Italian Regional Recipes Primi Piatti: Pasta, Rice, Soups

Aromatic Potato Gnocchi Au Gratin with Baked Cherry Tomato and Tuna

Gnocchi are Italian dumplings basically made from flour, eggs and potatoes although there so many version of them and are a staple of Italian cuisine. These are topped with baked tomatoes au gratin aromatic herbs-flavoured to enhance the flavours for an easy no-fuss meal. We couldn’t resist adding the tuna at the last minute, all then au gratin in the oven.

OK, but how many gnocchi per person? It depends on what you are cooking and the seasoning, however according to the rule of multiplying the grams of pasta by 3, as a rough guide, the optimum amount of gnocchi per person is about 220 grams. This may sound a bit too much, but it is actually correct if you think that dried pasta is dehydrated and swells in water during cooking by increasing its weight, while gnocchi not having had any drying process, do not increase in weight and therefore the right dose is bigger than pasta.

Serves 4, Preparation 10 minutes, Cooking 20-25 minutes

  • Gnocchi, 1 kg
  • 400 g cherry tomatoes, if possible a little ripe
  • Canned tuna in olive oil, 300 g
  • 2 heaped tablespoons of grated Parmesan and Pecorino cheese mixture
  • 1 clove of garlic, peeled
  • Fresh basil, 5-6 leaves, chopped
  • Dried oregano, 1 generous spoonful
  • 1 rosemary sprig, chopped
  • 2-3 marjoram leaves, chopped
  • EVOO – Extra Virgin Olive Oil, 2 tablespoons
  • Salt and pepper to taste


Drain the tuna and set aside.

Preheat the oven to 200 C / Gas 6 / 400 F.

Wash and dry the cherry tomatoes, place them whole and still attached to the stem on a baking tray covered with baking paper. Sprinkle them with oil, salt and pepper to taste, add the chopped aromatic herbs and just a spoonful of the Parmesan and Pecorino mix, mix them a little.

Bake them in a static oven for about 20-25 minutes or 180 C / Gas 4 / 350 F fan-oven for 15-20 minutes max.

Meantime, bring to boil a pot plenty of salted water, pour gnocchi as soon as the water boils, they will re-emerge within 2 minutes. Keep the oven on.

Drain gnocchi, add to the tray with the cherry tomatoes and mix well, add chopped tuna, mix again, scatter evenly the other spoonful of Parmigiano/Pecorino mix, put the tray back in the oven and turn on the grill-function for a few minutes.

Remove from the oven and serve.

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One Comment

  1. What is the recipe! Next time I make a batch of gnocchi, I plan to make this. Aside from the recipe being fantastic, I love the tip about how many gnocchi make a serving. That is always been one of my biggest problems… I never thought of doing it by weight, only by number.

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