consume pasta in mass quantities as our main dish! This gnocchi dish works well either way!

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Close up of spoon with gnocchi and tomato sauce on it.

I hope you love this Gnocchi alla Sorrentina! If you make it be sure to leave a comment and a rating so I know how you liked it. Enjoy, xo!

Gnocchi alla Sorrentina

This Gnocchi all Sorrentina recipe will knock your socks off! Made with simple ingredients, this dish packs a surprising, huge flavor punch! Gnocchi is smothered with a delicious tomato sauce, fresh basil and of course, lots of melty cheese! You'll love how easy it is and it's sure to please the whole family!
5 from 12 votes
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Course Dinner, Main Course
Cuisine American, Italian
Servings 4
Calories 365 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil enough to just coat the bottom of your pan
  • 4-5 cloves garlic, finely chopped the best garlic chopper!
  • 1 28 oz. can San Marzano Tomatoes See Note 1
  • 16-24 oz. packaged gnocchi (store bought) or make your own homemade gnocchi!
  • 1 cup fresh basil leaves, roughly chopped or torn
  • 2 cups mozzarella cheese, shredded See Note 2
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, grated or Parmigiano Reggiano
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt or sea salt, or more to taste
  • 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes (optional)

Instructions
 

  • To a large oven-proof skillet, heat olive oil over low heat. Add garlic and red pepper flakes (if using) and cook for 2-3 minutes. Make sure you keep the heat low and stir every so often so the garlic doesn't burn!
  • Add San Marzano tomatoes to the pan. Break up the tomatoes with the back of a fork, wooden spoon or by using kitchen shears (my favorite way!). Over medium heat, bring tomato sauce to a gentle simmer, then reduce heat to low and simmer for 15 minutes. Season with salt, if needed.
  • Preheat oven to 375˚F. Stir in basil, Parmesan cheese, half of the mozzarella cheese and gnocchi. Stir until everything is combined, then cook 3-4 minutes, stirring often.
  • Top the dish with remaining mozzarella cheese and bake for 15 minutes until bubbly. Allow 5-10 minutes to cool then serve immediately! ((Note: if you don't have an oven-proof pan/skillet, simply transfer the the gnocchi and tomato basil sauce to a 9×9 baking dish)).

Notes

Note 1: San Marzano tomatoes are typically grown in southern Italy and are known for their vibrant, bright red color. They are sweeter and have lower acidity than regular canned, whole tomatoes and are absolutely worth the few extra dollars! They can be found near the regular canned tomatoes at the grocery store. The two most common brands are: Cento (yellow label) and Simpson (white label). I have noticed that stores are starting to have their own store-brand now as well!
Note 2: The authentic way to make this dish is with fresh mozzarella. You can certainly use that, but I just love the way regular, low-moisture mozzarella melts in this dish! 
 
Nutrition information is only an estimate. Info is based on the Very Well Fit Nutrition Calculator.
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Nutrition

Calories: 365kcalCarbohydrates: 28gProtein: 17.1gFat: 22.1gSaturated Fat: 7.4gCholesterol: 28mgSodium: 976mgPotassium: 500mgFiber: 4gSugar: 5.3gCalcium: 306mgIron: 1mg
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Recipe Rating




10 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    HUGE fan of gnocchi over here, but I have yet to make it with tomato sauce! Adding this delicious dish to the menu now 🙂

  2. 5 stars
    Yum! I love gnocchi and for some reason I’ve never made it. I’m going to try out this recipe, thank you! Looks wonderful.

  3. 5 stars
    This is restaurant quality dish. It looks amazing and tastes even better. Serve it with a light salad and some wine, and it totally works as a fancy dinner at home.

  4. 5 stars
    Omg this baked gnocchi recipe was to die for!! It was so comforting and satisfying – we paired it with a green salad and it made the perfect dinner!