Gnocchi alla Sorrentina

Gnocchi alla Sorrentina

This deliciously simple dish is named for the town of Sorrento on Italy’s Amalfi coast. I first ate it at Trattoria Da Ciccio, a family-run restaurant perched on a cliff edge just north of Amalfi, where the tomatoes used are grown on the terraces of the family farm in Scala, a village high up above the coast. The tomato juice and olive oil form an emulsion which gives the Gnocchi alla Sorrentina sauce a lovely creamy consistency. Mozzarella di Bufala is always best torn into shreds rather than being cut. Since we’re in the Italian region of Campania – I’m reaching for a glass of the local varietal, fiano, which is now being made so well in Australia. Coriole in McLaren Vale started it all in 2005, and still produce one of my favourite examples, while Vannella Cheese in Sydney produces excellent local buffalo mozzarella. Ideally make your own gnocchi, it’s really easy and fun (see recipe here and video below)!

Serves 4 as a starter

Ingredients
  • ⅓ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 red onion, finely chopped
  • Salt flakes, to taste
  • 450g potato gnocchi
  • 125g baby Roma tomatoes, quartered
  • 125g yellow grape tomatoes, halved
  • ¼ cup shredded basil leaves
  • 100g Mozzarella di Bufala, torn
  • ½ cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
Method
  1. Bring a large saucepan of salted water to the boil.
  2. Meanwhile, heat oil in a large frying pan over a low heat. Add the onion and a good pinch of salt and cook, covered, stirring occasionally for 5-10 minutes until soft but not coloured.
  3. Add gnocchi to the water and boil until they start to float to the top.
  4. Meanwhile, add tomatoes to the frying pan and continue cooking, stirring occasionally to break them up just a little.
  5. When the gnocchi start to float to the top of the water, stir the basil into the tomato sauce then scoop floating gnocchi out of the water with a slotted spoon and add them to the frying pan, stirring gently.
  6. When all of the gnocchi are in the frying pan, stir in the mozzarella and parmesan and serve.

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