Gnocchi Pomodoro is one of my absolute favorites… I truly love this dish and I want to share everything I know. Here you can find out the origin of this dish, gnocchi dough recipe, and Gnocchi Pomodoro Sorrentina Authentic Recipe.
Gnocchi is undoubtedly one of the most famous Italian main courses in the world, which are never missing on the table and are prepared in all regions. Tasty and easy to prepare even at home, they go well with all kinds of sauces and condiments and they are all agreed upon, from north to south Italy, and all around the world.
Proposed in different variations, with potatoes, with rice, with wheat flour, with dry bread, with semolina, with semolina, with pumpkin, and with cornflour, they are a delicious dish, able to satisfy even the most demanding palates. But what is the real story of gnocchi? What are its real origins? Let’s find out together!
Gnocchi Italy (Origin and Curiosities)
Gnocchi is one of the Italian dishes that have never gone out of fashion, despite their origin goes back to ancient times. In fact, it seems that the first potato gnocchi appeared in the 16th century when the importation of potatoes from America began. This recipe was invented by the Sorrentines, creators of potato gnocchi, a delicious and world-famous dish.
But the first real gnocchi was made not from potatoes! Even before the potatoes came from America, this recipe was prepared only with flour or semolina and was considered a specialty, so much that it was proposed during wedding banquets or celebrations for military victories.
In addition to semolina and flour, in that period they were also made with breadcrumbs, chopped almonds, milk, and cheese: gnocchi prepared with these ingredients were called “mosquitoes”.
Spinach was often added to the dough to change its color and make it tastier: in this way the broth in which it was cooked became golden. Those who prepared this dish were considered rich and wealthy.
Those prepared with potatoes have survived until today. Around the 17th century another way to prepare gnocchi appeared, which involved the use of eggs, flour, and water rather than bread and almonds. This type of gnocchi was called “malfatti” and in Rome, they were cooked on Thursdays, as tradition wanted.
In this regard, a popular said: “Thursday gnocchi, Friday fish, Saturday Tripe”. Instead, in the southern regions, particularly in Campania, it was normal to cook them on Sundays.
The use of preparing gnocchi in different ways began to disappear in 1880, but potato gnocchi continued to be prepared and have reached the present day without going out of fashion, but instead following the tastes and trends of many generations.
The potato gnocchi that we know today, therefore, are roughly those that were cooked towards the end of the 19th century: since then there has been a steady rise for this first dish and its success has never stopped.
However, it should be noted that even today, although boiled and mashed potatoes have become an essential element in the preparation of gnocchi, in some regions the variant prepared with flour or semolina continues to persist.
Gnocchi alla Romana is an example of how traditions still live on today!
How to make Gnocchi Pomodoro
My authentic Gnocchi Pomodoro secrets for making it at home, although it may seem the opposite, is among the simplest and takes even less time than expected.
As for all the classic recipes of Italian tradition each one has its own and each family is distinguished by a peculiar recipe; generally, it is based on personal taste but the convention states that 1/3 of flour is used compared to the number of potatoes needed (e.g. 1kg potatoes/300gr flour, 2kg potatoes/600gr flour, etc).
However, there are some precautions to be followed to ensure that the final result is a “gnocco” that is not hard but compact, able to absorb the sauce or any other type of seasoning, and in which the flour is not excessively felt.
Secrets for making excellent Gnocchi Pomodoro
Whenever possible, use starchy potatoes that are easier to process but, above all, contain less liquid than the others. For this reason, these potatoes (such as white potatoes) require less flour which results in more digestible gnocchi;
Do not overwork the dough otherwise, because the gluten contained in the flour and the starch of the potatoes will become sticky and not very workable;
Potatoes should be kneaded with flour while they are still warm because the heat allows the ingredients to assemble better and more easily.
The gnocchi, once ready, must rest for a maximum of 30 minutes covered with a cotton cloth and lightly sprinkle with flour. In this way, they will stabilize and dry slightly on the surface so that they cook well and absorb the seasoning completely, without becoming sticky.
