This is a very simple and delightful dish, typical Italian. I would qualify this as one of my comfort food favourites because kitchen work is super relaxing for me. Making gnocchi relieves stress, helps me to focus and is my most favourite hobby. The simplicity of this dish is what gives it such a depth, which is highly ironic. The pepper flake tempered and zesty tomato sauce against the clean and cool basil is a delightful and fresh contrast combination. Then when you bite into the soft and fluffy gnocchi, its almost like coming home, letting your hair down and flopping down on a comfy couch.
Strangulapreti Alla Sorrentina* (Gnocchi in Red Sauce): Total Time: 20 minutes: Active Time: 20 minutes: Serves 4
- traditional gnocchi (store bought or handmade, look for my gnocchi recipe in the DIY category).
- 3 c. tomato sauce, homemade or store bought
- 1 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
- 1 – 1 1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes
- handful of basil, chiffonade
- 1/2 mozzarella, as fresh as possible, cubed
- Parmesan cheese, to top
- Prepare gnocchi, make it or prep according to package directions.
- In a large sauce pan, heat olive oil over medium-high heat and temper the red pepper flakes in the hot oil for 15-30 seconds. Then add the tomato sauce and bring to a boil and reduce to simmer.
- Turn the heat to a very low setting once the gnocchi are done and toss the gnocchi gently in the sauce so that they will not stick together, but rather adhere to the sauce. Chiffonade the basil and add the basil to the sauce along with the mozzarella cubes. Divide the dish into warmed bowls and grate Parmesan on top and serve immediately.
* The name actually means “Priest Strangler,” though not in the way that it sounds. MB said that it was a common Sunday dish to which the Priest was invited. The Priest would eat so much of this dish as to nearly strangle himself.