Gnocchi with tomato sauce and mozzarella recipe

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  • Ingredients
  • Pasta
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  • Gnocchi

Known as 'Gnocchi alla sorrentina', this is a classic Italian pasta dish that uses simple ingredients but tastes delicious. Use homemade or bought gnocchi.

29 people made this

IngredientsServes: 2

  • 1 1/2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 onion, finely chopped
  • 600g tomato passata
  • salt, to taste
  • 500g homemade or bought potato gnocchi
  • 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
  • 100g fresh mozzarella, cut into cubes
  • fresh basil leaves to serve

MethodPrep:10min ›Cook:20min ›Ready in:30min

  1. Heat oil in a saucepan over medium heat; cook onion for a few minutes or until softened. Add tomato passata and salt; simmer over low heat while you prepare the gnocchi.
  2. Fill a large pot with water; bring to the boil over medium heat. Add a pinch of salt and gnocchi; cook until they float, about 2 or 3 minutes. Drain.
  3. Pour 1 ladle of tomato sauce into the bottom of a baking dish. Add the gnocchi, remaining tomato sauce and grated Parmesan; toss to combine. Arrange cubes of mozzarella evenly on top.
  4. Place under a hot grill for 5 to 10 minutes, or until the mozzarella melts and the sauce has reduced slightly. Remove from oven; garnish with basil leaves and serve.

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Gnocchi with sausage tomato sauce and fresh mozzarella

Sometimes you need comfort food. Gnocchi with sausage tomato sauce and fresh mozzarella is pure, simple comfort food. Just warm and gooey and good.

Kind of a ridiculous description but I can’t come up with a better one. Maybe I’m uninspired tonight but this dish is hit you over the head tasty comfort food.

Tang from the tomatoes. Depth from the sausage. Melted cheese. Lots of melted cheese. Warm and gooey and good.

What is Gnocchi?

If you’ve never had gnocchi before, you will fall in love with these soft pillowy morsels.

Gnocchi is an Italian potato dumpling. It’s made with potato, flour, and egg. The dough is formed into little pieces and then boiled, fried or baked.

In this recipe, you can make your own gnocchi or use store-bought gnocchi. While the store bought version is much faster, it’s really not difficult to make your own (see below).

Prepared gnocchi can be found in most groceries these days. You will likely find it in the fresh pasta section, in the refrigerated case. But it also comes vacuum packed in the pasta aisle.

I have to admit that it took a few tries for me to find a brand that I liked. They can be super light and fluffy (as they’re supposed to be), or really dense and chewy (bad!).

If you try one and don’t really like it, I wouldn’t give up on it just yet. Try another brand.

Our gnocchi alla Sorrentina recipe

Serves: 3 - 4
Prep time: 60 minutes
Cook time: 15 minutes
Total time: 75 minutes
Calories: 313 per serving


  • 500g (approx. 2 ½ cups) gnocchi - If you want to try making your own gnocchi, we recommend you take a look at our guide to making homemade gnocchi .
  • 1 ½ cups tomato sauce, recipe below
  • 125g fresh mozzarella, drained and cut into 1cm cubes
  • ¼ cup Parmigiano Reggiano, grated
  • Fresh basil leaves, chopped

Ingredients for tomato sauce

  • 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled and lightly crushed
  • 1 kg cherry tomatoes, washed and halved
  • Salt to taste
  • Black pepper to taste
  • 5-6 basil leaves, washed and chopped

Method - to make the tomato sauce

  • Heat the olive oil in a frying pan over medium heat
  • Add crushed garlic cloves and brown until oil is fragrant be careful not to burn the garlic
  • Add the tomatoes, salt, and pepper
  • Cover and simmer on low to medium heat for 40 minutes until thickened. The sauce should be thick and shiny
  • Mix in the chopped basil and remove from heat

Use the sauce right away or cover and keep it in the fridge for up to 3 to 4 days. Alternatively, the sauce can be frozen for up to a month. Check out our recent guide to storing pasta sauce for further information.

