Sorrento Gnocchi: a breath of tradition in a dish

Sorrento Gnocchi are a typical dish of Naples, born in the Sorrento area. It is a dish that warms the heart and soul, it is a real comfort food. It has very ancient roots, although it is rich and simple to prepare. This dish is suitable for anyone who is a lover of tradition: the beauty of kneading potato gnocchi, using genuine ingredients. Priceless! Sorrento Gnocchi are the tasty Sunday dish, prepared with love and passion. Let’s find out something more together.

A bit of history

The real potato gnocchi according to tradition were born in Campania. A legend tells that a country abbot ate so many of them that they caused indigestion, almost suffocating. In fact, another name for gnocchi is “strangulaprievite”, literally strangles priest (strangola preti). Although the legend is interesting, in reality this name derives from the Greek words “strongulos” and “preptos”, that is, round and spherical object. The gnocco actually comes from northern Italy: the first potato balls appeared on the Renaissance stalls in Lombardy. The ancestors of gnocchi were called “zanzarelli”: they were prepared with breadcrumbs, milk and almonds. Subsequently, the recipe was repeatedly reinvented. Only with the arrival of the first potatoes from America, at the end of the Eighteenth century, did potato gnocchi spread.

A bit of tradition

The Sorrento gnocchi owe their name to the skill of the cooks of Sorrento who seasoned the gnocchi with the products of the Amalfi Coast. The protagonists of this simple dish are the Mediterranean flavors of tomato, mozzarella and parmesan. Once prepared, they are baked in a small terracotta pan, the pignatiello, in which they are then served very hot. This dish is mainly served for Sunday lunch with the family. It recalls the ancient tradition of making handmade gnocchi, passing them over the prongs of the fork to create the lines. Yet there are many variations of the Sorrento gnocchi. There are those who replace the tomato sauce with fresh cherry tomatoes; those who prefer buffalo mozzarella to cow’s; who uses smoked smoked cheese or provola. Someone also adds other ingredients such as aubergines, while distorting the dish.

Sorrento sauce recipe

For one person


10cc extra virgin olive oil

7or 9 cherry tomatoes cut in quarter

1/2 mozzarella cut in little pieces

A spoon of parmesan

Clove of garlic

2or 3 basil leaves


Put the olive oil in a pan with low heat. Once it heats up, put the garlic inside to make it golden. Then, add the cherry tomatoes and a pinch of salt. Once the cherry tomatoes begin to be cooked, add a ladle of boiled salted water. After that, add the gnocchi. Keep more boiling water if needed; whisk with a wooden or silicone spoon. Once it is almost cooked, take off from the fire and add the mozzarella. Mix until the mozzarella begins to spin. At the end, add a spoon of parmesan (or more if you liked) and two basil leaves.

Enjoy your Sorrento Gnocchi and take the opportunity to attend our cooking class about it!

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