Last Updated on: 20th January 2024, 06:42 am
This gnocchi casserole recipe is made with potato gnocchi, a homemade tomato sauce, fresh mozzarella cheese and fresh basil and is otherwise known as Gnocchi alla Sorrentina. It’s a classic Italian, comfort food, pasta dish originating from Sorrento, Italy. It’s a delicious Vegetarian pasta dish.
Gnocchi is an Italian style potato dumpling that’s popular among Americans. What could be better than topping fluffy gnocchi with a fresh, homemade tomato sauce, mozzarella cheese and basil? It’s Italian comfort food at its finest.
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Easy Cheesy Gnocchi alla Sorrentina Casserole Recipe
What is the meaning of Sorrentina?
Anything related to Sorrento, Italy. Sorrento is located on the Amalfi coast in Italy near the city of Naples. It’s absolutely beautiful and I’m lucky to say that I’ve been there and to Positano too!
This pasta dish is very easy-to-make with simple ingredients- gnocchi, tomato sauce, mozzarella cheese and basil. Italian cooking is simple. It’s very different than American cuisine in that way.
I use frozen packaged potato gnocchi but, you can make homemade gnocchi of course. That would be over the top delightful!
I used a homemade tomato sauce that I make with passata which is a jarred crushed tomatoes. It tastes fresher than canned (in tin) tomatoes.
You’ll add EVOO, chopped onions and minced garlic to a medium saucepan and cook for about 30 minutes on medium heat.
I always use extra virgin olive oil in my Italian recipes. It should be dark green in color and of good quality. It has the most flavor and renders that flavor to your food.
The oil is used to make the sauce and is one of the most important ingredients to make sauce.
This recipe makes more than enough tomato sauce however, if you’re feeding more than three people, you can double the batch except for the sauce. It’ll be enough if you double it.
The best part of this dish is the melted cheese!
I use fresh mozzarella in this recipe because it gives more dimension to it. Fresh mozzarella cheese melts differently than the store-bought shredded mozzarella cheese.
However, if that’s what you have on hand, use it. Add some grated Parmesan cheese too if you’d like.
Fresh basil is an important aromatic to this recipe. You’ll see when you make it.
When making this dish, you add the fresh basil to it AFTER you remove it from the oven. The steam will bring out the aroma in the basil and flavor the dish. The basil is NOT cooked in it.
Similarly, a margarita pizza is served with basil leaves in the middle of it. They’re put there after it comes out of the oven.
Gnocchi Casserole Recipe
Once you make the sauce and the gnocchi, you’ll stir them together and put them in a baking dish.
Then, you’ll add the mozzarella cheese cubes.
Then, put it in the oven on 400F so the cheese can melt and the gnocchi can warm up again.
Next, add the fresh basil on top and let the steam penetrate it so it can flavor your baked gnocchi casserole.
If you plan to use jarred tomato sauce to make this recipe, it’ll be a quick weeknight meal. If you choose to double the recipe, you’ll need a medium sized baking dish or large skillet to bake it in.
Your whole family will love this baked gnocchi casserole for it’s cheesy goodness. You may even feel like you’re in Sorrento, Italy eating on a beautiful cliffside at a good Italian restaurant with a glass of red wine gazing over at the Meditterranean Sea!
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See more ITALIAN recipes.
See more PASTA recipes.
Gnocchi alla Sorrentina
- 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 4 cloves minced garlic
- 1/2 cup chopped onion
- 24 oz passata jarred tomatoes
- 2 tbsp chopped fresh parsley
- 14 oz frozen potato gnocchi
- 4 oz fresh mozzarella cheese cut into 1/4 inch cubes
- salt and pepper to taste
- First, add oil, onions and garlic to a medium sized sauce pan and cook for five minutes or until onions become tender.
- Next, add passata sauce, stir and cover. Bring to a boil and then lower heat to medium and cook for 25 minutes. Stir every 5-10 ten min to avoid sticking.
- Then, preheat oven to 400F.
- Then, during the last 15 minutes of cooking the sauce, cook the gnocchi according to package directions and drain. Put the gnocchi back into the pot in which it was cooked.
- Next, add desired amount of the tomato sauce to the gnocchi and stir. Place it in a small casserole dish.
- Then, top the gnocchi with mozzarella cheese and bake at 400F for 15 minutes. When you take the gnocchi out of the oven, immediately top it with basil and serve.