Quarantine Cooking I: Gnocchi alla Sorrentina

September 30, 2020

In the time of social distancing and isolating at home, a lot of travel plans have been postponed or canceled (tears). So, to satisfy the innate need to experience…queue Quarantine Cooking. Big disclaimer, I am not a chef or experienced cook…just a girl wanting to bring you some of my favorite dishes from my travels. Which gets us to Gnocchi alla Sorrentina, a classic Neapolitan dish from my 3-week travels in Italy. I actually had not had gnocchi until the end of my trip, when I took a cooking course in Positano in the Amalfi Coast.

If you find yourself in Positano in the future, I highly recommend this cooking class at Ristorante Buca di Bacco. The course takes you through an appetizer, first course, second course, and dessert. This recipe was made in the class and comes straight from the cookbook they gave us…so without further ado:

Gnocchi alla Sorrentina

Feeds 4 people.


  • 500 gr. mashed potatoes
  • 250 gr. plain flour
  • 1 egg
  • 100 gr. mozzarella cheese
  • 150 gr. parmesan cheese
  • some fresh basil leaves
  • 320 gr. tomato sauce (homemade tomato sauce recipe below- trust me, worth the extra steps)
  1. Cook the potatoes (skin on) into a pot, bring to a boil and simmer until just soft, but not overcooked- otherwise it will increase the amount of flour required and result in a heavier gnocchi.
  2. Transfer to a bowl and use a potato masher to mash. Set until room temperature.
  3. Bind well the egg and potato first, then add the flour. Start to blend everything with your hands. Work carefully and quickly, as the more you handle the dough, the harder and bouncier it will become. You should now have a soft dough that holds together, doesn’t feel sticky and can be easily shaped. Cut the dough into sections and roll out each piece into a rod shape.
  4. Cut into 1 cm pieces. (Optional) Roll the gnocchi pieces on gnocchi wood board (hint, heres a cheap one off amazon) or fork for the traditional shape.

5. Cook the gnocchi in salted, boiling water and when they float, they are done.

6. Drain them and add in your tomato sauce with some mozzarella and parmesan cheese and wait until the cheese is melted.

7. Serve with some basil leaves.

Tomato Sauce


  • 1 kg. tomatoes
  • 100 gr. olive oil
  • 2 cloves of garlic, smashed
  • 1 tbsp. rock salt
  • fresh basil leaves
  1. Heat olive oil along with garlic until golden.
  2. Add the tomatoes. If using canned tomatoes, include the juice and shred tomatoes with your hands. Season with salt and basil.
  3. Bring to a low simmer, reduce the heat to low and cook (cooking time depends on how thick and caramelized you would like your sauce).
  4. (Optional) Blend sauce in a blender to give it a smoother consistency.

Hungry, yet? Try this out and keep checking back, more recipes incoming!

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