Van Gogh and gnocchi alla sorrentina (Eng)

Van Gogh and gnocchi alla sorrentina (Eng)

After the potato soup, the second plate inspired by Van Gogh are potato gnocchi alla sorrentina.

Peasant Woman, Peeling Potatoes, 1885,

As I explained to you last week here, Vincent Van Gogh made several artworks based on potatoes. The most famous is Potato eaters, but we can also find other artworks like women peeling potatoes and still life from his period in Nuenen.

The artwork Peasant Woman, Peeling Potatoes is formally similar to Potato eatersand surely it can be considered as a preliminary sketch. Both artworks are from 1885, and they have a similar characteristics: a very neutral chromatic range, a very marked brush stroke, characteristic of Van Gogh, and characters with large hands and angular features.

Peasant Woman Seated before an Open Door, Peeling Potatoes, 1885,

In fact, we can find a lot of anonymous women portraits peeling potatoes, all of them from 1885. 

On the other hand, Basket of potatoes is an interesting still life with similar characteristics but with a very warm life, as if the light nucleus were a nearby chimney. We can easily imagine this basket full of potatoes near the pensive woman.

Basket of Potatoes, 1885,

In a nutshell, here you have a humble and tasty recipe, gnocchi alla sorrentina, with tomato sauce, mozzarella and basil.

Self-Portrait with Bandaged Ear and Pipe, 1889,

This recipe has a base on potatoes. It is said that the origin of gnocchi comes from 19th century, where the Italian signori raised the flour price, so farmers replaced flour with potato, much cheaper… Hope you enjoy it!!

Gnocchi alla sorrentina

Eating Arts
A delicious recipe of gnocchi alla sorrentina, which is the second part of my menu inspired by Van Gogh.
Tiempo de preparación 1 hora
Tiempo de cocción 15 minutos
Tiempo de gratinado 10 minutos
Tiempo total 1 hora 15 minutos
Plato Main Course
Cocina Italian
Raciones 5



  • 1 kg unpeeled potatoes
  • 300 g flour
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp salt


  • 1 kg Crushed tomatoes (better homemade)
  • fresh mozzarella
  • fresh basil
  • 1 onion
  • 1 garlic clove
  • oil
  • salt
  • black pepper
  • 1 tsp sugar

Elaboración paso a paso


  • Cook the unpeeled potatoes. Once boiled, let them cool util you can peel them.
  • Mash them until smooth in a bowl.
  • Add egg and salt, and mix it. 
  • Add half of the flour, and knead it.
  • Place it on a floured surface, and add more flour if it is necessary until you get a nice sticky dough but easy to work with.
  • Cover the dough and let it rest 15 minutes. 
  • Divide the dough in four portions. Roll one portion on the floured surface. Cut it with a floured knife into 3 cm pieces. 
  • Mark with a fork each gnocco (this is optional, as it is just decorative). 
  • Put them into boiled water for 1 or 2 minutes, until they start to float.


  • While we cook potatoes, it is time to do the sauce. Clean, peel and cut the garlic clove and the onion, and cook them in a pan with gently oil. 
  • Add crushed tomatoes with salt, black pepper, fresh basil and sugar to reduce acidity of tomatoes. Let it cook.


  • Add gnocchi into an oven plate, add tomato sauce and sliced mozzarella and basil on the top. 
  • Gratin for 5-10 mintues. And voilà, ready to eat!

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