A few days ago, we featured an interview with Paolo Rigiroli, the mastermind behind both Disgraces on the Menu and Thoughts on the Table. We’re absolutely delighted that Paolo has generously offered to share one of his favourite recipes with our readers so that you can enjoy cooking authentic Italian food at home. For us, Gnocchi di ricotta alla Sorrentina is the ultimate Italian comfort food, perfect to enjoy on these colder Autumnal nights. If you’ve not experienced it before, think mouth-wateringly light gnocchi baked in an absolutely delicious rich tomato sauce layered with creamy scamorza or mozzarella cheese and topped with sprigs of fresh basil. The recipe comes, perhaps not surprisingly, from Sorrento (hence the name alla Sorrentina), a beautiful town just South of Naples and close to the stunning Amalfi Coast.
Please note that these quantities with make approximately 2 servings and takes about an hour to make.
For the ricotta gnocchi:
- 150 g ricotta
- 1 egg yolk
- 150 g flour
- 20 g Parmigiano
- Pinch of salt
- Pinch of pepper
- Pinch of ground nutmeg
- 1 Tablespoon coarse salt (for boiling them)
For the tomato sauce:
- 400 g canned strained tomatoes
- 100 g smoked Scamorza (preferred) or mozzarella. Can also use a mix of the two.
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- ¼ onion, chopped
- 1 garlic clove, crushed
- 2-3 basil leaves (optional)
- Salt to taste
- 2 oven-proof ramekins (~12-15 cm diameter) or a single larger casserole dish
- Mixing bowl
- Wooden board for rolling the gnocchi
- Large pan for boiling the gnocchi
- Frying pan for cooking the tomato sauce
1. Prep the gnocchi dough by mixing all ingredients and letting them rest for ½ hr in the fridge (up to 24 hrs).
2. Meanwhile make the tomato sauce. Start with frying the onion and garlic, then remove the garlic, add the tomato, salt, and lower the temperature to the minimum. Let it cook for about 30 minutes, stirring from time to time. Add a bit of hot water if the sauce dries out too much.
3. Shape the gnocchi by making a cylinder and then cutting it into 12-20 pieces. Roll each on the back of a fork to shape it. Meanwhile, heat the oven to 180 C and put a big pot of salty water to a boil.
4. Boil the gnocchi until they float (about 5 minutes) and then for an extra minute or two. Drain them quickly and add them to the tomato sauce, mix gently.
5. Coarsely shred the smoked Scamorza. Divide the tomato gnocchi and the cheese into two oven-proof ramekins forming layers and finishing with a layer of smoked Scamorza. Can add more Parmigiano if desired.
6. Bake in the oven at 180 C for 10 minutes or until the cheese has melted.
Please note: You can mix mozzarella and smoked scamorza together for a more gooey and creamy result.
Find out more about Italian food and enjoy more of Paolo’s recipes at the following places: