This Gnocchi alla Sorrentina is topped with homemade stracciatella cheese. It’s a simple rustic Italian tomato-based pasta dish that’s easy to make and delicious to eat! And when you top it with homemade stracciatella (creamy burrata innards) the results are out of control delish!
When I was in Italy a few years ago, I was obsessed with ordering the gnocchi alla sorrentina. loved how simple, light, and flavorful it was.
Unlike most gnocchis I've had here in the states, theirs were like little potato clouds that didn't feel heavy or dense.
Since then, I've tried the regular store-bought gnocchis that come in the prepared pasta section and was always disappointed.
On the mission to find the perfect store-bought version, I first tried the Rana's skillet gnocchis that are near the fresh pasta section and was pleasantly surprised by how delicious they were.
Then, I finally got my hands on Delallo's fresh gnocchi kit and was totally blown away. They take about 10 minutes to make from start to finish. They're light, flavorful and best of all, you control how big they are which is super fun and helpful.
To recreate the Italian pasta dish of my dreams, I knew it had to be super simple yet exciting enough to make you actually want to make it.
So I did what I do best and added a fun cheese element.
Since this dish is regularly served with fresh mozzarella, I figured I'd step it up and serve it with Stracciatella cheese.
If you've never had this sort of cheese before, THEN GET EXCITED!
Just imagine the creamy insides of a ball of burrata and all the rich goodness that it holds. Now don't think anymore because stracciatella is just that -- burrata innards!
So before I go into a wormhole about my love for this creamy cheese, let's get started on a recipe!
For the Stracciatella
- ball of mozzarella
- heavy cream
- salt & pepper
- olive oil
For the Gnocchi
How to make the stracciatella cheese
Making stracciatella cheese is one of my favorite ways to upgrade a store-bought 8 oz ball of fresh mozzarella.
If you're unfamiliar with this type of cheese, think of it as the creamy insides of a ball of burrata.
There are more traditional and authentic ways of making it, but I have used this shortcut a million times and am obsessed with it.
All you need to do is to take a ball of fresh mozzarella and use your hands to shred it apart. Whether you pull it into little chunks to long thin shreds, the texture will be perfect. Just don't cut it into cubes! We don't want that.
Next, grab a bowl and take your heavy cream and ¼ teaspoon salt and basically soak the mozzarella shreds in it. Stir it all up so everything is covered then wrap it and place it in the fridge. And that's it!
I recommend soaking it in the heavy cream for at least 1 hour and up to two days.
Before serving, drizzle the straciatella with good olive oil, a pinch of salt and some fresh cracked pepper.
How to make the gnocchi alla sorrentina
The first thing you'll need to do to prepare the gnocchi alla sorrentina is to prep your gnocchis.
You can use store-bought gnocchi if you don't want to make them fresh!
Once the gnocchi are prepared, boil them until they're cooked through then strain and set aside.
Meanwhile, it's time to start the super simple sauce.
First, you'll want to add olive oil to a sauce pan and turn the heat to medium.
Once the olive oil is hot, add the fresh garlic slices, the red pepper flakes, a few basil leaves and a pinch of salt and saute until your whole kitchen smells like delicious garlic! Just be careful not to let the garlic burn so it doesn't get bitter.
Next, add the tomato puree and ¼ teaspoon salt then turn the heat to high and put a lid on the pan but leave room on the side for heat to escape.
Let the sauce rapidly simmer for about 7-10 minutes until it’s reduced.
Then, turn the heat down to medium and add the parmesan and butter and stir until incorporated.
Be sure to taste it and see if you need to add more salt.
Next, you'll want to stir in the prepared gnocchi and cook for another minute or two so the sauce absorbs into the dumplings.
Before serving, top each bowl with fresh basil and a spoonful of the the stracciatella cheese.
What to pair it with
If I were making this dish for dinner, I'd start with an appetizer of parmesan tossed brussel sprouts and asparagus. For salad, I'd probably make this easy kale salad with fresh citrus and dates. And for dessert, I'd most definitely serve it with flourless chocolate cake with fresh berries.
Want to save it later?
I love when you save my recipes! That's why I created these cutie pie little pinterest images!
Just hover over each image, then click the pin button and choose your board! Easy peasy and great for remembering a recipe at a later date.
Gnocchi alla Sorrentina with Easy Homemade Stracciatella Cheese
For the Stracciatella
- 1 8 oz ball fresh mozzarella
- ½ cup heavy cream
- 1 pinch salt
For the Stracciatella
- Use your hands to rip apart one ball of fresh mozzarella into tiny strands. Cover with heavy cream and salt. Mix it together, cover, and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
For the Gnocchi
- Prepare Gnocchi according to the directions.( Full disclosure: I used a fresh gnocchi kit from Delallo and it was awesome. You can use store-bought if you have them, though!)
- Add olive oil to a sauce pan and turn the heat to medium.
- Add garlic, red pepper flakes, a few basil leaves, and a pinch of salt and saute until fragrant for about a minute.
- Before they begin to brown, add the tomato puree and ¼ teaspoon salt then turn the heat to high. Put a lid on the pan but leave room on the side for heat to escape. Let the sauce rapidly simmer for about 7-10 minutes until it’s reduced.
- Turn the heat down to medium and add the parmesan and butter and stir until incorporated.
- Stir in the prepared gnocchi and cook for another minute or two so the sauce absorbs into each dumpling.
- Before serving, top with fresh basil and the stracciatella cheese.