Method - to complete your gnocchi alla Sorrentina

  • Preheat the oven to 250ºC
  • Cook the gnocchi in salted, boiling water until they float (generally around 2-3 minutes)
  • Once cooked, drain the gnocchi and toss with the tomato sauce then gently mix in the fresh mozzarella
  • Spoon into several individual-sized oven dishes, such as ramekins, or a single large baking dish
  • Top each with the grated Parmigiano Reggiano
  • Place in the oven for 5-7 minutes, or until heated through and mozzarella and Parmigiano Reggiano have melted
  • Sprinkle with fresh basil. Buon appetito!

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How to Make Gnocchi with Mozzarella and Pomodoro Sauce

NOTE: You may ask yourself what “Pomodoro” means, it’s simply the word “tomato” in Italian!

We will start by making the Pomodoro sauce. Chop thinly the yellow onions, garlic and place them in a long bottomed saucepan. Generously add (plenty) of unfiltered extra virgin olive oil and fry them until golden, make sure to not burn the garlic or the taste will turn bitter.

Once done, add and crush the peeled tomatoes, the passata, oregano, thyme, salt, and pepper but the fresh basil leaves (we will add them just before the end). Heat up at low-medium fire to a simmer. Cook for 20-25min or until the sauce gets darker, thicker (taste frequently and adjust ingredients if needed). Add the basil leaves 5min before the end, remove once the sauce is cooked.

Cook the gnocchi in salted boiling water for only a few minutes. They will float on the surface when ready, this is your best “Hey I’m cooked!” signal.

Drain the Gnocchi and pour them in the saucepan with Pomodoro sauce, mix thoroughly. Pour everything into a baking dish or pot (safe to use in the oven). Add the mozzarella slices on top and bake until the cheese is melted and crispy. This dish is best served with fresh parsley and basil leaves on top and some good vegetarian-friendly grated hard-cheese!

Easy Baked Gnocchi with Tomatoes and Mozzarella

Let’s all stop and admire the cheesy goodness that is this Easy Baked Gnocchi with Tomatoes and Mozzarella.

Seriously. Will you just LOOK at that spectacular layer of ooey, gooey, melty deliciousness. I can barely even handle it.

Now, I’m no stranger to eating outrageously cheesy foods. But for some reason, they don’t make an appearance here on the blog very often. Maybe it’s because I try to keep the recipes I share here a bit healthier. Or maybe it’s because cheese is REALLY HARD to photograph (add that to the list of things I didn’t know before starting this job).

Whatever the reason, this time I managed to successfully break the cheese barrier. So here I am with this simple, comforting and satisfying (and did I mention cheesy?) vegetarian dinner.

This Easy Baked Gnocchi with Tomatoes and Mozzarella is perfect for a weeknight meal, which is why I’m sharing it today as part of our monthly 30 Minute Thursday series. To get it made in under 30 minutes, you’ll want to work on creating the sauce while the gnocchi is cooking. And then once everything is baking in the oven, you’ll have time to toss together a salad or sauté up a side vegetable. It’s a total low stress situation.

Make sure to check out the links below to see what my blogging friends are bringing to the table this month for #30MinuteThursday. And if you make any of the dishes from our series, be sure to give us a shout out on social media!

Mozzarella Gnocchi with Tomato Sauce.

I love cooking with gnocchi, whether they are homemade or store bought they are always a welcome addition to my dinner table.

This simple gnocchi recipe is much more traditional than my previous mushroom gnocchi bake recipe.

As the name suggests Gnocchi alla Sorrentina suggests, it hails from Sorrento in the Campania region of Italy.

The base of the sauce is obscenely simple and is pretty similar to the one I use in my recent fagioli all&rsquoucceletto recipe.

Tomato passata is flavoured with garlic and thickened slightly. Then we throw in a load of parsley and layer up with fresh mozzarella and parmesan cheeses and bake.

It is proper ooey-gooey cheesy comfort food and so simple too.

Prepare a tomato sauce by heating the olive oil gently with the garlic. Let the garlic soften but not colour. At the slightest hint of colouring, add the canned tomato, along with about 200ml of water, a pinch of salt and half the basil leaves. Bring to a simmer and cook, uncovered, for 20 minutes. Set aside until needed.

