Gnocchi Alla Sorrentina

A dish that I chose, that is unique to my location of study, is gnocchi alla sorrentina. This dish originates from Campania which is a region in Italy. Within this region of Italy lies Sorrento, which is where I am staying/ studying. Gnocchi alla Sorrentina perfectly embodies all that Sorrento is. Amongst this dish lies three of Campania’s most famous ingredients such as fresh tomatoes, verdant basil and a creamy mozzarella. This dish is mainly served as a festive family lunch. The history behind revolves around the idea that this specific recipe was created in the 15th century in Sorrento. Furthermore, the tradition entails that it was created by a cook who was intrigued by the new botanical curiosity coming from the Americas. It is said that explorers returned to Europe with their ships full of foreign/exotic fruits and vegetables, among these were tomatoes and potatoes which are essential to this dish.

The ingredients for such a dish include floury potatoes, plain flour, egg yolks, mozzarella cheese, basil leaves, pecorino and sea salt.  This is just for the Gnocchi but the tomato sauce has its own recipe. For the tomato sauce you need passata, extra virgin oil, garlic cloves, salt and pepper. In order to cook this dish you need to begin by adding olive oil in a pan with low heat. Then once the pan heats up, you must proceed to add the garlic until they become golden. You then proceed to add the tomatoes and a pinch of salt. Once the tomatoes begin cooking, you have to add boiled salted water. You then must add the gnocchi while ensuring that more water is boiling. Once it is almost cooked, take off from the fire and add the mozzarella. Mix until the mozzarella begins to spin and to close it off add parmesan and basil leaves. Speaking to locals, they said that a bad preparation comes from incorporating too many ingredients. What makes it a good preparation is the emphasis of the Mediterranean flavors of the tomato, parmesan, and mozzarella. 

The Sorrento gnocchi owe their name to the cooks of Sorrento who added their taste of the Amalfi coasts to this dish. Throughout the time I have spent here, it is a dish that is easily found anywhere. It is one of the iconic dishes to the area. When tourists come to Sorrento, one of the first things they think of when deciding on a dish is Gnocchi alla Sorrentina. What makes this dish even better is that it is both it is rish of the Sorento culture and simple to prepare.