A delicious way to celebrate Mother’s Day

Published on Wednesday, 05 May 2021
Last updated on Monday, 03 May 2021

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Mother’s Day is all about the women we hold dear, and today we’re sharing a recipe that’s been passed down from grandmother to mother in Silvia Colloca’s Italian family.

Silvia is a cookbook author, cooking show creator and mum of three who’s trained in the art of making simple ingredients into special dishes.

Below you’ll find her recipe for Baked Potato Gnocchi alla Sorrentina – a moreish meal of hand-rolled gnocchi, rich tomato sugo and melty bocconcini.

We hope it’s a delicious addition to your Mother’s Day menu, and buon appetito!

Baked Potato Gnocchi alla Sorrentina


  • 1 quantity Basic Potato Gnocchi (see below)
  • 1 quantity Sugo (see page 29 of Simple Italian)
  • 220g tub bocconcini, drained
  • 3 tablespoons freshly grated parmigiano
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Basil leaves, to serve

Serves 4


Make the gnocchi and sugo as instructed.

Preheat your oven to 180°C.

Bring a large saucepan of salted water to the boil and cook your gnocchi in batches. As soon as they float to the surface fish them out with a slotted spoon and drop them straight into the sugo. Toss to coat and encourage the flavours to mingle.

Transfer the gnocchi and sugo to a baking dish. Top with the bocconcini and parmigiano and bake for 15–20 minutes or until the cheese has melted and the sauce is bubbling. Finish with a grinding of pepper and a few basil leaves and serve.

Basic Potato Gnocchi


  • 850g starchy potatoes (russet or desiree), unpeeled
  • Salt flakes
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 110–150g (3⁄4–1 cup) plain or type ‘00’ flour

Serves 4

Making a successful gnocchi dough is all about knowing the type of potatoes to use and how to cook and handle them. It really is easy – just be confident!

Place the whole potatoes snugly in a large saucepan. Fill with cold water, add two fistfuls of salt and bring to the boil over high heat. Cook for 35–40 minutes or until tender. Drain well, then set aside for 10 minutes until cool enough to handle.

Pass the potatoes through a potato ricer and allow to cool for about 5–10 minutes. Stir in the egg yolk and a small pinch of salt. (If you don’t have a ricer, you can use a masher instead, although you will need to peel the potatoes first.)

Start adding the flour, a little at a time. Depending on your potatoes and the type of flour you use, you may need to use a little more or less than indicated. You want a soft dough that is pliable and not tacky. I normally end up using about three-quarters and use the rest for dusting while I’m shaping the gnocchi. Don’t be tempted to add too much flour or your gnocchi will be heavy.

Cut the dough into four or five pieces, then place on a floured surface and roll them into 2cm thick logs. Cut each log into 2–3cm pieces.

You can leave them like that if you like. Alternatively, roll them over a wooden gnocchi board or press them against the tines of a fork to form ridges – gently but like you mean it. The tines will leave indentations in the gnocchi, ready to trap the sauce for the joy of your palate.

Once you have rolled all your gnocchi, dust them with flour and set aside. They are best cooked within a few hours.

This recipe was extracted from Simple Italian by Silvia Colloca, published by Plum, RRP $39.99. Available now. 

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