Once prepared but not cooked, the gnocchi can be frozen: just place them, spaced out from each other, on a baking tray and put them in the freezer. Once frozen they can be transferred into plastic food bags. When needed, they should be cooked in boiling salted water still frozen so that they do not break and lose their firmness.
Preparation time: 2 hours
Cooking time: 5 minutes
Total time: 2.1 hours
Ingredients (4/6 Portions)
- 1 kg of potatoes (white potatoes or similar are great)
- 300 grams of flour type 00 or plain flour
- 1 medium egg big enough
- salt as needed
- Boil the potatoes in unsalted water until soft then peel and mash them in a bowl.
- Place the flour in a “fountain” on the pastry board or work surface then add the potatoes, the egg, and a pinch of salt.
- Knead with your hands until the dough is soft and compact. If necessary, add more flour at this stage.
- Make from the dough many strands of more or less the same length and thickness (2-3 cm maximum).
- Also in this phase if necessary add little flour to help the dough slide better on the work surface.
- Cut some small pieces out of each stripe and then slide each dumpling on the tines of a fork in order to obtain the classic shape.
- Once again remember to use flour to prevent the dumplings from sticking to the fork.
- Place the gnocchi on a lightly floured tray then, after 30 minutes, cook them in salted water and drain them as soon as they rise to the surface.
- If you are looking for a recipe to make at home that is Italian Authentic in my opinion this is ideal and is really appreciated.
for a different touch to your gnocchi (both color and taste), you can add turmeric or beetroot juice (eliminating part of the egg otherwise the dough will be too liquid), herbs or various flavors (parsley, rosemary, etc.), and anything that comes to mind and that triggers your imagination.
if you prepare the gnocchi and want to cook them a few hours later do not put them in the refrigerator otherwise they will harden. Instead, cover them with a slightly damp cotton cloth so they will harden slightly only on the surface. They can be prepared a maximum of 4 hours before cooking.
Gnocchi Sorrentina Recipe
The “Gnocchi alla Sorrentina” is a dish of Campania cuisine, to be exact in Sorrento in the province of Naples. It is a fresh and tasty main course, simple to prepare with few ingredients but very tasty.
This dish is prepared with Gnochi with a fresh tomato sauce, fiordilatte or mozzarella, and basil, there are those who put the onion or garlic as you like. The original recipe wants to finish the cooking in the oven using only the “Coccio di Terracotta” (earthenware crock).
Ingredients ( 4 Portions)
- 800 gr of gnocchi
- 700 gr of Passata or Peeled Tomatoes
- 200 gr of Fiordilatte, Provola or Mozzarella (you can use a mixture of the three or what you have)
- 1 onion or 1 clove of garlic (or both if you prefer)
- 4 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
- grated Parmesan cheese
- Salt a pinch
- In a large frying pan add 4 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil and let the oil warm up a little when it is hot, add the finely chopped onion and let it brown, then add the Passata or peeled tomatoes in the pan, a pinch of salt, a few basil leaves and cook for 20-30 minutes.
- Boil a pot with plenty of salty water for the gnocchi, they will take not more than 3/5 minutes to cook
- When they start to float they are done, just take them using a kitchen spider or something similar
- Drain the gnocchi and pour them in the pot and add a few ladles of tomato sauce and a few pieces of fior di latte mozzarella.
- so turn it well with a ladle and melt the mozzarella and mix it well
- Pour the gnocchi into a terracotta tray or oven deep tray pan, according to the portions
- add the tomato sauce, grated cheese, provolone or mozzarella cut into pieces and bake for about 15 minutes at 180 C. degrees.
- serve the dish with some fresh basil leaves
What wine to match
Gnocchi Pomodoro and Alla Sorrentina are not easy dishes to combine with a glass of wine. With pasta, even if very tasty as in this case, I would never recommend an excessively full-bodied wine. So I would opt for the following reds: Merlot, Cabernet, and Chianti.
Gnocchi Pomodoro can be prepared in advance by keeping them in the fridge for a maximum of two days and using an airtight container. In addition, if you have many guests or simply want to anticipate the preparation time, prepare everything a few hours before the meal, put it in the fridge, and bake just a few minutes before consumption.
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