For the gnocchi, rinse the potatoes of any dirt but keep them whole with skins on. Place on a tray and roast until a fork easily pierces the potatoes, about 35 minutes for medium-sized potatoes (it helps if the potatoes are of a similar size).

Peel the skins off the potatoes while still hot (try this with rubber gloves or by holding the potato with a fork with one hand and using the other hand to peel with a small, sharp knife) and immediately mash until perfectly smooth, spreading out the mashed potato on a tray or chopping board to allow the steam to escape quickly. Continue with the rest of the potatoes, then collect the cooled, smooth mashed potato into a wide bowl or clean surface.

Add the egg and one teaspoon of salt to the potato and begin to beat well to incorporate fully. Begin incorporating the flour and knead it to a smooth dough until it just comes together. Turn onto a floured surface and, taking fist-sized portions of dough, roll into a log about 1 1/2cm wide, then cut the log into 2cm long pieces.

Dust liberally with flour and place the gnocchi pieces onto a sheet of baking paper. Continue with the rest of the gnocchi mixture.

Bring a large pot of water to boil. Add one teaspoon of salt to the water and turn to a simmer. Tip the gnocchi into the pot (a tip: taking the baking paper by two opposite corners, simply place the entire sheet of paper – yes, paper and all – into the water then pull the paper out).

Cook two to three minutes or until the gnocchi begin to float and feel springy. Drain the gnocchi immediately and add to the tomato sauce, tossing to coat, then pour the gnocchi into a baking dish.

Sprinkle the top of the gnocchi with the parmesan and dot the top with the mozzarella and the rest of the basil. Place in oven at 180C for 15-20 minutes or until the top is golden brown and bubbling. Serve immediately.

Emiko Davies is a food writer, photographer and blogger.

What are gnocchi?

Gnocchi are Italian dumplings made with either potatoes or ricotta cheese, along with some flour, formed into small little oval shapes. They&rsquore similar to pasta in a lot of ways, but a bit more hearty and nutrient-packed because they have the added potatoes or cheese.

Um&hellip how do you pronounce gnocchi?

A &ldquogn&rdquo in Italian is similar to an &ldquoñ&rdquo in Spanish. The g is kind of silent, but the n is drawn out. Kind of like &ldquonee-OH-kee.&rdquo Some people say it more like &ldquonee-AW-kee.&rdquo

Can you make your own gnocchi?

You can absolutely make your own gnocchi, and many people do! In fact, here&rsquos a recipe for homemade ricotta gnocchi made with whole wheat flour. It&rsquos a bit easier and faster to make ricotta gnocchi, but you can also make classic potato gnocchi, or even sweet potato gnocchi for a healthier option.

Is it WORTH making my own gnocchi?

That depends on how much you like cooking projects. I view gnocchi similarly to pasta in that, while I COULD make my own, and it may be tastier and more authentic, it&rsquos not worth it to me.

I generally use store bought gnocchi for all my gnocchi needs. DeLallo is a good brand, and you can buy it on amazon! Trader Joe&rsquos also has a low-carb cauliflower gnocchi that people swear by (but I have yet to try it).

How to use gnocchi

Besides using it for this cheesy baked gnocchi, you can use gnocchi in a variety of other ways. Serve it simply with your favorite sauce. Sautè it for crispy pesto gnocchi with goat cheese and cherry tomatoes. Make chicken gnocchi soup, or use them as a shortcut dumpling in Chicken and Dumplings or throw them into Chicken Noodle Soup in place of the noodles. The possibilities (or should I say PASTABILITIES hahaha) are endless!

Gnocchi and buffalo mozzarella dish

This gnocchi pasta dish is absolutely divine. The taste and the outcome of this combination is probably one of the best you could get and that’s exactly what the beauty of this dish is. Maybe it’s just me but this almost the same as if I was to go for a pizza. I don’t really enjoy anything more than a simple tomato and buffalo cheese pizza.

Simple = nicest. You can taste all three flavours pretty clearly and its simplicity just does the trick. It’s good, it’s very good indeed! It’s simple and brilliant!

I sometimes use ready-made tomato sauce like a Sacla whole cherry tomato and basil which is really nice but most of the times I make my own sauce which you can find it in this recipe. All easy peasy stuff.